Before I learned who Bernie Sanders was and had the proper insight into his political agenda, I was pro-Hillary for President. I adorned my car bumper with a rainbow-colored Hillary sticker and argued with my family members as to why our country is ready and deserving of a female president. Looking back on those arguments, I can see all of the holes that were left wide open in my arguments – I’m able to decipher exactly which points held little to no evidence regarding Hillary’s campaign. I adamantly believed that Hillary was the best candidate in the running for president until I heard my first Bernie Sanders speech in August of last year.
Bernie is, for all intensive purposes, the outcast that this country needs. He stands for all of the right causes – has fought for those causes flesh and blood – and has a track record that speaks for itself. I’ve come across plenty of Democrats and Republicans alike who argue that the man “doesn’t have the proper amount of experience to run for office” but that’s where they’re wrong. Bernie has been on the ground fighting for what he believes in since the 1960s.
When photos and an accompanying video surfaced of a 21-year-old Bernie Sanders being arrested for protesting for civil rights, it seemed as though a cord was struck within many millennials who were on the fence when it came to who they planned to vote for. Seeing Bernie digging his heels into the ground as he was being apprehended by police gave a visual image to all of his stories that he relays when giving speeches at rallies. He is the real deal.
While his past is wildly intriguing to me, it’s his plans for the future that really get me on board with his campaign. I’ve been talked down to by many a Republican when it comes to Bernie’s plan to implement universal healthcare… but, being that I’m one to actually find out the facts before I run my mouth in a political conversation, I know that whatever tax boost may come my way, it’ll all even out in the end when I’m not paying an arm and a leg just to be seen by a doctor. The numbers, when laid out in a dummy-proof manner, are quite simple. But, as to be expected, the fear that has been instilled in so many voters by the Republican candidates gives off an idea that they’ll be paying thousands of dollars per year… this just simply isn’t the case.
I’ve heard fellow females around my age say that they’re voting for Hillary simply because she is a woman and it would be great to have a woman in the White House. I agree with the idea that having a woman as the leader in chief of the country would be amazing… I just can’t say that Hillary is the woman who should hold that title. “Why?”, they ask. Well, in the simplest terms possible, I just don’t think that Hillary is trustworthy. “No politicians are trustworthy,” they say… Yes, but when it comes down to how many times a politician has gone back and forth between approving or disapproving of social causes, my questions lie simply on “what do you even believe in?”
Bernie Sanders has been fighting for women’s rights, black rights, the rights of the middle and lower classes, and affordable healthcare and education for years. He has never once been videotaped telling a room of wealthy individuals anything opposite of what he has or would say publicly (he has never actually been paid to speak to a room of wealthy individuals, either). Bernie is a standup guy – he tells it like it is and he isn’t afraid to admit when he feels as though he may have misspoken on a subject. I’ve found that my political alignments fall so much in favor of Bernie and his plan for a better future for not only my own generation, but the generations to follow.
When you look at the massive amount of debt that students face when they graduate college, you can’t just look at the debt – you have to look at the job opportunities that they’ll have in order to pay off said debt. Right now, as I’m typing this, so many people my age have spent four or more years in college and are unemployed or are working mediocre jobs because they can’t find an opening. You may notice how often Bernie mentions our country’s “crumbling infrastructure” when he’s speaking, and that’s because our infrastructure is collapsing. The money that’s supposed to be going to things like rebuilding roads, fixing subway lines, and general repair of the things that we utilize every day as citizens is not going to where it needs to be. Bernie has proposed the “Rebuild America Act” – which will invest $1 trillion over the span of five years to modernize and essentially rebuild the infrastructure. No, your money will not be going towards this bill – rather, he wants to close the loopholes that allow massive corporations to avoid paying their taxes. This Act will create more than thirteen million jobs… jobs that people like you and I will be able to utilize.
As a woman who proudly calls herself a feminist, I can say with full conviction that Bernie has the best interest of women within his campaign and his plans. He doesn’t think that women should ever be told that they’re not in control of their own bodies, he doesn’t think that it should be a longwinded process for a woman to access reproductive healthcare, and he doesn’t believe that women should be making a fraction of what men make for the same job. “The decision about abortion must remain a decision for the woman and her doctor to make – not the government.” Bernie does not believe in defunding Planned Parenthood – he actually wants to expand it. Also, he has called out Republicans within the Senate as almost all of them are in favor of allowing an employer who offers health insurance the right to deny women coverage for birth control.
When social injustices are brought up in conversation with any Republican, and even Hillary for that matter, it is almost as though a dark cloud veers into the room at a rapid speed. They’re either uncomfortable speaking on the subject of Black Lives Matter, or they’re completely disgusted with the idea and voice that disgust in a completely disgraceful manner. Bernie has never backed down from conversation surrounding injustices within the African American community. As many know, he marched directly behind Martin Kuther King, Jr. back in the 60s. The man walks the walk.
I don’t believe in the idea that women “vote with their vaginas”, because that, to me, is slanderous. I don’t believe in Gloria Steinem’s retracted statement that women are voting for Bernie because “the boys are”. And I certainly don’t believe in the idea that in order to support Bernie, one needs to bash Hillary in the process. I respect the opinions of others, but the facts are what is most important during an election cycle.
I stand with Bernie Sanders because he stands for me – for my generation. He stands for the “little guy” because, for what it’s worth, he spent most of his life as just that – a middle-class citizen who hoped for a positive change in this country. Now, with all of the support gaining beneath him, he has a platform to voice his concerns, bring a plan to the forefront, and give the people who believe in him something to look forward to.