I have been back and forth between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren throughout this primary, but with Warren dropping out, I am putting all of my support behind Bernie. There are a lot of personal reasons that I dislike Joe Biden, but for the purposes of this argument I will be sticking strictly to policies. Here are my reasons for voting for Bernie and why you should also consider him as our best alternative to Donald Trump:
1. The planet cannot afford a Joe Biden presidency, let alone another Trump presidency. Bernie’s support of the Green New Deal, declaring a climate emergency, and banning fossil fuels are the only way to avoid reaching 2 degrees Celsius warming of pre-Industrial Revolution levels.
Joe Biden’s policy, while obviously better than Trump’s, would still allocate a significant portion of the climate budget to investment in geoengineering (technology that, among other things, sucks carbon out of the atmosphere). This is extremely dangerous because not only is it unfeasible to test these technologies without possible catastrophic side effects, it also indefinitely extends our reliance on fossil fuels (reference: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein).
We do not have another 4 years to wait around and do things “moderately” without disastrous consequences around the world, particularly against the world’s most vulnerable populations (reference: Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security by Todd Miller).
Not only does Bernie Sanders’ plan address all of these points, he also has a plan to address environmental justice, prioritizing Indigenous communities and communities of color most affected by pollution and climate change. He has received an A rating from the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund, while Biden scores a C+.
2. Medicare for All. The dreaded S word (socialism). The main takeaway of this policy should be that it is not only not radical, but standard in almost all of the rest of the Western world. Sanders would probably be described as “center-right” or “center-left” in Europe.
There are many arguments against M4A (higher taxes, it’ll never pass etc.) but on moral grounds, how can we not fight for this? How can we sit back and let people die because they can’t afford insulin? Or go bankrupt paying for their cancer treatments?
For all of these arguments against M4A to be debunked swiftly and expertly, please read The Nordic Theory of Everything by Anu Partanen. She says it much better than I ever could.
Biden’s plan to expand on the ACA ignores the realities of the complexities of Obamacare and does not address some of its most basic problems.
3. Sanders is proposing structures that would make elections more equitable for years to come. Making Election Day a national holiday, automatic voter registration, destruction of Super PACs and restoring the Voting Rights Act are just a few of those things that will make our elected leaders actually representative of their constituents for the future. Citizens United is the worst thing that has happened to our government in recent years and has virtually destroyed our democracy (reference: Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Radical Right by Jane Mayer).
While Biden does have plans to restrict Super PACs, it does not go as far as Bernie’s plan, nor does it address voter suppression and institutionalized racism that has historically suppressed minority votes. Also since Biden has accepted money from more billionaires than any other candidate, his plans to curb dark money and special interests would appear disingenuous at best.
There are a lot more issues that are important to me (not the least being Biden’s abysmal record on foreign policy and participation in Obama-era drone strikes), but in conclusion: we cannot just be voting against Donald Trump, we must be voting FOR something.
Some may say, “but Annie, none of these things matter because Biden has a better chance at beating Trump!” Dear Reader, let me take you on a magical journey way back in time to the year 2016. A time when almost every national poll had Hillary Clinton winning the presidency in a landslide. While there are many lessons to be learned from that election (most of which have been promptly ignored), the main takeaway should be this: there is nothing that can accurately predict the outcome of an election. There is probability, yes, but nothing is ever certain. Especially when someone as unpredictable as Donald Trump is involved. While the horse-race style of media coverage overemphasizes “who’s in first place” and underemphasizes the issues facing this country, it’s easy to assume that your vote doesn’t matter and the experts know what they’re talking about; and they believe Biden to be the safest choice.
I’ll let you in on the secret of “electability”…everyone is electable if you for vote for them! Do not let the worst kid in your social studies class convince you that voting in your own interest in not “strategic” just because he says it confidently enough. There are only 2 viable candidates left in the race (sorry Tulsi) so please vote for who you actually believe in and think would be the best president.
Politicians are not sports teams and there are obviously critiques to be made about both candidates and nuance (remember that?) on every issue. It would be weird to agree with your preferred politician 100% on everything and they are not your friends, no matter how much you want them to be.
If anything I said resonated with you and you are able, please consider donating and/or canvassing at berniesanders.com. If you disagree, I will see you in November voting for the Dem nominee no matter who it is!