I was a self proclaimed and proud Hillary Clinton voter in the 2016 Democratic Party Primaries as well as in the November 2016 election. Based on my voting history, you might have thought I would want to vote for Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, or maybe even Mayor Pete. Definitely for a woman, not a “White Guy.” That’s where you are wrong and I’m going to tell you why.
I really liked Bernie in 2016, but…
Hillary Clinton had been one of those galvanizing women that I had mad respect for growing up. I loved that she wasn’t afraid to show her Feminism or had an opinion. She was also wicked smart to boot. I had not been introduced to Bernie Sanders much and to me, he looked like a newcomer. A newcomer that I really liked and would have had no problem voting for if Hillary had lost at the Democratic Convention. I was wrong, he was not a newcomer…maybe to running for President…but the guy has been around for quite a long time and he has been fighting for everything I’ve ever valued for much longer than I have been alive.
Bernie earned my mad respect when…
Bernie Sanders stood up for my former Disneyland co-workers in ways that no other politician ever had. He went to their union rally…THEIR UNION RALLY…to shed light on the gross abuse they have been enduring in wage stagnation, hours cuts to keep them off the company insurance, and the gross income inequality that they have been suffering 1. When I worked at Disneyland, I always knew of a few fellow cast members who were living out of their car, or using dive hotels for permanent housing…but it wasn’t more than a handful. This was now more the norm than the exception. I hold my old co-workers dear in my heart and I want them to have the best wages, insurance, and opportunities they can get for the superior services they provide the guests at those parks. These are the creme of the crop of the industry, they deserve a lot more than they were getting. To see Bernie show up for them was when I said to myself that if he ran again, I’d give him my vote. Can you imagine a world where your President shows up to a Union strike in solidarity with you and your co-workers against the management that wants to pay you as little as possible and give you benefits only in name? That is a President for the people if I have ever heard of one.
As a Feminist, Why not Elizabeth Warren?
Elizabeth Warren would be a great choice for President and I hope to see her in that office someday. Her positions and policies are very close to Bernie’s. However, I’m not voting for her for a few reasons.
First, she actually had my vote at the beginning of the Primary battle. However, what really always got to me is the question of “What if this is Bernie’s last run? What if I never get the chance to vote for him again?” I see Bernie as more than an FDR President. I think he is going to give us FDR’s last term and he is going to bring new energy to the people to continue fighting for what we need rather than letting corporations do what they want without consequence. We have needed that energy. If you have ever belonged to a union that is lackluster, where no one shows up to vote or make decisions…you know how much we need people to feel empowered, like they can make a difference if they actually organize for what they want. We need much better workers rights, so we are up to speed with the rest of the other wealthy nations of the world. I don’t think Elizabeth Warren is one of these figures, at least not yet…and she still has time to become one.
Second, the whole Native American proof with a DNA test still brings a bad taste in my mouth. It had some really bad racist undertones that didn’t serve her well and I think will cost her some Native American votes and probably other Minority votes as well. The other reason why it left a bad taste in my mouth and I think about it a lot when talking about Elizabeth Warren is that she was baited by Trump and instead of just ignoring it and not giving it any validation, she took the damn bait 2! She took it and it ended up staining her in ways that just weren’t helpful and in ways where the double standard of holding women to this unattainable perfection would constantly have a question mark of…she just might be racist 3.
Thirdly, what really cinched it was when she accused Bernie of saying that a woman could never be President. I don’t think that ever actually occurred, because of how hurt Bernie looked at that accusation and how he had words with her when they got off the debate stage. Not only this, but Bernie has consistently said the opposite of this…and Bernie for any of his faults, is relentlessly consistent in his messaging 4. In fact, Bernie Sanders tried to get Elizabeth Warren to run for the 2016 elections and only threw his hat in the ring when she abstained from running 5. I really think this was a bad staffer suggestion in order to try to capture some women from Bernie’s supporters. When it backfired, she started going after Bloomberg and the “Moderate” candidates.
