The Case for Bernie

by Kit Murray

murrayki@mnstate.edu

Last year was one for the books — from the new “Star Wars” actually being good to the United States legalizing same-sex marriage, and even the Church of England appointing the first female bishop, Libby Lane. The world seems to be shifting toward progress and change, but what does this mean for U.S. politics?

2016 marks the last year of President Barack Obama’s second term as the 44th president of the United States. The potential to fill his shoes belongs to those as outlandish as Donald Trump. But my vote’s with Bernie Sanders. Sanders’ platform is a push in pursuit of democratic socialism. But how is his really different from other economic agendas?

Bernie is the kind of guy I look up to like a grandfather. He’s 74 years old, Jewish, and has been a public servant for more than 35 years. Of course I have concerns of if what he says will even be acted on, or that he’s too old. But he seems to be compassionate and well-rounded. Our country has problems, but they aren’t unsolvable.

Many of our issues stem from the economy — the type of rigged economy Sanders says America isn’t about.

Democratic socialism is a political ideology which holds the belief that society and the economy would be better connected through a more robust democratic process. Without socialism as part of democracy, important decisions are often reserved for those who make up a small percentage of the population. Sanders’ focus is on the majority – his ideas aren’t sponsored, and he’s for the people, not the billionaires.

The independent Vermont senator cares for the well-being, education and employment of our country’s people — those of us who are students, the middle class, people with loans hanging over our heads barely scraping by, the people willing to work 40 hours a week. Some argue that $15 an hour wages are ridiculous, but they don’t realize what that number means. It’s much more than a person’s hourly income. It’s an opportunity for currently struggling people to put wages back into their economy, boosting business and improving their quality of life.   

If I had the money, I would donate to Bernie Sanders’ campaign. My heart is committed to those who fight for justice and equality. I encourage students to do research and really get to know our candidates. Are your loans going to pay for themselves? What do you know about your access to healthcare? Does poverty concern you? Are you happy with the government locking in low wages when you know you deserve better?

Do something about it. Sort out the facts and understand you deserve so much more.

Staying up to date politically can be a headache. It’s discouraging to watch Trump leading a fascist campaign, advocating for the exclusion of Muslim and Mexican people. Nothing has made me want to leave society more than hearing Trump’s platform, but we must carry on. Change is coming, and we have the power to control what that change is. Speak up for what you believe in and make your ideas heard.

As Sanders has said, “If we are honest in striving to be a moral and just society, it is imperative that we have the courage to stand with the poor, to stand with working people and, when necessary, take on very powerful and wealthy people whose greed, in my view, is doing this country enormous harm.”

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