Students for Hillary Clinton: The pragmatic perspective

On March 1, we’re voting for a progressive. We will vote for someone who has been endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters, Planned Parenthood, the Service Employees International Union and the Brady Campaign to Control Gun Violence. On March 1, we’re voting for Hillary Clinton.

In the past week, we’ve been reminded of how high the stakes are for this election. With two justices over the age of 80 on the Supreme Court and one open seat, our next president has an opportunity to build a liberal Court not just for the next four years, but for the next 40. For that to happen, a Democrat needs to be sworn in on Jan. 20. Regardless of what certain polls “matching up” Bernie Sanders against Republicans claim, Hillary is more electable than Sanders.

There is a reason why the Republican National Committee sent out four e-mail blasts to reporters defending Sanders during the Charleston debate. There is a reason why Republicans ran “attack ads” in Iowa against Sanders that were carefully calibrated to increase his voter turnout. The reason is that Republicans would rather run against Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, because they know they can beat him. 70 percent of the country identifies as either Republican or Independent. 51 percent of Independents are unwilling to vote for “a socialist.” Sanders’ “political revolution” cannot even decisively win over the Democratic Party, so how will it win over the nation?

Hillary was the most travelled Secretary of State of all time, and helped rebuild relationships across the globe.

Most of us have grown up with President Barack Obama. We saw 16 million people gain health insurance and a 35 percent drop in the uninsured rate thanks to the Affordable Care Act. We saw the restoration of America’s reputation abroad. We reached out to Iran for the first time in decades and negotiated a nuclear deal to build a safer world. These accomplishments are not just President Obama’s, but Hillary’s as well. Hillary’s dedication to universal health coverage in the 1990s, back when it was called “Hillarycare,” set the stage for the Affordable Care Act in 2009. Hillary was the most travelled Secretary of State of all time, and helped rebuild relationships across the globe. The Iran Deal required vigorous groundwork which Hillary laid during her tenure as Secretary of State. She advocated for the sanctions that ultimately brought Iran to the negotiating table.

Hillary has gotten things done time and time again, and if you want to secure President Obama’s legacy, you should vote for a candidate he trusted enough to conduct his foreign policy. It’s pretty simple: if President Obama was change we can believe in, Hillary is change we can rely on.

During her time in the Senate, Hillary’s voting record was more liberal than 70 percent of Democrats, including President Obama. Hillary is not only a pragmatic candidate; she is a true progressive.

Furthermore, there seems to be a widespread misperception that Hillary Clinton is “basically a Republican,” and this is simply not true. During her time in the Senate, Hillary’s voting record was more liberal than 70 percent of Democrats, including President Obama. Hillary is not only a pragmatic candidate; she is a true progressive. No Republican in the race has suggested imposing a “risk fee” on Wall Street banks that is designed to punish the acquisition of risky, short-term forms of debt that caused the 2008 financial crisis. No Republican in the race is calling for increasing the federal minimum wage, no Republican is calling for federal background checks for gun purchases and no Republican is defending women’s abortion rights. A vote for Hillary does not at all mean that you are sacrificing your progressive goals; it means you are voting for the candidate who is most likely to make those goals materialize.

Income inequality is an incredibly important issue, and we are glad that Bernie Sanders’ campaign has brought it into the spotlight. But we believe not just that Hillary will be a progressive champion of that cause, but that she will be a progressive champion of all causes. Hillary is not a single-issue candidate, because this is not a single-issue country. That’s why on March 1, we will be voting for Hillary Clinton.

Email the authors at kmbryant@email.wm.edu ,smehrotra@email.wm.edu, and gsakerman@email.wm.edu