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“Hillary Still Best Candidate To Defeat GOP”: The Nation, America’s Oldest Weekly Magazine, Endorse Sanders For President

The Nation magazine, America’s oldest continuously published weekly magazine, endorsed Democratic candidate Bernie Sander’s (I-VT) for President. “He has summoned the people to a ‘political revolution,’” they wrote in an editorial published Thursday. “We believe such a revolution is not only possible but necessary—and that’s why we’re endorsing Bernie Sanders for president.”

The editorial outlines numerous reasons to support his bid for the White House. He has attracted a majority of young Americans, historically a politically disinclined demographic, to his political positions. His decades-long defense of progressive causes such as the $15 minimum wage, immigrants’ rights, bank regulation, and LGBT rights has attracted legions of young Americans who increasingly support such unapologetically liberal stances. Sanders’s endorsement is just the third time in 150 years that the publication has endorsed a candidate, the first two being Jesse Jackson in 1988 and Barack Obama in 2008.

The editorial made no effort to conceal the fact that Sanders’s path to the White House is a dubious and fraught one. “His economic-populist message has resonated with many progressives and young voters, but he has yet to marshal deep support among the African-American, Latino, and Asian-American voters who form core constituencies of the Democratic Party,” said the editorial. But his support has been growing steadily. He has maintained a six point lead over Hillary Clinton, once the presumed Democratic presidential candidate, in New Hampshire. And in Iowa, he has narrowed Clinton’s lead from 34 points to a mere four.

That is not to say that The Nation’s editors dislike Clinton. They readily admit they would prefer her to any of the “extremists running for the GOP nomination.” She has unrivaled experience, and is incredibly intelligent and perceptive, they write. During the campaign, she has been lured left to champion of many of the same causes that Sanders brought to the fore. “She has responded to the populist temper of the times: questioning the sort of free-trade deals that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have championed; calling for reforms on Wall Street and tax increases on the wealthy; courageously defending Planned Parenthood; challenging the National Rifle Association; and supporting trade unions,” the editorial said.

In a piece endorsing Clinton, Katha Pollitt, one of The Nation’s most prominent columnists, wrote about the seeming apathy of even wealthy, educated, white feminists to Clinton’s campaign. “You would think these women, of all people, would be jumping for joy at the prospect of someone so like themselves winning the White House.” But she still laid out a convincing argument for supporting Clinton.

It seems clear that the former secretary of state is still the best candidate to defeat the Republicans in the general election, given the numerous posts she’s held during her decades in government and the fact that Sanders is hampered by his self-applied label as a “democratic socialist.” She also would be the country’s first woman president, although it is not so unusual to have a female world leader today. Socially conservative countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines have previously had female heads of state. She would also be campaigning as a feminist at a time when the movement has gained newfound attention. According to a poll done by Vox, 78 percent of respondents said they believe in social, political, legal and economic equality between the sexes. A further 85 percent said they believe in equality for women.

But Clinton’s associations with big banks and Super PAC funding have left a sour taste in the mouths of Democrats looking for money to wield less influence in the country’s politics. The Nation editorial board wrote that “money in politics doesn’t widen debate; rather, it narrows the range of possibility. While Sanders understands this, we fear that his chief rival for the Democratic nomination does not.”

Sanders’s rising popularity and growing list of endorsements so close to the start of the primary season have surprised the political establishment. Clinton is now ramping up criticisms of Sanders’s platform in an effort to remain ahead in Iowa. But with The Nation’s endorsement, a rare event, Sanders and his supporters have already made their mark on the Democratic race.

 

By: Saif Alnuweiri, The National Memo, January 15, 2016

January 17, 2016 Posted by | Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, The Nation | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Re-defining Presidential Politics”: Voting Women Is Key For Complete Gender Equality

The fight for women’s equality will stand still unless women vote. This election year is especially important as Congress will vote on issues key to women’s economic security and health. Today, on Women’s Equality Day, we all can take a step toward complete gender equality by encouraging our young women to vote on Nov. 6.

Since the height of the women’s rights movement, the percentage of eligible women who vote in presidential elections has declined. According to the Center for American Women and Politics, while 72% of eligible women voted in the 1964 presidential election, only 60% voted in 2008. This apparent complacency among young women with a right that our forebears fought so desperately to earn must be addressed.

Universities and colleges across the country are launching voter initiatives that speak to the young community. TurboVote is an online registration tool that sends email and text message reminders to students with the goal of registering record numbers of students in this presidential election year, a time seeing significantly lower youth enthusiasm than four years ago.

College campuses are a bright spot in the work toward women’s equality. Today, women have surpassed men in pursuit of higher education, graduating in greater numbers and with more degrees than their male counterparts. Another great higher education initiative is Vision 2020, a national campaign launched at Drexel University with the goal of achieving gender equality by 2020, the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

When I was a young college instructor, such a goal would have been unimaginable. My department chair told me I would never be granted tenure. Apparently, I had embarrassed my male colleagues by publishing more papers than they had written collectively.

As a president of a Big Ten university and a former U.S. secretary of health and human services, I cannot help but feel proud looking back at overcoming such blatant discrimination. But I also cannot help feeling concerned about the many places in the country still dominated by males – whether it be corporate boardrooms, chambers of commerce or even our nation’s capital. I am proud of the strides we have made as a country, but we have a ways to go.

Women’s equality is a problem not just for women but for all Americans. The best policies are made when there is genuine diversity of thought involved in the process, which includes the distinct voice of women.

Today, as our country celebrates the legacy of those who fought hard for justice, opportunity and prosperity, let us recommit ourselves to the goal of gender equality in our country. And by voting this November, the nation will have no choice but to hear us. Ninety-two years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, we may finally see women redefine presidential politics.

 

By: Donna Shalala, President, University of Miami, JSOnline, August 24, 2012

August 26, 2012 Posted by | Election 2012, Womens Rights | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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