Lastly, although Elizabeth’s policies are very close to Bernie’s, they just aren’t all the way there. Bernie wants more public benefits for everyone, which is more inclusive than Elizabeth’s plans 6. Elizabeth has odd income cut offs that will hurt middle class families in higher income States like California, New York, Oregon, Washington DC, and Minnesota and would exclude 6 million more people than Bernie’s plan 7. Our middle class makes more money and our costs of living are a lot more than most States. When it takes close to $120k just to pay for near poverty level food, housing, and basics…middle class looks like upper class and you start hitting her ceilings for benefits like student loan forgiveness 8. Her Medicare for All, is not Medicare for All…its almost like she doesn’t understand what Bernie means when he says it…and she really doesn’t mention much about it anymore, even going so far as to bring in surrogates at her rally to talk about it for her 9. This does not give me much confidence that she will actually get us there as fast as people need it to happen or even that she will get us there at all.
As you can see, my reasoning has very little to do with her being a woman, but rather with what I disagree with in her policies and plans, as well as how she has been baited to make dumb moves that don’t really seem like they were her ideas to begin with and she should have just said, “I’m not doing that.” That being said, if Bernie has her as a running mate, I will be overjoyed! I still like her quite a bit!
Let’s talk Bernie’s Public Benefits
Yes, his freebies that aren’t really free. I don’t know about you, but I paid about $15000 in medical insurance, copays, and out of pocket expenses this year and I still have an $871.00 hospital bill that I am still paying down monthly for one of my kids. That’s not including what my husband paid for his medical plan so we could be double covered and lower our out of pocket expenses. If I didn’t have to pay for that, I could be paying off my student loan….or not sweating paying for two kids in daycare…or maybe I could save for a real family vacation. Of course, my taxes would likely go up a bit, but they would not go up $15k. I would love this relief and I would love not having to sit on the phone with my insurance company verifying referrals and preauthorizations a zillion times over. My baby just had Ear Tubes put in this week…and I got no less than 5 phone calls from my insurance company about preauthorizing her for the procedure…including up to the day before where I had to again, answer their same questions for a 3rd time!!! I would like to be able to go in when I am sick instead of having to check if my Health Spending Account has money for a copay…or whether or not I needed to submit a receipt so they don’t put a hold on my card 10. I’d like to take time off from work when I am sick without having to worry about how much PTO I have left, because I don’t get separate sick time which gets more into Bernie’s numerous plans for Workers Rights. Medical care as a public benefit is not a new idea, we are the only country in the world that doesn’t have it 11.
Free childcare for early childhood would be awesome. I paid $14,000 last year in childcare alone…and that was 5 months where I was not paying for infant care yet. This year, I am projected to pay $18,500 in childcare expenses for two children. If I didn’t have to pay for this too, I wouldn’t care if my student loan was forgiven…I’d have that puppy paid off in less than 10 years. I value the people who take care of my children while I am at work, I want to see them paid a lot more than they are. If there were a public benefit for this, it would also ensure certain licensing and education of the people providing care and the government would have to pay them appropriately. With a President that fights for workers rights, I see this actually happening 12. This is also not a far reach, other countries already do this…we are the odd balls 13.
Student loan forgiveness…how much do you owe? How much is that payment every month? Mine is $1000 a month, which means I am out $12k every year paying off a loan for a school that I attended for 2 whole stinking years that caused me so much trauma, I should have sued the school. I didn’t because I was naive and didn’t want to be THAT girl, but in retrospect, I should have…either that or I should have demanded the school give a refund to the loan lending company. I won’t go into specifics about the shit show that was my first two years of college at a very expensive school, but I will say that the bill has been a continual slap in my face over the years. Did you know that some of the most developed and wealthy countries in the world have free college 14? Free doesn’t mean that everybody gets in, it means if you qualify, you get in and you don’t have to pay for it.
So, lets add those up for what I could be not paying a year…$28,850 if Bernie Sanders is elected President and all of these things are implemented. What would you do with that much more a year? What could you be spending it on? How much would our economy take off because more people had the money to participate in it more frequently? Granted, my taxes would go up, but not $28,850 worth of it. Either way I look at it, I will have more money in my bank account. I wouldn’t have to use any credit cards and my biggest bill would just be my mortgage.
