Courtney Zajac, Liz Dustin, and Chetin Atillasoy
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign has recently taken a strong turn towards legitimacy when he captured the state of New Hampshire from his opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As democrats, we are now pressured to make a big decision: Who do we want representing us in the general election? Bernie or Hillary? The debate to turn our American cars to bear further left, or to keep driving on the steady road of politics as usual through similar policies that have implemented positive yet not as significant changes as we would like to our country is now in our hands. As this inter-party dilemma continues, the Radnor Young Democrats have recently voted to endorse Senator Sanders and possibly take a drive down the road less traveled in the ensuing presidential election.
Sanders’ campaign manages to bring something to American political campaigning that is raw and authentic. Maybe it’s the fact that, well, Bernie is Bernie. There is no contrived sense of the want for power and political gain or involvement with big business to help back his campaign. Instead, it seems that the ideals that motivate him show he has a sense of compassion towards our country and the American people that seems to inspire many younger voters.
To Bernie, this nation doesn’t need another candidate who will get the job done, implementing basic policies that barely keep us afloat, but instead a candidate who will grasp the opportunity of being Commander in Chief and drastically better our country for longer than just four years. Bernie’s further-than-normal left-wing political ideals have attracted many voters, and although they may seem loud and risky, it is evident that his beliefs search for not a temporary, but rather a permanent solution to America’s largest issues such as protecting women’s health, preserving our environment, fixing social injustices, creating proper tax code, etc. Although Bernie’s views may seem radical, they evidently solve our nation’s most mainstream dilemmas in what some may consider unorthodox ways.
The Radnor Young Democrats have chosen to endorse Bernie Sanders in the upcoming 2016 election because his campaign directly addresses the fundamental concerns that a vast majority of Americans have about not their futures, but also the futures of their children and grandchildren. An issue Sanders addresses that specifically affects our community as high schoolers is the idea of a tuition and debt free public college education. Many of us are lucky here at Radnor because it is a given that being able to enjoy a college education is an expectation, but across America, for hundreds of thousands of bright young minds, this is an unreachable goal. Making tuition free at public colleges and universities is not a radical idea. In fact, colleges in Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Finland offer free college to all of their citizens. Some universities, such as the University of California or City University of New York didn’t charge any tuition until the 1980s. In 1965, the average yearly tuition at a public university was just $243. Unfortunately, the federal government will profit an estimated $110 billion on student loan programs in the next decade. Senator Sanders believes this is morally wrong and has a detrimental effect on the American economy. He fights for students who work hard to have an education.
Senator Sanders is best known for asserting that there is too much money in the political system. Few people can argue with the fact that large interest groups, lobbyists, and Super PACs that contribute massive donations to candidates hold a disproportionate amount of power in today’s government. When a candidate accepts large campaign contributions, they compromise their own values for the ideals of corrupt interest groups, only allowing a voice in government for those who can afford it. Sanders doesn’t accept these “big money” donations, making him a favorable candidate for those who believe in real American democracy instead of crony capitalism. Senator Sanders stated, “American democracy is not about billionaires being able to buy candidates and elections, or other incredibly wealthy individuals spending billions of dollars to elect candidates who will make the rich richer and the poor poorer.” We believe the corruption of our own country’s elections is unfair and, frankly, disappointing, and it is evident that Senator Sanders is the best candidate that is willing to stand up to these unjust values.
Furthermore, Sanders plans to focus on creating many programs benefitting the middle class. Many people in America’s middle class feel unsafe as a result of secure jobs being sent overseas and families struggling to stay on the right side of the economic divide as the gap between the rich and the poor grows. Sanders’s programs would include initiating job growth within the United States by prohibiting big companies to send their jobs and money overseas, preventing them from increasing their own profits and damaging our economy. Sanders also plans on introducing more progressive tax policies, starting a public works program that would rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure while at the same time providing millions of jobs, and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
To us, these ideas hardly seem radical, but Senator Sanders faces criticism from those who find his ”democratic socialist” ideals to be unnerving. Bernie believes in the expanded use of government to help social conditions and believes what responsible federal officials do can help our society. Although many people see the government as a problem instead of a solution and tend to respond negatively when asked about its role, many still approve of programs that have the potential to not just help our community but America each and every day. With a fair and just political system, America can change and improve to become a greater nation for our generation and for generations to come. The Radnor Young Democrats believe Bernie Sanders is capable of making our nation a better place for all Americans, making him the best candidate for the American people.
Please visit www.berniesanders.com for a list of issues Bernie addresses and how he plans to pay for each of them.
Chair, Radnor Young Democrats
Vice Chair, Radnor Young Democrats