Fighting for what you believe in is an American tradition. Turning your back on your entire values system to make a point in our country's anti-establishment political moment, and in consequence, elect a candidate who stands against everything you've ever fought for, is giving up complete power and agency. It's the game Trump wants us all to engage in — an emotionally-driven decision with no rationale to back it up.
Clinton has lived under media scrutiny for most of her life, certainly her political career, and we have been made well aware of her errors. While not perfect, she is still arguably the most qualified candidate in history to run for president. When you compare her platform with that of Sanders, there are differences, but not complete ruptures. In fact, Sanders' campaign was successful in pushing the most progressive Democratic platform is recent history.
Their proposed policies on gun control, campaign finance and women's rights were almost identical, if not identical. Clinton adopted Sanders' proposal for debt-free college for working families. During the Democratic platform proceedings, the Sanders campaign was successful in including amendments to fight for a $15 an hour federal minimum wage; Clinton has supported a $12 federal minimum wage from the start of her campaign. Both have supported a path to citizenship and the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors). Clinton has said she will enforce Obama's DAPA/DACA executive actions (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), while Sanders wanted to expand them.
These differences aren't insignificant, but at a time when the alternative is Trump, who is running on a promise to deport 11 million people, these differences cannot be larger than the common ground we share and the values we all fight for day in and day out. If Trump is elected come this November, rest assured there will be no DACA/DAPA to expand or enforce, no prospects of immigration reform that would help families successfully and legally remain and enter the United States. Under a Trump presidency there would only be millions of families ripped apart.
I think about all the time I spent as a young adult in fear of being found out that I was undocumented (I came here when I was 11 years old and didn't get my citizenship until I was 31 years old) and I know that under a President Trump, I wouldn't be where I am today. He would have deported me and prevented me from achieving the great American Dream — I built an amazing career on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs, and now I have the opportunity to help other young immigrants achieve their college dreams through the Ascend Educational Fund, a scholarship program for immigrant students in New York City.
The role of Sen. Sanders has been critical to advancing some of the issues that communities of color care about deeply and he will forever be credited for keeping Secretary Clinton accountable throughout her campaign.
The millions that rallied at every Sanders campaign should know that this fight is not over, the fight continues and the adversary is clear. Sanders was willing to endorse Clinton and has gone on record saying he will vote for her in November. He is committed to defeating Trump. If he is willing to meet with Clinton and support her, can't his supporters "meet" her, too, and even be with her when the time comes in November?
If Clinton is elected it will be up to all of us to keep her accountable to the promises she has made to our community. But let us be careful not to burn the entire house down in our pursuit of the progress we all agree must continue.
This is my first time voting in a presidential election and I sincerely hope others take it as seriously as I do. The future of this great nation is at stake.
Commentary by Julissa Arce, the author of the forthcoming book, "My (Underground) American Dream" (Sept. 13, 2016). Arce made national and international headlines when she revealed that she had achieved the American Dream of wealth and status working her way up to vice president at Goldman Sachs by age 27 while being an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. She currently works with the Ascend Educational Fund, a scholarship program for immigrant students in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @julissaarce.
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