Give your vote to a person, not a corporation

Casey Metcalf, Opinion Editor

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It’s apparent to anyone that tuned in to Tuesday’s first Democratic debate that Hillary Clinton is in fact, a woman. It was brought up time and time again – by her – much to the rousing applause of the crowd. Everywhere from her answers that she slipped the phrase “first woman president” in, even when it was completely irrelevant, to her closing remarks – she played the woman card like there was no tomorrow.

And don’t get me wrong – like any decent feminist, I too would love to see a woman become president. But the worst things we can do as a nation is collectively decide that we are willing to give up values and the possibility of real change just to have a woman in the oval office. It’s counterproductive. If we put a woman president in office and she performs like Hillary no doubt would, making little change and favoring the wrong things – these pseudo-liberal beliefs she is famous for – it would only make the people who disagree with putting a female in power stand stronger.

So again, in the interest of feeding my self-proclaimed mission to civilize, here’s a truth bomb – you can’t vote for Hillary just because she’s a woman and a democrat. Do not fall for this. The next president of the United States is responsible for more than being an inspiration – however wonderful it would be for little girls to know that one day, they too could lead the nation. The next president has a lot to do in the way of economic reform and even more importantly, environmental reform.

The fact is, big money runs politics. Bernie Sanders has founded his campaign on criticizing this aspect of the campaign trail. Oil companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and Wall Street bankers run politics by making huge “donations” to candidates. These blatant bribes are given in exchange for the candidates to “look out for the companies” if they get into office. It’s the equivalent of bribing your friend and giving them money to spend on their student council campaign in exchange for them to try and get your parking fines lifted. It’s wrong. It’s corrupt. And it’s happening in every election.

Ever since the tragedy that was Citizens United in 2010, (the Supreme Court ruling that corporations have the same rights as natural-born human beings), corporations are legally allowed to give as much money – uncapped – as they want to presidential candidates. Meaning that every single person running for office has taken these donations, called Super PACs, and therefore are at least semi-run by big banks and oil companies. They will refuse to make the tough decisions which involve taking down the power of these corporations because they have roots in them. The corporations own them, and thereby every decision they make.

Actually, there is one exception to this rule. Bernie Sanders. He has not taken one penny of a corporations money. All of his donations come from private donors, meaning American people like you and me. He has reached over a million donations in these first several months, averaging about $3o a donation. He is the only presidential candidate without a Super PAC. No corporation runs him. That’s why he can say things criticizing the real evils of America today, such as big business running politics and the oil companies destroying the world – all the way to taking a “legalize marijuana” stance because he’s not relying on money from pharmaceuticals that want it to remain illegal so they make more money off of anti-depressants (more on that next week. Just wait until you hear some of this).

Hillary Clinton is not an exception. She takes donations from corporations left and right, and they aren’t the good ones. Goldman Sachs is the #1 most hated corporation in America, according to bloomberg.com and various other polls. They are an investment corporation, driven from Wall Street, and are Hillary Clinton’s 2nd biggest donors. Her other big donors are from banks and pharmaceuticals, which is why her comments during the debate about big business and banks were polished but not harsh towards these businesses who are, without a doubt, the backbone of oligarchical America. More of her donors include Exxon Mobile and ConocoPhillips, both huge oil companies. This is why Sanders is able to take his radical (in a great, necessary way) stance on climate change. As much as Clinton wants to appeal to young voters who want to fix the world and save the planet, she can’t even say she wants to make change, let alone make it. Because saving the planet means costing the oil companies she’s supporting lots and lots of money, and if she costs them their profits, you better believe they won’t be willing to fund her campaign.

This got off on a tangent, but my main point is this: a woman president will happen one day. It will be glorious and amazing and little girls everywhere will have inspiration in her. But to give up our values as a nation and the chance at real, actual change would be tragic. Not only tragic, but stupid. Don’t vote for Hillary because she’s a woman. Vote for the one that has real ideas and the one that will not change those ideas based on a company’s money. America is supposed to be a democracy. Today, we are an oligarchy. Big businesses cannot be allowed to continue to run the government. So give your vote to a person, to a chance at a better America – not a corporation that happens to have a woman as a puppet.

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