Quantcast

6 Reasons Why the Nurses Union Endorsed Bernie Sanders Over Hillary Clinton

Politics

The more than 100,000 people who have jammed into arenas in Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, New Orleans, Madison and other cities should be a wake up call for anyone still on the sidelines in the critical 2016 election campaign.

National Nurses United, I’m proud to say, has endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for many of the same reasons that have brought those 100,000 people to their feet.

Bernie Sanders aligns perfectly with nurses on the most critical problems facing our nation, from income inequality to guaranteeing healthcare to all to holding Wall Street and corporations to account to opening the doors to college education for everyone to racial justice to the climate crisis.

Those are the same issues that animate nurses when we talk about voting for nurses’ values—caring, compassion and community to heal America.

But we also support the Sanders moment because of the rare opportunity his campaign represents to not just speak truth to power, but to join movements together to change our country. To stand as a social movement against the obscene wealth that controls our lives, starves our communities, destroys our people and expand a populist movement that put human life before profit.

All the establishment pundits who are scrambling for ways to dismiss the outpouring of excitement for his campaign and to marginalize those who have filled the stadiums increasingly look like cranks trying to stop an approaching train.

The Myths

Bernie can’t win. Exactly what they said about President Barack Obama at this parallel point in 2007. American history, of course, is filled with examples of change that could never occur, until it does—abolition of slavery, votes for women, ending legal segregation, the right to same sex marriage. Sanders is used to the naysayers. They said he couldn’t win running for mayor of Burlington, as an independent running for Congress and then Senate and he won them all. That’s why we have elections—to let the voters, not the “experts,” decide.

He’s not drawing African American and Latino voters. As his campaign and platform become better known, that is changing, evident in the multi-racial crowd at his overflow Los Angeles rally and support from young artists like Lil B and Killer Mike. At a time when Cecil the lion evokes more outrage than the death of Sandra Bland, Bernie is increasingly speaking out and has advanced a platform with a call for a “societal transformation” to end police violence, mass incarceration and “institutional racism.” Nurses hold every life in their hands. Nurses know why Black Lives Matter needs to be amplified and so does Bernie Sanders.

Read page 1

He’s an “avowed democratic socialist.” That fear mongering has lost much of its resonance. What does democratic socialism mean in America? It’s how we teach our children, put out fires, pay for our libraries and for building our roads, bridges, highways and street lighting. It’s how we inspect our food to make it safe, to provide oversight for clean air and water, develop life saving medications and vaccines and of course, provide Social Security and Medicare. Every governor, mayor and school board member who uses public funds to pay for basic services could be called a socialist.

We also support the Sanders moment also because of the rare opportunity his campaign represents to not just speak truth to power, but to join movements together to change our country. Photo credit: National Nurses United

As nurses, an organization of predominantly women, I have been asked, don’t you want to break the glass ceiling with Hillary Clinton?

Yes. We’d love it if Hillary had Bernie’s politics, his unequivocal opposition to a dreadful Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact that would expand big pharma’s monopoly control over high priced drugs and hand corporations increased ability to overturn public protections. And if she opposed the toxic polluting, climate disaster known as the Keystone XL pipeline.

And we’d especially love to see her standing up for single payer, Medicare for all at a time when millions remain uninsured, skipping needed care or facing bankruptcy due to inflated medical bills.

But, at a time of the greatest income disparity in nearly a century, Citizens United corruption of our political system, an all out assault on workers lives and a threat to our planet and our future, our first challenge today must be to break the Wall Street, corporate stranglehold over our economy, our politics, our nation.

“You’ll never have to wonder which side I am on,” he says. While other candidates are intrinsically tied to Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce, Bernie not only calls for repeal of Citizens United and public financing of campaigns he is the only candidate not taking money from big corporations and PACs.

Bernie wants to take money from Wall Street too—by taxing them to fund a civil society with the health care, the jobs, the housing and the environmental protections people need.

Bernie Sanders knows that his campaign is not about him. It’s about all of us. And it will take all of us to change the course of history. It’s time to start now.

RoseAnn DeMoro is executive director of the 185,000-member National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union and professional association of nurses, and a national vice president of the AFL-CIO. Follow Rose Ann DeMoro on Twitter.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Bernie Sanders Draws 28,000 in Portland, Largest Turnout for Any Presidential Candidate This Year

21 Youths File Landmark Climate Lawsuit Against Federal Government

Obama Wants to Spend a Trillion Dollars on New Generation of Nuclear Weapons

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A new report spotlights a U.N. estimate that at least 275 million people rely on healthy coral reefs. A sea turtle near the Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef is seen above. THE OCEAN AGENCY / XL CATLIN SEAVIEW SURVEY

By Jessica Corbett

In a new report about how the world's coral reefs face "the combined threats of climate change, pollution, and overfishing" — endangering the future of marine biodiversity — a London-based nonprofit calls for greater global efforts to end the climate crisis and ensure the survival of these vital underwater ecosystems.

Read More
Half of the extracted resources used were sand, clay, gravel and cement, seen above, for building, along with the other minerals that produce fertilizer. Cavan Images / Cavan / Getty Images

The world is using up more and more resources and global recycling is falling. That's the grim takeaway from a new report by the Circle Economy think tank, which found that the world used up more than 110 billion tons, or 100.6 billion metric tons, of natural resources, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Read More
Sponsored

By Gero Rueter

Heating with coal, oil and natural gas accounts for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. But that's something we can change, says Wolfgang Feist, founder of the Passive House Institute in the western German city of Darmstadt.

Read More
Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016. Markus Spiske / Unsplash

By George Citroner

  • Recent research finds that official government figures may be underestimating drug deaths by half.
  • Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016.
  • Drug use decreases life expectancy after age 15 by 1.4 years for men and by just under 1 year for women, on average.

Government records may be severely underreporting how many Americans die from drug use, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.

Read More
Water coolers in front of shut-off water fountains at Center School in Stow, MA on Sept. 4, 2019 after elevated levels of PFAS were found in the water. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In a new nationwide assessment of drinking water systems, the Environmental Working Group found that toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS are far more prevalent than previously thought.

Read More