Eugene Parciasepe

         In mid-January, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a bill in the Senate which would push the federal government to allow for the re-importation of drugs from Canada to the United States. This legislation is viewed extremely favorably with the American people, with 72% supporting the legislation in 2015. In reality, drug re-importation should be a bipartisan issue. Conservatives constantly cite the need to increase free trade between countries and to reduce government enforced isolation of markets. Progressives should approve of drug re-importation simply because the reimported drugs from Canada would be tremendously cheaper than what current drug prices in the U.S. are. However, Corey Booker was one of the 13 democrats who voted against Sanders bill, which could have otherwise passed considering it even had support from Republicans. However, it is not surprising Booker would stab the American people in the back like this. Booker received more campaign contributions from Big Pharma over the last six years than any other Democratic senator. Booker tried to rationalize his vote, saying that he is totally in favor of drug re-importation, but just is not sure that foreign drugs meet America’s safety requirements. Bookers argument is not intellectually honest, as the majority of drugs that would be re-imported from Canada to the U.S. were originally manufactured in the United States. Drug re-importation inherently implies that the drugs that will be imported to the U.S. were originally exported from our country. Even if the drugs were actually manufactured in Canada, no news organization is reporting that Canadians are dropping like flies from their drugs.

         Corey Booker tries to have the image of a progressive champion, when in reality he is an errand boy of Wall Street and Big Pharma. In the 2014 midterms, Corey Booker received more donations from securities and investment firms than any other senator. 1.88 million of the total 17.6 million dollars in contributions he received were from these Wall Street firms. It is easy for Booker to be progressive on social issues because his corporate donors do not care about those issues. However, when a piece of legislation might hurt the wallet of corporate America, Booker’s facade of progressivism disappears. This serves as a warning to what can happen when a Democrat’s corporate ties are ignored. They may very well achieve a progressive voting record on social issues, and many will. However, when a Democrat is being backed by Wall Street, Big Pharma, the Military Industrial Complex, Big Oil, or another corporate entity, do not be surprised if the wants of the donors begin to outweigh the needs of the people. College students, who are generally progressives, must remain watchful of not only Corey Booker, but other corporatist politicians who try to deceive voters with insincere progressivism.

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