Last week, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders laid out his requirements for endorsing Hillary Clinton for president should she win the party nomination.
"If I can't make it -- and we're going to try as hard as we can until the last vote is cast -- we want to completely revitalize the Democratic Party and make it a party of the people rather than one of large campaign contributors," Sanders said in an online interview on The Young Turks.
Sanders had policy demands for Clinton in order for her to earn his endorsement, a change from his previous interviews where he had implied he would endorse her no matter what.
Sanders has helped take a long-time movement from the radical left and bring many of its issues into the mainstream. If he turns around and chooses to support Clinton, much of that work will be undone and his legacy as a revolutionary candidate will be gone forever.
While there is likely some overlap here, I have completed the 5 reasons why Bernie Sanders should not endorse Hillary Clinton for president, should she become the nominee. Because unlike Sanders, even if she says she will do these things, I don't believe her.
1. Minimum Wage
Sanders has called for a nationwide $15 an hour minimum wage while Clinton has said she believes this should be left up to the states. If Sanders is serious about his fight for the working class, this difference should be a non-starter. Clinton has repeatedly said she is not interested in a $15 an hour wage hike and if elected, she would likely not fight too hard to pass such legislation, even if she changed her mind on the campaign trail.
Clinton has said repeatedly she believes incremental changes to the Affordable Care Act is the best way forward towards something like universal healthcare. Meanwhile, Sanders has been loud and vocal about demanding the country move to universal healthcare now. While he admires the steps forward the ACA has taken, he realizes it is still unaffordable to most and still leaves millions uninsured.
Clinton, on the other hand, says she believes in universal healthcare, but her refusal to fight for it only says she believes it's great, but doesn't want anyone to have it.
3. Wall Street
You cannot have a working class movement and support Wall Street and accept financial support from the people running it. Clinton is breaking no laws by accepting Wall Street money, nor is she really doing anything outside of the rest of the Democratic Party. It is, in fact, Sanders who is acting out of the norm here and refusing it. He is, of course, doing so on principle and if he turned around and supported Clinton, he would be handing his endorsement over to someone who is owned by these Wall Street elites.
The future of the political movement Sanders has launched into the mainstream relies on the fight against corporate greed and political ownership by the 1 percent.
4. Citizens United
Yes, Clinton has said she would favor overturning the ruling, but likely would do little to spur such change. Her campaign financially benefits greatly from Citizens United and corporate donations. Sanders, has not, and if he wants to stay true to his word, he should not endorse someone who is willing to speak out against the ruling while at the same time reaping its benefits. Sanders has had every opportunity to use a Super PAC and take corporate money and has refused time and time again.
5. Death Penalty
Clinton supports it, Sanders does not. This should be cut and dry. The movement Sanders has created involves getting the government out of the business of killing people. To then turn around and endorse Clinton, who won't, would be a blow to the movement he has worked so hard to grow.
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Image: Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons 2.0