by Reyna Estrada / Sports Editor
I met Bernie Sanders at a rally in 2016. He shook my hand and told me “you are the future.” I remember begging all of my friends to attend the rally with me, and I had shown up hours early despite the rainy weather.
I’ve been a Sanders supporter since his first run for president in 2016. While I was devastated at the result of the Democratic Primary back then, I was even more devastated when I read that Sanders had officially dropped out of the 2020 presidential race.
This wasn’t surprising. He had been significantly behind former Vice President Joe Biden in the polls, and with the way the primaries have been going — he wasn’t likely to catch up. Voter turnout has been down, and Sanders has had difficulty gaining traction after Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out in early March. However, the predictability of it didn’t help to lessen my disappointment.
I am Sanders supporter for many reasons, but mostly because of his reliability on key issues. He’s been fighting for the same causes for so long, and he’s the only candidate that I genuinely believe has the best interests of the American citizens in mind — for every action and decision.
He’s a proponent of the Green New Deal, universal healthcare, housing for all, a $15 minimum wage and so much more. Additionally, he has a layout for each of the costs and logistical plans involved with accomplishing his seemingly ambitious goals.
I am a Sanders supporter for many of the reasons his opponents dislike him. He’s an optimist, and his plans are not band-aids or quick fixes to difficult problems. Instead, his mission would have forced the U.S. to take a giant leap in a completely new direction, and widespread change is oftentimes scary. But that’s precisely why I support Sanders. He’s not afraid to challenge world views, and he gladly labels himself as a democratic socialist, despite criticism. Sanders is not afraid to create change. He’s not afraid to look at the world as it should be instead of how it is and try to make that happen.
Sadly, Sanders’ presidential bid has come to an end, but his mission is far from over. However, I’m not telling you to write in his name, or refuse to vote. I will, unfortunately, be voting for Joe Biden. Not because I like him, or trust him, but because I have once again been forced to pick between the lesser of two evils.
That’s not to say that I don’t understand why people refuse to vote, maybe neither candidate is worth voting for, maybe they don’t deserve your vote. I truly don’t want to vote for Joe Biden, but I am, and here’s why.
On Sanders’ campaign website, he stated, “I’m running for president so that, when we are in the White House, the movement we build together can achieve economic, racial, social and environmental justice for all.”
Throughout his campaign, Sanders continued to emphasize the importance of collective action, he included his supporters in his goal. He didn’t view his movement as his movement, instead, he referred to it as “our movement.”
With Biden as president, it will be significantly easier to move forward with some of the progressive ideas that Sanders has been pushing for so long. With Trump as president, all of that potential goes away. Biden has a plan to help rework campaign finance, and fight corruption. He even has a plan for addressing climate change — a plan that will never see the light of day under the Trump administration.
When Sanders told me I was the future, I believed him, and that’s why I will use my right to vote to keep fighting for what I believe in — even if it’s a small step instead of the giant leap we wanted.