Vote blue no matter whoBy Kyle Campbell | 03/31/2016 10:35am
Liberals are responsible for Citizens United.
Not the liberals on the Supreme Court – who authored a blistering dissent about the influence of money in politics and the absurdity of the “money is speech” argument – but liberals nonetheless. Those same liberals are responsible for the Iraq war, which they took to the streets to oppose, and the innumerable needless deaths following the government’s mishandling of Hurricane Katrina. Those liberals gutted the Voting Rights Act and overturned handgun bans in the District of Columbia and Chicago. Those liberals acted without ill intention, but entirely on purpose.
This particular brand of liberal exists today nationwide, but the ones responsible for the above calamities all lived in Florida in the year 2000. They decided that Al Gore wasn’t pure enough for them, so they voted for Ralph Nader. They decided that they wanted to send a message to the Democratic Party, that they wanted to vote their conscience, and they elected George W. Bush president of the United States.
And yet, even after the disaster that was the Bush administration, after years of terrible Supreme Court rulings, a failed national education reform policy, and out-of-control deficits, those liberals haven’t learned their lesson. They predominantly support Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and pledge to support the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, if Bernie is not the nominee. Still others, though significantly fewer publicly, support Hillary Clinton and say they will not vote at all if Sanders is nominated. Both of these are sentiments rooted in self-righteousness. At best they are short sighted and at worst, deliberately destructive.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, is President Obama’s signature achievement. Millions of Americans who were previously uninsured have gained health insurance, and many of them for the first time. Under President Obama, student loans have been reformed to greatly decrease the burden on recent graduates. Due to this administration’s energy policies, carbon emissions are decreasing for the first time in modern American history and solar energy installations have increased 2,000 percent. The President repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which prevented gay and lesbian Americans from openly serving in the military, and strictly regulated and shut down many predatory for-profit colleges. This is not a column about Barack Obama’s achievements, but many of them, particularly the ACA, are under direct threat if Ralph Nader progressives refuse to support the Democratic nominee in November.
No candidate is perfect. Hillary Clinton’s vote in support of the war in Iraq (even though it was informed by false information from the Bush administration) is a glaring flaw in her record. Senator Sanders is slightly more conservative than Secretary Clinton on gun control and has chosen the label “democratic socialist” rather than “social democrat,” both of which essentially mean the same thing but sound different to independent voters. That said, when both served together in the Senate, they voted together 93 percent of the time. With the leading Republican candidates being significantly worse than George W. Bush, progressives have a choice to make in November, regardless of who wins the primary. They can support a candidate that supports paid family leave, opposes Citizens United and wants to make college affordable for all, or they can vote for a Republican. The millions of people who will lose their health insurance under a GOP presidency are relying on your decision.
Kyle Campbell is a junior majoring in political science. His column runs biweekly.