To Students and Millennials: Take Another Look at Hillary Clinton

Governor Bill Clinton and wife Hillary Clinton at a Texas campaign rally in 1992 on his final day of campaigning in McAllen,
Governor Bill Clinton and wife Hillary Clinton at a Texas campaign rally in 1992 on his final day of campaigning in McAllen, Texas

For over twenty-five years Republicans and the elite east coast media have tried to bring down Hillary and Bill Clinton. They have been stymied by the truth and by all both Clintons have accomplished for the country.

Contrary to what Bernie Sanders and his campaign have said; groups representing women, the LGBT community and workers who have endorsed Hillary are not the establishment. Unions representing 15 million workers have endorsed her. Women's organizations providing needed healthcare to poor women including NARAL and Planned Parenthood endorsed her. Organizations representing the LGBT community including HRC, LPAC and California Equality have endorsed her. Those fighting climate change like the League of Conservation Voters have endorsed her. They understand it is Hillary who has spent her lifetime fighting the establishment alongside them and will continue to do that as President.

There are members of the Democratic establishment who endorsed her. They include hundreds of past and present members of Congress with nearly all members of the Progressive Caucus; twelve sitting Democratic governors; hundreds of Democratic office holders across the nation; and multiple newspaper editorial boards. All because they trust Hillary can get the things she says she wants to do done.

So does this matter? Do hundreds of endorsements for Hillary prove Sanders is the anti- establishment candidate? The answer to that is NO! Every caucus goer, especially college students and millennials who will caucus for the first time, need to do some research before they attend a caucus on Monday night. If they do they may just realize if they want to make headway on the progressive issues they care about; making college more affordable or free; reducing interest costs on college loans; improving our nation's healthcare system making it more equitable and cost effective for everyone; reforming our judicial system so Black Lives Matter is more than a slogan; reforming our immigration system to provide a real pathway to citizenship for those now here illegally; they just might end up caucusing for Hillary.

The facts! Bernie is a politician and has been in Washington D.C. longer than Hillary. His only real job has ever been as a politician. First as Mayor of Burlington, Vermont and now twenty-five years in Congress. As a politician he cut a deal with the National Rifle Association (NRA) to win his seat. That deal included voting against the Brady bill five times and voting to oppose giving people the right to sue gun manufacturers. Hillary, who Sanders calls the establishment candidate, fought the NRA, supported the Brady bill, and supported allowing us to sue gun manufacturers.

Healthcare and the lie Sanders is putting out there about Hillary being in bed with big Pharma and healthcare companies. The truth! In 1993 well before anyone even noticed Bernie Sanders, Hillary was fighting for universal healthcare and took on big pharma and the healthcare industry. What she learned from losing that fight, which apparently Sanders has yet to learn, is the nation is not ready for a single-payer system. But Hillary continued to fight and won healthcare for eight million children. Hillary supports the Affordable Care Act and wants to improve it to cut out of pocket expenses, reduce drug costs and cut premiums. Sanders says he will accept nothing less than a single-payer system and calls for massive tax increases to pay for it. The lie he promulgates is that this can happen now when after introducing this bill nine times he knows for a fact it has zero chance of happening. Hillary has laid out a realistic plan to improve the Affordable Care Act but will not put in jeopardy what we have already won; students and millennials can now stay on their parents insurance till they are twenty-six; women are no longer penalized with higher premiums because they are women; pre-existing conditions like cancer are no longer a reason insurance companies can use to deny insurance.

It is understandable because of all the progress women like Hillary have fought for and made that many young women no longer understand why electing a woman is so important. Those young women should talk to their mothers, aunts and grandmothers to better understand what it was like when Hillary joined the fight for women's rights. Her courage in 1995 when she traveled to Beijing, China to speak out for women's rights and the difference that speech made for women around the world. What is still true today is only a woman can totally understand how crucial it is to fight with all her might for all women to have the right to control their own healthcare; to ensure abortion remains safe and legal; and to ensure women will finally win the fight for equal pay for equal work.

We must never give up our dreams for a better future and never accept those who tell us we can never achieve them. But it is important we mix those dreams with just a little dose of reality. As a former teacher and vice-chair of a university board of trustees I know today's young people are both smart and committed to a better future. You have more information at your fingertips then we elders ever had. All I ask is you sit at your computer for thirty minutes before you head to a caucus and see if what I am saying is true. The nation needs your activism. Politics doesn't have to be a dirty word. It is part of the system our forefathers (a shame there were no foremothers) set up allowing us to move the nation forward to become as the preamble to our constitution said, 'a more perfect union'.

Then take a moment to think about what President Barack Obama has said about Hillary. When he became President he trusted Hillary enough to name her Secretary of State. He recently spoke about her and said about their 2008 election, "She had to do everything that I had to do except, like Ginger Rogers, backwards in heels. She had to wake up earlier than I did because she had to get her hair done. She had to, you know, handle all the expectations that were placed on her (as a woman)." He added "Had things gone a little bit different in some states or if the sequence of primaries and caucuses been a little different, she could have easily won. Her strengths, which are the fact that she's extraordinarily experienced and, you know, 'wicked smart' and knows every policy inside and out, means she would be capable of governing the country on day one. I've gotten to know Hillary really well, and she is a good, smart, tough person who cares deeply about this country."

After doing all that you may find when you go to caucus on Monday you will agree with President Obama about Hillary and stand with others in your community and help make her the nominee of the Democratic Party. If you do Hillary Clinton will win and go on to be sworn in on January 20, 2017 as the 45th and first woman President of the United States. She will make us all proud.