The primary elections, which will decide the Democratic nominee for president, are only 4 and a half months away. Hillary Clinton still remains the frontrunner, even with the surge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Among women, Clinton’s lead over Sanders is even bigger. But it shouldn’t be.
I’m not one of those people that are saying that Clinton is polling well among women simply because she is a woman. Female voters, for the most part, truly believe that Hillary Clinton will represent the female demographic the best. That’s the problem,
because the biggest champion of women’s issues is not Hillary Clinton, it’s Bernie Sanders.
Let’s start with the issues that Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders agree on:
- Abortion and Planned Parenthood
Clinton and Sanders have both consistently supported leaving a woman’s reproductive rights between a woman and her doctor, and both have received 100% ratings from NARAL Pro Choice America. They both have criticized republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood by 500 million dollars.
- Gender Pay Gap
Both candidates have expressed outrage at the fact that women make disproportionately less than their male counterparts. Sanders also voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act, an act that makes sure that pay discrepancies are based on job performance and credentials, rather than just gender.
- Family Leave
Sanders and Clinton are both staunch advocates for instituting paid family leave. Clinton stated that “It’s outrageous that America is the only country in the developed world that doesn’t guarantee paid leave.” Sanders points out Scandinavian countries as examples of successful implementation for paid family leave.
Now let’s look at the issues that proves Bernie Sanders to be the optimal choice when it comes to women’s issues:
- Minimum Wage
This is an important issue. The majority of minimum wage workers are no longer teenagers, they’re adults. And a majority of those adults earning the minimum wage are women, many of them single mothers supporting their children. Sanders and Clinton both support raising the minimum wage, but Sanders supports raising it to 15 dollars an hour. That’s much higher than the historical high level in 1968 of $10.78 an hour (adjusted for inflation). This boost in pay will lift thousands of single mothers earning low wages out of poverty, enabling them to better provide for their families.
- Health Care
Both candidates have supported Obamacare, which has helped millions of women across this country. But Bernie Sanders doesn’t think the law goes far enough. As an alternative, he advocates for a single payer health care system, in which medical costs are publically financed and every American is covered. Hillary Clinton made it very clear in the first debate that she would not support a single payer system.
This is important, because even after the implementation of Obamacare, women have been discriminated in the hiring process simply because their health care costs are naturally more expensive than the health care costs of men. And if women do end up getting the job, they’re sometimes forced into taking a cut from their salaries in order to cover their medical benefits. This contributes to the gender pay gap.
Under a single payer system, medical costs would be covered by the government, which will lift the burden from businesses, and hiring decisions will be based on qualifications of the worker, not potential healthcare costs.
This presidential election is a very crucial one. Each party has a very different direction that they want to take this country, and within those parties are also candidates with differing views.
Democrats already know that they don’t want a Republican in the White House for the next four years. But it’s also important that Democrats elect a candidate that has the best interest of every American: Men, women, children, seniors, and every demographic. And after taking a look at both platforms of both candidates, the choice is clear.
When it comes to women’s issues, Bernie Sanders is the superior choice for the Democratic nomination for President of The United States.