Bernie Sanders ended his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday and endorsed his primary rival, Hillary Clinton. Democrats have been worried that some people who feel berned won't show up to vote for Clinton in the fall. But in his concession speech on Tuesday, Sanders laid out why the stakes are too high for his supporters to stay home.
Here are just a few.
"If Donald Trump is elected, we will see no increase in the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour—a starvation wage."
Sanders and Clinton agree that the minimum should be significantly raised. Trump has taken a number of positions on the minimum wage over the years. During a Republican primary debate, he said he thought the minimum wage was too high.
"Secretary Clinton understands that we don’t need to have more people in jail than any other country on earth, at an expense of $80 billion a year. In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up."
Over a long political journey, Clinton has made a number of ambitious commitments to fixing our broken criminal justice system, including several new policies just this week.
Trump has taken to referring to himself as "the law and order candidate," a throwback to Richard Nixon and to tough-on-crime politics that led in part to our current system of mass incarceration.
"Hillary Clinton believes that we must substantially lower student debt, and that we must make public colleges and universities tuition free for the middle class and working families of this country."
Early in her campaign, Clinton took a boldly progressive position on eliminating student debt, rivaled only by Sanders' even more ambitious call to eliminate public college tuition altogether. Clinton last week moved much closer to Sanders' position, proposing to eliminate public college tuition for students whose families earn below a certain amount.
Trump famously ran a series of expensive business lectures marketed as Trump University. Those courses are now the subject of a fraud case in which the plaintiffs allege that Trump swindled them out of tens of thousands of dollars for a fake education.
"This election is about climate change, the greatest environmental crisis facing our planet, and the need to leave this world in a way that is healthy and habitable for our children and future generations. Hillary Clinton is listening to the scientists who tell us that if we do not act boldly in the very near future there will be more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels. She understands that we must work with countries around the world in transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy—and that when we do that we can create a whole lot of good paying jobs.
"Well, Donald Trump, like most Republicans, sadly and tragically is choosing to reject science—something no presidential candidate should ever do. He believes that climate change is a hoax. In fact, he wants to expand the use of fossil fuels. That would be a disaster for our country and for the entire planet."
Clinton and Sanders agree about the reality and seriousness posed by climate change. They agree that the country needs to move away from fossil fuels. Both rejected the Keystone XL pipeline project, which would have supported reliance on dirty tar-sands oil. They were joined during Sanders' speech by renowned climate activist Bill McKibben, of 350.org.
Trump has a different position on climate change:
"While Donald Trump is busy insulting Mexicans and Muslims and women and African-Americans and our veterans, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Yes. We become stronger when black and white, Latino, Asian American, Native American—all of us—stand together. Yes. We become stronger when men and women, young and old, gay and straight, native-born and immigrant fight to rid this country of all forms of bigotry."
Trump is the most overtly bigoted mainstream presidential candidate since the days of segregationist George Wallace. Rejecting his xenophobic ideology should be of paramount importance to all Americans regardless of their political background.