Bernie Sanders is superior to Hillary Clinton
New Hampshire is the state where warring Democrats reconcile. In 2008, the defeated Hillary Clinton called on her supporters to support Barack Obama - fittingly in a town called Unity. The unity between Clinton and her rival Bernie Sanders was long struggled, but now both are on stage in Portsmouth.
The performance is just as clearly organized and choreographed as in 2008 and of course there is a hug between the two, about which TV commentators had long speculated. Sanders speaks first. He thanks his voters and militantly calls for more social justice in the USA. The goal is clear: his fans should know that a vote for the Republican candidate Donald Trump is not what he wants. At the very end there is clear praise: "Hillary Clinton will be an excellent president and I am proud to be by her side."
Clinton, like Sanders, also attacks Trump in all forms and characterizes the Republican as unsuitable for the White House. The decisive factor, however, is the peace offer, which consists of the words "Thank you": she thanks the Bernie fans for their passionate commitment and invites them to take part in her election campaign. Clinton is surrounded by posters with the clear motto "Stronger together" - this sounds more positive than the saying, which would probably be the most honest: "Together against Donald Trump".
How Sanders changed the political debate
In the past few weeks, it has been good form for many media outlets in the US and Europe to ridicule Sanders as a grumpy old man (that's him). He was accused of using a mixture of bigotry and overconfidence to destroy the unity of the Democrats and thus to ensure that Trump becomes president.
This criticism is surprising for several reasons: There are still almost four months to go until election day, so there was no reason for Sanders to rush (especially since he was never interested in the office of Vice President). In 2008, many Clinton fans swore they would never vote for Obama and then changed their minds. Compared to then, Sanders' supporters don't seem particularly narrow-minded either: According to a Pew poll, 85 percent of Sanders fans already say they will elect the ex-Secretary of State - eight years ago, Clinton fans stayed stubbornly longer in hers Protest attitude.
The faint-hearted criticism of Sander's political strategy also fails to recognize what he has achieved with his election campaign - despite the ultimate defeat in the Democratic candidate duel. That's a lot: After all, who is it that has been openly talking about issues such as a lack of maternity leave, very low wages, and too much influence from billionaires and lobbyists on politics for months? Even the Republicans couldn't avoid the discussion about poverty. Bernie Sanders started these debates. And the mere fact that he inspires millions of disaffected voters for politics deserves respect.
It's worth taking a look back: At the beginning of 2015, Hillary Clinton seemed so invincible that hardly anyone dared to run for the White House. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is much better known and holds positions similar to Sanders, did not dare.
Sanders started with three percent in the polls and, with his angry speeches, met the feeling of millions of Americans who, eight years after the financial crisis, are still struggling for economic survival and feeling left behind. Without the Trump candidacy, the rift that is opening within left-wing America would have been the major topic of the primary campaign.
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