THE SANTA CLARA
May 5, 2016
After the loss in the New York primary, the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign is likely over, and Hillary Clinton will almost certainly be the nominee of the Democratic party.
Supporters of Senator Sanders have considered staying home on election day rather than supporting Secretary Clinton.
As a supporter of Senator Sanders, I believe the “Bernie or Bust” movement is incredibly short sighted, selfish and a surefire way to hand this crucial election to a far-right lunatic. But I do understand the sentiment behind “Bernie or Bust.”
Bernie’s campaign has been truly inspiring, and supporting another candidate who doesn’t evoke the same emotional response definitely doesn’t feel great.
However, this seemingly prevalent notion amongst Sanders supporters that voting for Clinton is somehow akin to voting for a Republican, or that she is in any way diametrically opposed to the platforms of their campaign, is nonsense.
We have been blessed as Democrats this election to have a choice between two incredibly qualified candidates who are excellent representations of liberal ideology.
These two are far more aligned in their views than this long campaign would have you think, and if a perceived lack of progressive credentials is the argument made by Sanders supporters against Clinton, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.
As a senator, Clinton was more liberal than President Obama. She has fought for women’s rights and children, has consistently been a supporter of expanding healthcare to all Americans and ostensibly holds identical views regarding campaign finance reform to Sanders (though she does take money from corporations).
She may differ slightly from Sanders in the foreign policy realm, but on issues such as deploying ground troops in Syria, their views are still identical.
Ultimately, while Clinton does not immediately seem to be the progressive, populist choice that Sanders is, she is still an excellent representation of the Democrats’ interests in this country.
By the time the California primary comes around, if you are a supporter of Senator Sanders and he has not dropped out, go out to the polls and make sure your voice is heard.
At this point, a vote for Bernie is more a statement to the Democratic party—a statement that the party’s leanings are changing.
A vote for Bernie now is a statement that young people are deeply invested in the political process, and that in elections to come, the influence of big money and corporate interests in the political system will no longer be tolerated.
We can energize more progressive candidates across the country in smaller elections, and begin the process of changing this party in the years to come.
Furthermore, on a more practical level, I believe the closer the delegate count is heading into the convention, the better chance there is of Clinton nominating a farther-left progressive as her vice president.
My ideal choice is Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a champion of progressive causes with a record of political excellence and a huge following in the party.
I truly believe, even as a dedicated supporter of Senator Sanders, that a ticket featuring Hilary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren would be an outstanding representation of our interests as Democrats.
Given such a great option, to stay home this November and hand the election to a demagogue such as Trump over relatively small political differences would be indefensible.
Adithya Prabhakaran is a senior computer science and engineering major.