Here’s Why the 2016 Presidential Election is So Crucial for Liberals and Everything We’ve Worked For


hillary-bernie-2016I’ve written an article similar to this before, but I really felt the need to narrow down some of the points I made in that article to emphasize just how important they are.

Let me start off by listing a few numbers for everyone:

  • 78
  • 80
  • 80
  • 83

Those are the ages that Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsberg will be when the next president is sworn in, respectively. The next president we elect (assuming he or she serves two terms) could very well be the individual who selects four Supreme Court Justices.

Yes, our next president could single-handedly shift the balance of power in the Supreme Court one way or the other for the next 20+ years.

Now, on the Democratic side there’s the battle between presumed nominee Hillary Clinton and the underdog Sen. Bernie Sanders for the party’s nomination. While I am a Clinton supporter, I’ve maintained from day one that the goal of “the left” shouldn’t be to pick just one candidate and only vote for that one person if they were to win the nomination. Our main goal, before anything else, should be to ensure that a Republican does not win the White House in 2016.

If Clinton is the nominee, Sanders supporters need to get their asses out there and vote for her. If Sanders is the nominee, then Clinton supporters need to do the same damn thing. I couldn’t care less what you think about either candidate, both are much better choices than any clown running for the GOP nomination.

Naturally, Sanders’ credentials as a liberal are essentially unquestioned. He’s easily the most far-left candidate most of us have ever witnessed. Well, at least one who’s been taken seriously during a campaign.

But for those who might say Clinton is no different than a Republican – you’re absurd. While she’s clearly not as far-left is Sanders, she still supports:

  • Gay rights.
  • Women’s rights.
  • Overhauls to our education system to make college affordable (or even free).
  • Policies to combat climate change.
  • Expanding and improving health care reform (let’s not forget she’s been advocating for universal health care since 1992).
  • Immigration reform that’s even more to the left than President Obama’s proposals.
  • Campaign finance reform.

And those are just a few of the very liberal issues she supports that whoever Republicans ultimately select would strongly oppose.

The question I always ask is: Would you rather have a candidate in the White House who represents 70 percent of what you support or almost none of it?

Again, I cannot emphasize this enough, our next president might very well select four Supreme Court Justices. 

For those who might be struggling to understand just how important it is that a Democrat is in the White House for the next several years, let’s just run through a few issues that would drastically change the scope of this country had the rulings gone differently:

  • If Republicans as we know them today had stacked the Supreme Court over 40 years ago, abortion would likely be illegal today.
  • If Democrats had been able to choose enough justices, it’s very likely the Citizens United ruling would have gone against big money in politics.
  • If Republicans had a larger majority of chosen justices than they do now, it’s likely the Affordable Care Act is overturned.
  • If the GOP had selected even one more conservative justice over the last few years, it’s very likely that today same-sex marriage bans would still be legal.
  • How much damage could Republicans do to our voting rights with a Supreme Court loaded with at least 7 conservative justices?

The list just goes on and on. Do we really want the next president who possibly selects four Supreme Court Justices to be from the Republican party?

I know I sure as hell don’t.

There’s not a lot that actually terrifies me – but that does. We are literally on the precipice of potentially having a liberal Supreme Court for the next 20+ years and all liberals have to do is show up in large numbers next November and vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is – and preferably for any Democrat running for Congress.

Because if you don’t like the “socialist” Sanders, I promise you he’s much better than any “moderate” Republican who might try to pander to the conservative Democrats out there. And if you don’t like Clinton, again, even at her worse she’s still a hell of a lot better than anyone Republicans are going to pick as their candidate.

As Democrats, “the left,” progressives, liberals, whatever you want to call yourself, we must all have one goal within this next year and a half: To make sure Republicans do not win the White House in 2016.

Because if that happens, you can kiss all this progress we’ve made the last few years goodbye. A Republican president will likely select these new Supreme Court Justices; the Affordable Care Act will be sabotaged or flat-our repealed; we will definitely end up in a war with Iran; gay rights will be stripped away at every possible chance; any progress we’ve made toward combating climate change will be set back decades; women’s rights will be under full-fledged assault; religion will be shoved down our throats and into our government like never before; and we’ll literally see another George W. Bush-like presidency – only this time, factoring in the Supreme Court situation, the results will be far more impactful and catastrophic for this nation.

Even if we break this down to its simplest form, ignoring any mention of who is or isn’t going to be the Democratic nominee, then the question really comes down to: Who do you want potentially replacing four Supreme Court Justices in the next 8 to 10 years – a Democrat who supports same-sex marriage, abortion rights, health care and the separation of church and state, or a Republican who opposes all of that and then some?

And I don’t know about all of you, but I’ve worked too damn hard the last several years to see all that worked pissed away by handing the White House over to the Republican party.

So, please, spread this message far and wide because everyone needs to know just how much is at stake on November 8, 2016.

Let me know what you think by hitting me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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