Unfortunately, Sen. Bernie Sanders has ended his presidential bid after suspending his campaign. For many, including myself, Bernie Sanders has been the voice of the working class. He raised issues such as income inequality, corruption in politics, corporate greed and the existential crisis of climate change.
Sen. Sanders was an untraditional candidate who did not play the political game as it should have been played. He was angry, fiery and, most importantly, relentless in advocating for his beliefs. He appealed to the hearts of many people in doing so and attracted individuals who have felt left out of politics for so long.
He created a campaign driven by ambitious policies that were attractive to idealists and formed a multiracial coalition of working people and college students.
However, with Sen. Sanders now leaving the Democratic race, that leaves former Vice President Joe Biden as the last man standing, which calls to question whether or not Bernie Sanders’ support will consolidate to Joe Biden’s support.
I, a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist, believe we should support Biden through the general election, and here’s why.
A majority of Sanders’ support will probably translate over to Joe Biden. However, both Biden and Trump understand that this vote has to be earned.
For instance, the day Sanders dropped out, Donald Trump tweeted: “Bernie Sanders is OUT! Thank you to Elizabeth Warren. If not for her, Bernie would have won almost every state on Super Tuesday! This ended just like the Democrats & the DNC wanted, same as the Crooked Hillary fiasco. The Bernie people should come to the Republican Party, TRADE!”
On the other hand, Joe Biden said in a direct statement to Sanders supporters through his Medium profile: “I see you, I hear you and I understand the urgency of what it is we have to get done in this country. I hope you will join us. You are more than welcome. You’re needed.”
This is a clear indication that both sides are seeking to gain support from the Sanders voter bloc.
It comes as no surprise that Donald Trump is seeking to attract Sanders’ voters since most of Sanders’ support has anti-establishment sentiments and is generally less educated. This was a critical demographic that Donald Trump did well with in the 2016 general election.
Whether or not that implies that Donald Trump will end up securing some of those votes is unclear. However, if Trump can gain some of these votes, or if Sanders voters decide to vote for a third-party candidate, write-in Bernie Sanders or not vote at all, it could potentially mirror the 2016 election and award Donald Trump another four years in office.
Most Sanders supporters, however, will not go over to Trump. A large portion of Sanders’ support seems to fall into the “very liberal” demographic, a critical indication that Sanders voters should vote for the former vice president in order to deter another four years of President Trump.
With that being said, there is no doubt in my mind that Donald Trump is one of the worst presidents in modern history, and Joe Biden seems like the better alternative.
Never have we had a president as blatantly racist as the one we have had in the past four years. He has imposed a Muslim ban, which was later framed as the “Travel Ban.” He said that Mexican people were rapists, drug dealers and murderers, and he called the coronavirus the “Chinese virus.” The president has often spewed his racist rhetoric throughout his term unapologetically.
President Trump has provided tax cuts for big corporations, deregulated environmental protections, enforced child separation at the border, nearly threw 30 million people off of healthcare with no back-up plan and has called for cuts to Medicare and Social Security. He has appointed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, appointed a cabinet full of Wall Street capitalists and fossil fuel polluters, and the list goes on.
Another four years of Trump would continue these draconian policies and will have a lasting impact on America’s future—especially to the U.S. Supreme Court.
With an aging Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Trump re-election could mean another Supreme Court nomination by President Trump, a change that would drastically change the dynamic of the Supreme Court, as it would go to a 6-3 conservative majority. This would make anything challenged in the Supreme Court to go in a conservative direction in almost every case.
If Sanders supporters ever want to overturn Citizens United v. The Federal Election Commission, a landmark Supreme Court case that enables corporations to spend an unlimited amount of expenditures on political campaigns, then we need to appoint a liberal justice to have a fighting chance. If we want to end corruption in politics, then this is one of the most important Supreme Court cases that must be overturned.
Another Trump Supreme Court appointment would be an absolute disaster. We may see the degradation of civil rights among minority and LGBTQ+ groups, expansion of power among the police force, restriction of women’s rights and a bias towards greedy corporations over consumers and workers.
Believe me when I say I am not a fan of Joe Biden. His speeches are cringeworthy, flubbish, and his record is not too flashy when it comes to the Iraq War, trade agreements and immigration. His policies do not go far enough for me.
However, Joe Biden has said in the past that his vote on the Iraq War was a mistake. He has publicly stated that he would end child separation and migration camps in his first day in office. Also, he is likely to get challenged on NAFTA on the debate stage with Trump.
He is willing to re-establish environmental protections, expand Medicare and bring changes to the immigration system. Although he does not support Medicare-for-all or a Green New Deal, he is at least going in the right direction.
Whether Joe Biden will keep his promises or not is not clear, but one thing is for sure. A Biden presidency would substantially be far more progressive than a Trump presidency.
Don’t get me wrong; I am incredibly disappointed that Bernie Sanders is not the Democratic nominee, but let’s not sulk in negative emotions. Bernie wanted us to take it to the streets and form a grassroots movement that has never been seen before, to defeat Donald Trump. Let’s not give that up just because he dropped out of the race.
Sanders said in a public endorsement for Joe Biden: “I know that there is an enormous responsibility on your shoulders right now, and it’s imperative that all of us work together.”
Even Bernie Sanders knows the severity of what is at stake for this election. That is why he is vehemently pushing for Joe Biden to become the next president of the United States.
Either way, this does not spell an end to Bernie Sanders’ politics. This is only the beginning of a serious progressive movement in the United States. Sen. Sanders had overwhelming majority support of people at the age of 45 and younger. Through time, his policies will only continue to become more and more popular. Still, if Donald Trump gets re-elected, it will only damage our efforts by doing the exact opposite of what we believe in.
That is why voting for Joe Biden is not a bow to the Democratic establishment; it is a call to an end of the Trumpian era. Yes, it sucks to lose, but in this general election, we must not make the same mistakes as the 2016 general election. A write-in for Bernie Sanders, a third-party vote or not voting at all is a vote for one of the most atrocious displays of a presidency we have ever seen. Joe Biden is well-qualified and is looking to heal the country from the disastrous past four years Americans have endured.
I know a lot of us feel angry at this moment, and it is okay to feel that way. I am just as angry, sad and frustrated as anyone else. I am not saying that you have to vote for Biden, but remember what is on the line in this general election, because it is far more important than our feelings.