The Instigator
DemocratofConnecticut
Pro (for)
The Contender
civiero
Con (against)

Bernie Supporters Should Vote For Hillary

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/1/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 286 times Debate No: 95786
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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DemocratofConnecticut

Pro

Hello, and I thank my opponent for accepting my challenge. Today we will be debating whether or not Bernie Supporters should vote for Hillary Clinton in November. I will be arguing for the pro-side, that Bernie supporters should back Hillary.

Hillary Clinton is not perfect, no candidate is. However, she is by far the best choice in this election. This election is one in which Hillary Clinton is facing off against Donald Trump, a man who has no prior political experience, and who has consistently expressed views and ideas that many people believe would harm this nation extraordinarily. Hillary Clinton is perhaps the most qualified candidate to ever run for President, and expresses views largely consistent with Liberals. If she were elected, she would, without a doubt, be a great President.

Furthermore, while many people do not view Hillary as a progressive, I disagree. I believe that Secretary Clinton is progressive, as shown by her acceptance of many parts of the Senator's platform, and her embrace of many liberal ideas. True, she may not be as progressive as Senator Sanders. However, I maintain that having a President who embraces many liberal and progressive views, even if she doesn't embrace all of them, is far better than one who embraces the exact opposite, such as Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton has embraced several of Bernie Sander's policies, and I believe that if she is elected, Bernie Sanders and his supporters would have a strong influence on her, and would successfully manage to push Clinton further to the left, as he has previously stated to his supporters he intends to do if she's elected. He will hold her accountable to make sure that she keeps to the left, so to speak, and that she is a reliably progressive President. At worst, Hillary Clinton would simply continue President Obama's policies, which is hardly the worst thing. At best, she would be a progressive powerhouse, seen as the most progressive President we've ever had, and a President able to work with both sides of the aisle to achieve a progressive agenda.

In addition, I believe the stakes in this election are far too high to consider a protest vote. Using an election as a form of protest is very dangerous; it can cause the election of less-than-competent leaders, and can take votes away from candidates who would otherwise stand a chance, such as the Election of 2000, where Vice President Gore lost to Bush, due to the "spoiler effect" caused by Nader. To consider a protest vote in an election when the stakes are as high as they are would be unwise, and could in fact lead to the election of Donald Trump in November. I understand many of the people considering a third-party "protest vote" to oppose the system we've become accustomed to, and I agree that change is needed to fix the system, but with all due respect to these people, this election is not the time for that; the stakes are far too high. Rather, energy should be invested into defeating Donald Trump, a man who has proven himself to be a dangerous person, who's temperament is unsuited for the presidency. When Donald Trump is defeated, and the election is over, then America can fix the system over the next few months. But for now, we must focus on stopping Donald Trump, who is clearly not the answer to what ails this country.

To sum up my points:

1) Hillary is extraordinarily qualified, and holds views consistent with many sanders supporters.
2) Hillary Clinton is a Progressive, who has embraced Senator Sander's platform, and he will hold her accountable for her actions as President, making sure she is as Progressive as she can possibly be.
3) A protest vote would only usher in a dangerous demagogue who has no business being in the White House, and our focus should first be on stopping him, before we can fix our country's problems.
civiero

Con

Hello, thank you for creating this debate. I am happy to accept this challenge and I think it addresses a timely and consequential question.

--- POSITION ---

I don't believe that supporters of a particular candidate in general are under any obligation to vote for a different, "lesser evil" candidate if their preferred candidate appears not realistically viable to be elected. More specifically for this topic, I believe this extends to Sanders supporters voting for Clinton, as there are fundamental differences between those candidates.

--- BURDEN OF PROOF ---

As my opponent is attempting to argue that people should put aside their convictions and make a compromise for strategic reasons, I believe that the burden of proof falls firmly on him and that I do not need to demonstrate anything, merely undermine his case. I believe that my position--that people should vote for the candidate they most agree with (or not vote at all if they are completely disenfranchised)--is the default and principled approach to voting and that it falls to the "pro" side of this argument to convince readers otherwise.

