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Guest view: Clinton gets it, Trump doesn't

Guest view: Clinton gets it, Trump doesn't

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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks to the Editorial Board of the QUAD-CITY TIMES Wednesday, December 30, 2015.

Too many in the media treat the presidential contest like “Dancing with the Stars" or a World Series contest. It's not.

The decision Iowans face is not whether you like Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. It's not about who is ahead in the polls or who said something dumb yesterday. This enormously important election is about you and your family and what happens to us all over the next four years.

As Iowans well know, Hillary Clinton and I had some very vigorous debates. We do not agree on every issue. But there is no question that she is, far and away, the superior candidate in this election. That is why I intend to work as hard as I can to see that she is elected and Trump is defeated.

At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, we must not elect a president who wants to resurrect failed trickle-down economics. When the very rich are becoming much richer and there has been a ten-fold increase in the number of billionaires since the year 2000, it is economic insanity for Trump to propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks to the top 1 percent. His plan to scrap the estate tax would provide a $53 billion tax break to the Walton family of Wal-Mart, the wealthiest family in America. Who else would benefit? Trump’s own family would get a $4 billion tax break.

While millions of Americans work longer hours for lower wages, it is beyond belief that any serious candidate would support huge tax breaks for the top 1 percent while cutting services to millions of families. But Trump would throw 20 million Americans off of health insurance by repealing the Affordable Care Act. He also has proposed large cuts in education, housing, childcare, veterans’ health care and other initiatives.

Trump talks a great deal about our trade policies and outsourcing American jobs, but his own clothing line is manufactured in Bangladesh, Mexico and China. How can Trump, with a straight face, object to corporate outsourcing while his own company exploits some of the lowest-paid labor on earth to make his ties, shirts and other products?

Unlike Trump, Clinton supports raising the minimum wage to a living wage and pay equity for women. She has a very specific plan to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and create millions of decent-paying jobs. She will also join me in making public colleges and universities tuition free for families in with annual incomes up to $125,000 a year – 83 percent of Americans.

She also understands that climate change is real, it is caused by human activity and it is already creating devastating problems. Iowa deserves credit for combating climate change by producing significant amounts of energy from wind and biofuels. Ignoring science, Trump claims climate change is a "hoax" perpetrated by China. While we must move from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy, Trump believes we should expand fossil fuel production.

Our nation has struggled for centuries to combat racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination. The job of the next president is to bring us together, not divide us up. Sadly, Trump has made bigotry the cornerstone of his campaign. We cannot turn back the clock by electing a president whose "birther" conspiracy was a racist attack on our first African-American president, whose anti-immigrant rants have slurred Mexicans as "rapists" and "criminals,” who would ban Muslims from entering the country and who has called women "pigs," "dogs" and "slobs." Trump has been called “a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.” That’s not me talking. That’s Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.

For those reasons and many more, Donald Trump must not become the next president of the United States. On November 8, the choice is clear. Hillary Clinton for president.

Sanders, a former Democratic candidate for president, represents Vermont in the U.S. Senate. 


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