Going by just Bernie’s Medicare for All, this is how much I will save a year…even with an increase in taxes.
You can figure out what your disposable income would be under a Sanders tax plan by going to: BernieTax.com.
How is he going to pay for all these Freebies and the New Green Deal?
This is the wrong question…how much are we all going to pay if he doesn’t do it? How much is it going to cost the country? No one is willing to say what it will cost to continue on in the status quo. That’s because its more expensive and its going to cost us trillions to keep going down the path we are going. Wars from climate refugees are going to cost more money than the freebies will and the New Green Deal will 15. However, he is planning on paying for this by taxing the billionaires and corporations that have been getting away with paying their employees so little that they have to be on welfare while working. All this is explained in detail at the following website: How does Bernie pay his Major Plans? Keep in mind that no one asks Republicans how they are going to pay for another war…yet they do and now we have an incredible debt that is higher than when George Bush Jr. was in office 16.
But Bernie isn’t electable is he? Even if he is electable to us, he won’t beat Trump though.
I’d have you look at recent Primaries and polling to see if Bernie is electable 17. Clearly he is electable and he is bringing out more progressive voters that sat out of the 2016 election. People are fired up to vote for Bernie, so much so that he has raised a total of $167 Million from 8.7 million individual donors which is the largest amount of small donations any candidate has ever received in the history of the United States 18 19. There’s only a few states where if Bernie becomes the Democratic candidate, he loses to Trump…and these aren’t even States that are swing States or the ones he is most worried about winning 20. This is not 1980’s politics anymore. We should have thrown that model out before the 2016 election. The facts are that the older generations in the 1980s who wouldn’t have voted for a Democratic Socialist, are either dead or in nursing homes not knowing what year it is. The ones that are still left are from the managerial class, not the vast working class…and they just aren’t big in numbers. This is why you see the sudden freak out by the DCCC to now let Bloomberg in. There have been some crazy rumors about what the Democratic Convention is going to look like this year if Bernie doesn’t win this Primary by getting 60% of the votes. Talk of choosing a candidate (Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee whom didn’t run in case their was a brokered convention where he might be the white knight) that didn’t even run on any ticket at all, talk of a second vote where all the delegates vote for who they want, not what the people want 21. We need to stop this nonsense and just vote for him already. If we get a moderate in as the candidate, we lose, its as simple as that. The people who didn’t show up in 2016 aren’t going to show up for a Moderate candidate. No Republican is going to vote for a Republican Lite candidate over the actual Republican candidate. The more center our candidate is, the less galvanizing they will be. It has worked this way since President Clinton 22. The more progressive candidate wins.
But my Conservative friends all say Bernie won’t win the Midwest or Moderates
What do your Conservative friends really know about Democrats other than when you apologize for being one? Nothing. They don’t have their pulse on anything Democrat. Oh, and here’s three reasons why I don’t care what conservatives think of our Democratic candidates, and why you shouldn’t either. Don’t let them make you doubt this candidate. He is the real deal. He fought and was arrested in the 60s with the Black Community in the Civil Rights protests. He has fought for Women’s rights and Worker’s rights his whole adult life…and he isn’t just another “white man,” he is a man of Jewish ethnicity…can you imagine having the first ethnically Jewish President? A President who actually knows what facism and authoritarianism is, because his parents escaped all that and taught him about it from first hand knowledge? Bernie is who we need to beat Trump’s ass. I also implore you to watch Bernie do a town hall in Trump country, some of them said that they would have voted for Bernie given the chance.
Featured Photo Credit: Joshua Mellin @ Flickr.com, cropped at a 2:1 ratio.
