(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons)

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons

I Support Bernie Sanders

March 17, 2020

Supporters of Bernie Sanders should remain hopeful that he will be the nominee. The race is far from over and Joe Biden’s lead should not steer us away from our objective.

It is imperative that we press on in our fight to advance the progressive movement despite the negativity in media.

I have seen a lot of people with privilege post about “returning to normal,” but the bottom line is normal was not working. I would be lying if I said “normal” didn’t benefit me.

I have privilege and although Sanders’ plans would benefit me, I know I will be fine without them but that isn’t the case for many.  We must remind ourselves why people have put our support behind Sanders.

People support Sanders because they want to go see a doctor.

People support Sanders because they don’t want to be burdened with the cost of furthering their education.

People support Sanders because they are drowning in endless amounts of student debt after being told a degree is the only way to secure a job.

People support Sanders because somebody who cannot afford higher education should not have to enlist in the armed forces to fight in endless wars to avoid endless debt.

I support Sanders because I cannot sit idly by and watch us return to a “normal” that allows for so many to die from a lack of health insurance. Under Biden’s plan, an estimated 125,000 people will die from a lack of coverage. His plan expands on the Affordable Care Act, which is better than our current healthcare system, but we can’t forget we have an opportunity to elect somebody who believes in Medicare for All.

Joe Biden opposes Medicare for All and went as far as saying he would veto it if it passed through both houses of congress.  What does that tell us? Biden is comfortable with allowing thousands of people to die because they couldn’t afford healthcare.  Sanders is not comfortable with ignoring the 125,000 people that would die under Biden’s plan and we owe it to the 125,000 people to elect a president campaigning on Medicare for All.

I support Sanders because I want a viable future and he is the only candidate with a cohesive plan to combat the climate crisis.  To me, climate change is the most important issue. Joe Biden is not the climate candidate and received a D- rating from the environmental organization Greenpeace. Biden’s plan calls for action to be taken by 2050 while Sanders has deadlines for 2030. What I find most baffling is the fact that reducing our carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 only ensures us a 50% chance at survival.  Under Biden’s plan, we are as good as dead.

I support Sanders because I believe higher education is a human right. Biden’s plan only helps students going to a two-year university or trade school, but Sanders’ plan provides for two-year universities, trade schools and four-year tuition at public colleges. Biden does believe in an easier transition on students paying back their loans, but he also plans to hold student debt hostage by diminishing a small portion of student debt for graduates who work for the government for five years. Sanders recognizes that students have been swayed into taking these outrageous loans and want to get rid of them completely.

I support Sanders because he stands up to billionaires. The Sanders campaign is funded by the people and he doesn’t take donations from billionaires, in fact, his campaign returned a donation from Marta Hall simply because she is a billionaire.

Sanders has a tax on the extreme wealth in America and plans to use that money to provide for his plans so that the taxes on the working class only have a slight increase. Raising taxes on the working class is not favorable but in retrospect, those households will not be paying college tuition or health insurance which will inevitably be cheaper. Nobody seems to be asking Biden how he will pay for his vague plans.  Let’s not forget Biden is being funded by democratic billionaires who would rather see our taxes increase than theirs.

In the debate on Sunday, Biden reminded voters that he was running out of money before his lead on Super Tuesday. Biden proceeded to rant about campaign finance and brought up a constitutional amendment proposed thirty years ago that would force elections to be federally funded.

Sanders quickly rebutted by asking Biden to stop taking money from Super PAC’s which Biden faltered.  Biden then falsely claimed Sanders had nine Super PACs and was asked by Sanders to name them which he could not do. By not declaring an end to his Super PAC support, he is contradicting the amendment he was so eager to bring up.

Finally, I support Sanders because I believe the candidate given the opportunity to defeat Donald Trump shouldn’t have a past record of racism, sexism, and homophobia. Sanders was at the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement and marched with Martin Luther King Jr. while Biden opposed desegregation.

Sanders has been a champion of the LGBTQ community before the AIDS crisis while Biden opposed gay marriage until 2012. Sanders has been fighting to keep a woman’s reproductive rights safe while Biden supported the Hyde amendment until 2019. Sanders has garnered the support of the Hispanic community while Biden increased the number of children separated from their families who were seeking asylum during his Vice Presidency.

I support the candidate that didn’t refer to Obama as “…the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

I support the candidate that didn’t say “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids”.

I support the candidate that didn’t say “…my children are going to grow up in a jungle, the jungle being a racial jungle with tensions having built so high that it is going to explode at some point.” When referencing the desegregation of schools.

I support the candidate that didn’t lie about being arrested in South Africa alongside Nelson Mandela during apartheid.

I support the candidate that didn’t make little girls feel uncomfortable by stroking their hair and groping their chests as he swore their parents in as Senators.

I support the candidate that didn’t bully Anita Hill.

I support the candidate that doesn’t have 8 sexual assault allegations against him.

I support the candidate that didn’t lie about opposing the war from the beginning when they actually voted for it.

I support Bernie Sanders.

Our parents and role models have told us to never settle for less.  They may have been referring to significant others, but we should apply those words to our presidential candidates. We have the chance to elect somebody great.

You may view Biden’s plans and compare them to Trumps and think they are far better.  You cannot view Biden’s plans in comparison to Sanders and say they are better. His plans are vague and go against everything he spent his time in the senate doing. Sanders’ objective is to help even the most vulnerable while Biden is running to return to a normal that benefited few.

Do not settle for a candidate that may suit your needs. Settle on the candidate advocating for the needs of everyone. Settle for the candidate who has spent his career fighting for the needs of everyone. Settle for Bernie Sanders: the candidate by the people for the people.

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