Have you already decided to support Bernie Sanders? Perhaps it is time to reconsider such decisions. The fight to secure the Democratic Party’s backing in the presidential election has already heated up. Candidate organizers rush to network in various states and volunteers clamor to voice their support of various candidates. The immense popularity of Bernie Sanders among university students is overwhelming. However when people finally decide to carefully scrutinize the policies proposed by both candidates along with their achievements, they would perhaps decide Clinton is the better candidate.
There is about $1.2 trillion in college debt which is a great burden on recent graduates along with the US economy. This debt economically hamstrings millennials and dissuades them from buying property and starting new households. This in turn stunts economic growth in the US. Hillary Clinton’s educational finance plan, heavily influenced by Elizabeth Warren, is a realistic way education can be made affordable for those willing to work for it.
Bernie Sanders had pledged to make public colleges and universities tuition free. Sanders plans to do so through taxing Wall Street transactions with a fee of 0.5 percent on stock trades, 0.1 percent fee on bonds, and a 0.005 percent fee on derivatives on hedge funds, and other speculators in order to provide $70 billion a year (amounting to $700 billion over ten years). Two-thirds of the funds would come from the federal government and the rest from states. The current graduate loan interest rate would drop from 4.29 percent to 2.37.
Also read: Hillary Clinton vs Bernie Sanders
Clinton’s plan still requires families to contribute to their students’ tuition alongside federal investment. Students would also contribute through ten hour per week jobs. States would be expected to maintain current levels of funding and reinvest later on. The plan also pledges to lower interest rates for new loans and allow graduates to refinance their existing loans at lower rates. The plan would require $350 billion over ten years and would be funded by capping the value of itemized deductions of high income taxpayers on their tax returns.
Comparing the two policy plans, Clinton arguably has the better plan. Her strategy would provide sustained financial aid to students in need but also encourage bipartisan support through highlighted importance of ‘personal accountability.’ This makes her agenda more likely to be passed into law compared to Bernie Sander’s.
Bernie Sanders is shown in a “dovish” light as opposed to “hawkish” Clinton, however Sanders had proven to be capable of supporting war. The international community had potentially found a solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions with the culmination of the Iran Deal. Albeit satisfactory for the time being, Iran’s pledge is but a compromise and the West must treat it as such. Without adequate enforcement, the inspections regime would be unable to fulfill its task and potentially result in Iranian nuclear weapons. While Bernie Sanders has not ruled out the possibility of using military force in situations, Hillary Clinton would be more capable of ensuring such force is met. The task of rallying Sanders’ progressive supporters could pose problematic for any actions against Iran by a Sanders Administration.
This is despite Sanders opposition to how the US’ defense budget is higher than the next 10 most militarily active countries combined. Sanders voted in favor of bombing Yugoslavia during Bill Clinton’s presidency. However he justly voted against the Iraq war and strongly suggested against attacking the Assad regime.
In wake of Clinton’s infamous vote in favor of the Iraq war, voters should nonetheless be reminded (or perhaps be made aware) of Clinton’s foreign policy achievements from negotiating a nearly impossible ceasefire with Hamas in 2012 to signing the START treaty with Russia to limit nuclear missile launchers. She also revived political relations with Burma in her ‘Asia Pivot.’ Not to mention her long fight for women’s rights domestically and internationally highlighted by Clinton’s ‘Women’s Rights is Human Rights’ speech in 1995.
Comparing the two candidates’ stances and achievements, Clinton has more direct experience in international affairs as secretary of state. Though Clinton’s reputation with Middle Eastern conflicts is not to be ignored. (Iraq War, Benghazi, etc.) On the other hand Bernie Sanders has consistently supported his positions which is to reduce the defense budget and to avoid unnecessary wars.
However with the current international state of affairs, the United States would do better with a shrewd and calculating chief executive. Iran must be incentivized to fulfill their end of the nuclear deal. Russian bargaining power must be kept in check. Growing Chinese dominance in the South China Sea must be met with a commander-in-chief that would be willing to ‘cross the red line’ in support of US allies. Clinton would be the president more capable of handling this grim reality.
The Bernie Sanders popularity surge has truly threatened Clinton’s ‘inevitable’ candidate nomination and claims that Clinton can effortlessly gain the DNC nomination is false. Bernie Sanders’ message resonates extremely well among millennials. (College students in particular)
Joe Biden’s thoughts on running has also harmed Clinton’s support. Called the Biden effect, Joe Biden can potentially siphon support from Clinton according to polls. Though with less supporters than Clinton or Sanders, Biden could shift the spectrum of support more in favor of Bernie Sanders.
Both candidates received a fair share of endorsements from celebrities. Those favoring Bernie Sanders include Lil B, Will Ferrell, Zoe Kravitz, and Ezra Miller. Those favoring Clinton include Ariana Grande, 50 Cent, Carole King, and Magic Johnson.
However, Bernie Sanders is noticeably lacking in support from his fellow peers in the Senate or other government administrations. Clinton has received substantial endorsements. This includes 35 current and ex senators, 123 current and ex house representatives, and numerous state officials. Bernie Sanders has not been endorsed by members of the Senate or US House Representatives.
Despite the strong rhetoric and euphoria which emanates from the Sanders campaign, it is nonetheless populist in nature. With recognition to this, people must also realize the difficulties in working with an apparatus based around compromise. Compromise is something Clinton has shown able to do, and the same cannot be said for Bernie Sanders.
Bernie Sanders can be considered the new ‘messiah’ of the left, especially among many educators and college students. He is the Ron Paul equivalent of the American Left. Hillary Clinton’s record of reaching across the aisle and pushing for compromise makes her an easy target to paint as “corporate funded” or “untrustworthy.”
However it is imperative to remember that Clinton is running on a list of hard earned achievements while Bernie Sanders is running on a list of genuine promises.
Perhaps genuinely “knowing” the right policies and “searching for” the right policies makes a great difference in what a politician can achieve for a national after all.