- Martín, H. (2018, June 2). Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at rally to call for higher wages for Disneyland Resort workers. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from: https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-bernie-sanders-disneyland-20180602-story.html
- Herndon, A.W. (2018, December 6). Elizabeth Warren Stands by DNA Test. But Around Her, Worries Abound. New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/06/us/politics/elizabeth-warren-dna-test-2020.html
- Tsosie, K, & Anderson, M. (2018, October 22). Two Native American geneticists interpret Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test. The Conversation. Retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/two-native-american-geneticists-interpret-elizabeth-warrens-dna-test-105274
- Day, M. (2020, January 17). How an Anti-Sexist Candidate Got Smeared as Sexist. Jacobin. Retrieved from: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/01/bernie-sanders-elizabeth-warren-sexism-controversy-woman-president
- Joseph, C. (2013, November 18). Bernie Sanders won’t rule out presidential bid, touts Elizabeth Warren. The Hill. Retrieved from: https://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/190544-bernie-sanders-wont-rule-out-presidential-bid-touts
- College for All and Cancel All Student Debt [Bernie Sanders Campaign Website]. (2020). Retrieved from: https://berniesanders.com/issues/free-college-cancel-debt/
- Affordable Higher Education for All [Elizabeth Warren Campaign Website]. (2020). Retrieved from: https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/affordable-higher-education
- Martin, E. (2018, June 28). In San Francisco, households earning $117,000 qualify as ‘low income’. CNBC: Make It. Retrieved from: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/28/families-earning-117000-qualify-as-low-income-in-san-francisco.html
- Herndon, A.W. (2020, January 1). Elizabeth Warren Isn’t Talking Much About ‘Medicare for All’ Anymore. New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/01/us/politics/elizabeth-warren-medicare-for-all.html
- Booth, S. (2020, February 18). Medicare for All: What Is It and How Will It Work?. Healthline. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/what-medicare-for-all-would-look-like-in-america#1
- Davis, D.L.. Mark Pocan stated on April 30, 2019 in a tweet: “The United States is the ONLY industrialized country without universal healthcare.” True. Politifact. Retrieved from: https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/jun/21/mark-pocan/universal-health-care-diagnosis-mark/
- Free Child Care and Pre-K for All [Bernie Sanders Campaign Website]. (2020). Retrieved from: https://berniesanders.com/issues/free-child-care-and-pre-k-all/
- Miller, Z. (2019, August 19). 13 places around the world that offer free preschool programs. Insider. Retrieved from: https://www.insider.com/places-with-free-pre-k-preschool-2019-8
- Goetz, L. (2020, January 31). 5 Countries With Virtually Free College Tuition. Investopedia. Retrieved from: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/080616/6-countries-virtually-free-college-tuition.asp
- Nuccitelli, D. (2019, April 29). Climate change could cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions a year by 2090. Yale Climate Connections. Retrieved from: https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2019/04/climate-change-could-cost-u-s-economy-billions/
- Bryan, B. (2020, February 20). The US national debt just pushed past $22 trillion — here’s how Trump’s $2 trillion in debt compares with Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Business Insider. Retrieved from: https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-national-debt-deficit-compared-to-obama-bush-clinton-2019-2
- Latest Polls. (2020, March 2). FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved from: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/president-primary-d/
- Moore, M. (2020, March 1). Sanders campaign raised massive $46.5 million in February. New York Post. Retrieved from: https://nypost.com/2020/03/01/sanders-campaign-raised-massive-46-5-million-in-february/
- Queally, J. (2020, March 1). Bernie Sanders Breaks Fundraising Record With $46 Million February Haul. Truthdig. Retrieved from: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/bernie-sanders-broke-fundraising-records-in-february/
- Phillips, S. (2020, February 28). Bernie Sanders Can Beat Trump. Here’s the Math. The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/28/opinion/bernie-sanders-polls.html
- Lerer, L. & Epstein, R.J. (2020, February 27). Democratic Leaders Willing to Risk Party Damage to Stop Bernie Sanders. The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/27/us/politics/democratic-superdelegates.html
- Freedlander, D. (2020, February 6). An Unsettling New Theory: There Is No Swing Voter. Politico. Retrieved from: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/02/06/rachel-bitecofer-profile-election-forecasting-new-theory-108944