Here's the transcript of a short speech I intend to make at the upcoming Democratic caucus in Washington State.
I know that some of you are undecided, so I'd like to offer three points for your consideration.
First, I know many people are considering voting for Clinton for fear of the Republicans, in the belief that she's more electable. But every poll shows the opposite. In one-on-one matchups, Bernie Sanders consistently beats every Republican candidate in every poll, while Clinton does relatively poorly against them. In poll after poll she lost to Jeb Bush, lost to Ted Cruz, lost to Marco Rubio, and lost to John Kasich, or at best squeaked out a tie or small win against them, and she hasn't consistently beat Trump in the polls either. In every matchup Clinton performs worse than Sanders. Her ratings on favorability, honesty, trustworthiness, and caring about voters' issues are very low, while Sanders' are by far the highest of any candidate on either side. And independents overwhelmingly prefer Sanders, which is very important in a general election since they're the swing voters. So if you worry about electability, you should vote for Bernie Sanders.
But there are better reasons to vote for him. I'm proud to live in one of the most progressive states in the nation, and there's no argument that Bernie Sanders is the most progressive candidate on offer, and not in the sense of merely being the lesser evil. He's been fighting on behalf of the middle class and the less privileged for over 40 years. If you watch interviews with him from years and decades past, you get the sense that this is who he is at the core: a deeply moral and passionate fighter for what's right.
Some people are considering voting for Clinton in the belief that she has more experience. They both have a lot of experience with politics, but Sanders has not only been in public office for 20 years longer than Clinton, he's served in more offices than she has. In any case, experience is worthless unless it leads to good decisions. Sanders has been consistently on the right side of almost every issue in his career. He's been fighting for civil rights since the 60s, marching in the streets and even getting arrested to protest segregation. Meanwhile, Clinton was supporting Barry Goldwater, who voted against the Civil Rights Act. Sanders supported gay rights since the beginning. Clinton didn't support gay marriage until 2013! To be fair, Clinton has a good record on women's rights, but Sanders' record is just as good if not better. He's a stronger advocate for abortion rights, for example. He's against the death penalty, while the Clintons made a point to execute a mentally disabled man to appear tough on crime, and Hillary reiterated her support for the death penalty just recently. He opposed our foolish wars in the Middle East, while Clinton not only supported them but is pushing for even more wars. He wants proper regulation of Wall Street, but she won't even vote to reinstate Glass-Steagall, one of the most fundamental protections we had. He opposes the TPP, while Clinton has come out in favor of it at least 45 times. Now she says she's against it, but do you really believe her? And I could go on... They both have experience, but Sanders has the judgment to get things right the first time.
And that brings me to my final point, one that 96% of Americans agree with. We need to get money out of politics! A study by Princeton University proved that the desires of the public have hardly any influence on how politicians vote anymore, while the desires of their donors have a direct influence on how they vote. But we didn't need a study to tell us that! Everyone knows that legalized bribery has corrupted our politicians, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a politician who's taken more money than Hillary Clinton. When she tells us that she's going to block the TPP, break up the big banks, prosecute criminals on Wall Street, and get money out of politics, do you really believe her? Do you really think she'll turn around and prosecute the very people who made her rich, and dismantle the very system that enabled it? I don't think even the staunchest Clinton supporter believes that. You can be sure that if she gets into office, she'll turn around and find excuses to break every one of those promises. Frankly, a vote for Clinton is a vote to perpetuate a corrupt political system. Bernie Sanders is the only one who will truly fight to protect the middle class and to restore our democracy.