I Would Rather #ChillWithHill Than #FeelTheBern
Why despite the ubiquity of millennial support for Bernie Sanders, I stand with Hillary Clinton.
By Lauren Grimaldi, Roosevelt University
I am 20 years old and I support Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.
There, I said it. Come at me, fellow millennials.
Despite what you may believe, I’m not being paid by the former Secretary of State to write this. Nor am I being brainwashed by the mainstream media who some say seem to have it out for a certain Vermont Senator.
That being said, I don’t hate Bernie. I think he has an unrivaled authenticity that’s immensely appealing, but there are just a few issues that leave me inclined to #ChillWithHill.
Her experience in all facets of the job are unmatched by anyone in the race. While I believe that Bernie is an earnest man with admirable ideals, my support lies with Hillary based on the reality of the current political climate. Bernie, on the other hand, offers paradigm-shifting plans that have no possibility of getting implemented without a radical shift in Congress.
Of course, some members of Congress are just as opposed to Hillary as they are to Bernie, but the difference lies in the truth that Clinton’s proposals are more moderate, and thus more feasible, than those of Sanders.
A common criticism of Bernie is that he is a one issue candidate. While I don’t think that critique is an entirely fair assessment, there is a point to it. To Sanders, the biggest problem in the United States is taking down Wall Street. Holding those responsible for the financial collapse is incredibly important, but it is not the most burdensome issue facing this country.
Hillary has a much broader stance on what needs to be done. She agrees holding Wall Street accountable is important, but recognizes that there is more wrong than just that. She will lead the fight for equal pay for women and abortion rights, in addition to having strong beliefs in taxing the rich more and giving the middle class a break.
While she may not be able to relate financially to common folk, there is no doubt that she hears their struggle and wants to help just as much as Sanders does. Her broad experience in all aspects of the presidency gives her an edge over him. One cannot argue that Sanders has more experience fit for the job than Clinton as that is simply just not true.
Another major issue on which I disagree with Bernie is gun control. He has always painted himself as someone who does not base his positions on what will earn him votes, but given his track record of devout liberalism, his stance on guns is confusing.
His home state constituency of Vermont has an enormous hunting industry, and thus opposes many of the stricter gun control laws that liberals would like to implement. While it is smart to play to your voters, you cannot portray yourself as someone who is above supporting (or not supporting) certain measures just to get votes when your record clearly shows that you do exactly that. Of course Clinton is guilty of this as well, but you cannot criticize one without also mentioning the other’s own similar faults.
We need more transparency from our elected officials, no doubt, and Bernie is about as authentic of a politician as you’ll find. His policies regarding income inequality stem from not a desire to score your vote, but from real life experience. His sincerity is appealing, but if you honestly assess what can and cannot not be accomplished in our present political milieu, it’s clear that Hillary will be more effective.
But I get it, you guys. You’re fed up with the establishment that you feel Hillary embodies. You want the days of politicians saying things just to gain political points to end. And those are more than fair wishes.
Nevertheless, it’s time to face reality. Bernie is not going to win. While supporting him is great and I respect that choice, the realization needs to be made that Hillary Clinton will be representing the Democratic Party in November.
And as her opponent for the general election is likely to be Donald Trump, it’s vital that we unite the support of the youth and others around Hillary. Those who are thinking that this will turn into yet another choice between the lesser of two evils are mistaken.
A Hillary Clinton presidency would truly not be as bad as you may think.
Her biggest strength lies within her experience. While many of the policies implemented during her husband’s presidency were sickening (the Defense of Marriage Act comes to mind), it’s important to note that she has owned up to the mistakes she’s made throughout her political career.
Her vote for the Iraq War led Sanders to call her “not qualified” for the presidency. There’s no doubt that invading Iraq was an atrocious error that led to consequences that the United States and Middle East will feel for years to come. Knowing these facts now, Hillary admitted that her biggest political regret was indeed that vote.
An apology needs not be accepted as countless American and Middle Eastern lives were lost, but that concession in of itself shows a true strength in Clinton that you may not see in other political candidates. One only needs to look to Jeb Bush for proof of this. When continually asked if his brother made a mistake by invading Iraq in his presidency, he became irritated and refused to admit to the obvious answer of one simple word “yes.”
While she is a tad more hawkish than most liberals would prefer, Hillary’s experience in the world of foreign policy compared to that of Bernie’s shows their most stark contrast of all. She served as Secretary of State under President Obama. Sanders has yet to show any true plan for how he would approach foreign policy if he were elected president.
Much of the hatred we see so often toward Hillary stems from members of the media who blanket her in intense scrutiny.
You can see it in her face during each event—she knows that any small misstep, any awkward moment will result in even more negative coverage.
It’s time we look past what we’ve been taught to think about the Clinton family and listen to what she’s actually trying to say. Her modern policies are not what her husband implemented in the 1990s. She is not his clone. And while the racist and homophobic laws of the Clinton administration cannot be excused, she has begun to redeem herself and separate from her past.
In addition to her past mistakes, Ms. Clinton has also had to combat the notion that she is unlikable. It is clear, however, that she has not acted differently than her male counterparts in the political atmosphere. While men have to be ruthless to succeed politically, women have to be that and then some. Advancing in the boy’s club of American politics means beating them at their own game.
Unfortunately, strong-willed women are often dogged by the unfair criticisms that they are bossy or unpleasant. While her sex should not shield her from character critique, it’s imperative that Clinton’s reputation be appropriately contextualized.
Female politicians often work twice as hard as their male counterparts to achieve the same victories, while dealing with systemic, engrained misogyny the entire time. Character critiques of Hillary must be taken with a grain of salt, considering where and how they’re coming from. Plus, look at her track record. Even if Hillary were to have a bristly personality, she’s still accomplished more than nearly any other human on the planet, so I’ll take my chances.
I understand why Sanders excites my age group, and I won’t lie and say that he’s never excited me for the future of this country. I don’t think that he would make a bad president, but I’m also realistic. Electing a Democratic Socialist to the White House would spell incredible trouble for an already devastatingly gridlocked Republican-led Congress, and prolonged quagmire is something we want to move away from, not dive right into.
I want a president who can do what they say they’re going to do. For me, that’s Hillary.