Senator Sanders. Photo Source: John Pemble via Flickr Creative Commons.
By Matthew A. McIntosh / 05.23.2016
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, Bernie Sanders said, “We need a campaign, an election, coming up which does not have two candidates who are really very, very strongly disliked. I don’t want to see the American people voting for the lesser of two evils. I want the American people to be voting for a vision of economic justice, of social justice, of environmental justice, of racial justice.”
Stephanopoulos of course seized on the “lesser of two evils” portion of that comment and asked if the senator viewed Clinton in that manner, to which Sanders replied that he didn’t but the American voters by and large certainly do. He went on:
I have every confidence that if Hillary Clinton is prepared to stand up to the greed of corporate America and Wall Street; is prepared to be really strong on the issue of climate change; support, as I do, a tax on carbon; is prepared to say that the United States of America should join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all people, paid family and medical leave; is prepared to say that the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality today in America, where almost all new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent. If she is strong on those issues, yeah, I think she will win and win by a large vote
But if she is not, she’s going to have her problems.
Media talk shows have been leaping on this interview to attack Sanders, claiming that he is personally calling Clinton “the lesser of two evils”. They have ignored his statement that no, he is not calling her that, and choosing to blind themselves to the obvious truth that he pointed out – THE VOTERS ACTUALLY DO!
Do a personal survey of Independent voters among your friends, on the street, wherever, and I guarantee you will hear them choosing one time and again as exactly what Sanders said the voters are seeing – “the lesser of two evils”.
He did not say he personally sees her that way. He did not say he will not support her if nominated. He did not say she is evil in any way.
He did not say what the media wants to paint him as saying.
Why has Sanders gained so much popularity and generated such a massive movement? The answer is simple – he is talking only about the issues, over and over again. He represents the change many actually want to see.
His honesty and integrity is recognized by conservatives and liberals alike, and it’s hard to find any voter on either side of the aisle he would see him as “the lesser of two evils”.
There is a reason, after all, that he (and only he, not his opponent) consistently polls victorious against Trump by wide margins, a fact not talked about as much among the media in their quest to continue the coronation of Clinton.