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The Danger of Hating Hillary

Bernie Sanders, everyone’s favorite septuagenarian from Vermont, revitalized my interest in politics.

Before the Sanders campaign for the presidency, I suffered from paralyzing apathy. I would have classified my political affiliation as “Not Republican.” In my eyes, the last politician worth his salt was Maximilien Robespierre. Say what you will about the Reign of Terror, but at least the man stuck to his principles!

Sanders is hugely popular with millennials. For decades, he has talked with consistency and passion about student debt relief, breaking up Wall Street and fixing income inequality in America. The man with the ill-fitting suits and endearing pronunciation of “huge” (yoooouuge) quickly stole a generation’s hearts.

I was immediately impressed with Sanders’ life-long activism and his plan for the economy. Like many of my peers, student loan debt haunts me. I looked at my Sallie Mae balance just the other day, which was a mistake. After seeing the dollar amount I owe to one--one!--of my loan providers, I dry-heaved in a state of panic and shock for a solid five minutes.

Checking my student loan balance feels like getting an STD test. There’s an impulse simply not to know. If I don’t look, it doesn’t exist. After all, ignorance is bliss--until you’re in debtor’s prison.

Unfortunately, 20-somethings today are likely to suffer from a bad case of The Debt. When Sanders promised loan interest relief and free public college education, he became a beacon of hope--a millennial pied piper.

In the era of memes and social media, everything about this election is amplified. The online climate can be reckless. It’s easy to get caught up in a moment of frustration and vitriol and to fire off an impulsive status for our 600 closest Facebook friends.

The opposition, Hillary Clinton, is any easy target for Sanders supporters.

hating hillary

There's a lot of this going around. (qnr/Flickr)

Some see her as a lying establishment puppet who will say anything to get into office, and who resides firmly in the palm of Big Money. Clinton is certainly less progressive than Bernie Sanders. And while the “Bernie or Hillary” memes that saturate Instagram are generally benign and hilarious, today I saw a photoshopped picture of Clinton sporting a Trump toupee floating around social media.

View post on imgur.com

Hillary Clinton is not Donald Trump. She is nothing like Donald Trump. Trump is a man who calls Mexicans rapists and killers. He wants to close America’s borders to Muslims, and cites bullets dipped in pig’s blood as an effective tool against potential jihadists.

What’s worse, he’s not the only candidate in the GOP circus this election season with terrifying and divisive views. Trump’s competition Ted Cruz seems to want to make America an Evangelical Christian nation. He welcomes endorsements from the anti-Semitic International House of Prayer leader Mike Bickle.

These are men who have tapped into a smoldering current of hate in this nation. Unfortunately, they aren't punch lines or cartoons. One of them may likely become the next Republican nominee for president.

Scroll through the comments sections on articles about Bernie Sanders, and you will see variations on the theme of “I will not vote for Hillary Clinton if she gains the nomination.” I hope this is simply primary season excitement and bravado bubbling over.

Lumping Clinton in with xenophobic, prejudiced GOP candidates is a mistake. While the Democratic race is closer than anyone could have imagined it would be nine months ago, our Sanders fairy tale may not come true. If he does not gain the nomination, it would be a tragic mistake for Sanders supporters to refuse to vote for Clinton.

Hillary Clinton is the candidate who voted in sync with the Vermontian 93% of the time during their concurrent tenure in Senate. She’s not too good to be true, but she’s certainly good enough.  Talking about his rivalry with Clinton, our beloved Bernie said it best:

“On our worst days ... we are 100 times better than any Republican candidate.”

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The Danger of Hating Hillary

Clementine Amidon

Clementine is a graduate of Mount Holyoke, where she studied English and French. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, the New York Observer, USA Today, BUST, and Odyssey. Clementine is an undercover short story writer, and in her spare time she’s on a quest to craft the perfect tweet.

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