Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders agreed on 93% of the issues they voted on in the Senate. It is the 7% of their actions which best shows their differences. Clinton’s positions have evolved over time into a philosophy of maintaining the status quo and not rocking the boat. Senator Sander’s beliefs have evolved with the times, but have not changed very much. No one can accuse him of wanting to support the rich in their perpetual quest for ever greater wealth.
Sanders and Clinton have disagreed on some the biggest issues of our times, including issues such as continuing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The two have very different perspectives on military and foreign policy issues. For example, Senator Clinton supported a civilian nuclear deal between the United States and India in 2008 (during the Bush Administration). Senator Sanders did not. Critics correctly pointed out the deal violated the spirit, if not the letter, of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Supplying India with uranium allowed its government to divert their locally mined uranium to military applications. India’s nuclear energy program was not effected by the shift in resources. With the new agreement, they can now buy uranium from France, Russia, and Kazakhstan and have developed supply agreements with Mongolia, Argentina and Namibia. As a result of this 2008 agreement, India promises to become our leading manufacturer of nuclear weapons. Not too surprisingly, Pakistan has ramped up its own production of uranium and plutonium and, its nuclear weapons arsenal, in preparation for war with its neighbor.
And then, there is Senator Clinton’s notorious vote for supporting the Iraq war, which Senator Sanders opposed.
Presidential-hopeful Hillary Clinton has long endorsed the death penalty, and this may provide some insight regarding her support for war and India’s weapons program. Bernie Sanders, with one exception, has voted consistently against death penalty legislation.
During the depths of the Great Recession, Senator Sanders was opposed to the wall street bailout. Senator Clinton voted for the bill, which also created a $700 billion emergency fund, called the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP.
Hillary Clinton, early on, opposed the Bush tax breaks for the rich, but her position later changed. By the time the temporary tax breaks came up for renewal, Senator Clinton’s position had evolved into a “maintain the status quo” philosophy. Senator Bernie Sanders has never supported the Bush’s tax breaks for the rich, and voted against their extension.
The different plans for income disparity the two describe will have the most impact on our day-to-day lives. Sanders wants to “level the playing field” by increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour, across the nation, and by providing free college educations. Clinton seems to have no real interest in redistributing America’s wealth, though when pressed, she suggests a minimum wage of $12 per hour would meet the needs of most working poor, adding large cities could set their own minimum wage at a higher rate than the rest of the nation. Hillary Clinton’s plans for dealing with income disparity are vague and lack detail.
While Bernie Sanders’ politics and practices have evolved with time, his support for “we the people” has remained consistent, as have his core beliefs. Bernie is often referred to as genuine and honest.
Hillary Clinton is much less consistent in her views, and support for a strong minimum wage is highly questionable. There is also a good possibility she will draw the U.S. into war, as there is no shortage of invitations and she does not want to be seen as “weak.” Hillary is often described as untrustworthy.