--- REFUTING PRO'S POINTS --- (Paragraph by paragraph, quotes abridged for space reasons, I have no intention to misquote my opponent)

"Hillary Clinton is not perfect, no candidate is. [...] If she were elected, she would, without a doubt, be a great President."

This paragraph is full of vague and subjective statements. Additionally, they have no relevance to why Sanders supporters in particular should support Hillary Clinton. Specifically, my opponent states that Clinton "expresses views largely consistent with Liberals." Bernie Sanders self-identifies as a democratric socialist, not a liberal (1). Therefore, my opponent's assertion refutes his own position by explicitly drawing attention to the fact that Clinton and Sanders support differing ideologies.

"Furthermore, while many people do not view Hillary as a progressive, I disagree. [...] At best, she would be a progressive powerhouse, seen as the most progressive President we've ever had, and a President able to work with both sides of the aisle to achieve a progressive agenda."

This paragraph is again full of vague and unsupported assertions. Not a single stance either candidate has taken on any issue is explicitly stated by my opponent.

Sanders and Clinton disagree on the following (2):

-The minimum wage (Sanders proposes a rate that is 25% higher than what Clinton proposes).
-Healthcare (Sanders supports a single-payer system, Clinton does not).
-Lawsuits against gun manufacturers (Sanders opposes, Clinton supports).
-Education (Sanders supports making public colleges tuition free and eliminating government profit on student loan repayment, Clinton doesn't).
-Marijuana legalization (Sanders supports the rights of states to do so, Clinton opposes marijuana legalization).
-Police reform (Sanders wants new use of force and internal investigation policies, Clinton doesn't).
-Social security (Sanders wants to expand it, Clinton doesn't).
-Financial reforms (Sanders wants to reinstate Glass-Steagall, Clinton doesn't).
-Wall Street reforms (Sanders wants to break up the banks, Clinton doesn't).
-ISIS (Sanders has taken an isolationist stance on this, Clinton advocates for strong US involvement, Sanders opposes training Syrian rebels to fight ISIS, Clinton supports doing so).
-Syria (Sanders opposes a no-fly zone, Clinton supports it).
-Afghanistan (Sanders wants to withdraw troops, Clinton wants to maintain some troops).

Clearly there are meaningful and substantial policy differences between these two candidates. In many areas where Sanders has proposed radical changes, Clinton is firmly cemented in the status quo. There is little reason for Sanders supporters to like Clinton on principle.

"In addition, I believe the stakes in this election are far too high to consider a protest vote. [...] But for now, we must focus on stopping Donald Trump, who is clearly not the answer to what ails this country."

Contrary to my opponent's summary of this paragraph, this line of thinking is exactly why American politics have gotten to the state they are in, and why demagogues with major party backing are able to be successful. Alternatives have been undermined, disregarded, disempowered, criticized and dismissed as "spoiler candidates." But that is a self-fulfilling line of thinking, and if it could be seriously challenged, the "third party" candidates wouldn't be likely to be labelled that way anymore (as Sanders' performance in this election in spite of a literal DNC conspiracy against him (3) demonstrates).

Many Bernie Sanders supporters would be closer to the Green Party's Jill Stein on issues than they would be to Hillary Clinton. They have no obligation to compromise their principles and vote for a candidate they do not agree with the most, purely for strategic reasons.

(1) http://www.washingtonpost.com...
(2) http://www.businessinsider.com...
(3) https://www.theguardian.com...
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Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by civiero 4 months ago
civiero
That's definitely not an argument I'll be making here, because there is a diverse range of what constitutes "anti-establishment" beliefs.
Posted by TheBenC 4 months ago
TheBenC
Didn't Bernie supporters support him because he was not part of the establishment? Those who hate the establishment should go for Trump because he is the anti-establishment guy. He is so anti-establishment that the Republican establishment (all the Bush presidents and candidates) are going to vote for the opposing party!
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