The founders of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, are urging voters to support Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and for supporters to make a donation before midnight rings in 2016. Cohen and Greenfield started the iconic ice cream company in Vermont, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the businessmen and philanthropists support Sanders, but they also have an important message for Democrats–that the insurgent candidate can win the nomination and the White House, but he needs supporters to step up financially, even with a donation as low as $3.
The Hill reports on Ben and Jerry’s email to Sanders supporters:
“As we travel the country campaigning for Bernie, we hear a lot of people saying, ‘I love Bernie, but I am not sure he can win,’” Greenfield writes.
“But poll after poll shows Bernie is the most electable Democrat,” Cohen writes. “And that’s because we all know in our hearts that the things Bernie is talking about are true. The system is rigged.”
“Every time Bernie ran for office in Vermont, people would say he didn’t have a chance,” Greenfield writes. “And together, I know we’re going to shock the political elite when we win in Iowa next month.”
Cohen and Greenfield are not strangers to progressive politics and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Company has been vocal in activist causes (even though the founders sold the company) speaking up for marriage equality, Occupy Wall Street and combatting climate change. Ben Cohen took on marijuana prohibition, decrying the money interests behind the failed policy. I obviously wholeheartedly agree with Cohen and Greenfield and personally donate $50 a month to Sanders’ campaign and I urge every marijuana law reform supporter to do the same thing.
Just as Ben and Jerry proclaim, Sanders actually polls better than Hillary Clinton against the Republican frontrunner, shattering the conventional wisdom that the anti-establishment candidate can’t win the White House. Senator Sanders has already surpassed the all-time record for the number of small contributors for a presidential candidate and can keep pace with the Democratic frontrunner in financial contributions in the final quarter of 2014, something that would have been unthinkable when the race started.
Sanders nearly matched Clinton the third quarter of the year and his army of small contributors can continue to donate as many of Clinton’s backers are wealthier donors that have hit the $2,700 maximum amount allowed for presidential candidate donations. So the clock is ticking on 2015 and on your ability to help continue the momentum for a serious Democratic candidate that has called for an end to federal cannabis prohibition and to end the failed and harmful Drug War.