Opinion Article by: Julia Casanova
Today Bernie Sanders announced that he’s suspending his presidential campaign. The announcement came as a surprise to many, especially his progressive base. This clears the way for Joe Biden to become the Democratic Nominee. It’s worth noting that while Sanders acknowledged that Vice President Joe Biden would be the nominee, and that his top priority is to defeat Donald Trump, he did not at any moment endorse Joe Biden, or encourage his base to support Joe Biden. Instead he urged his followers to amass as many delegates as possible in order to have “leverage.” Bernie Sanders has by every account fired up progressives who are tired of the status quo, and would like to see meaningful change within our government. While I can absolutely agree with most, if not all, of Bernie’s core issues, I just didn’t believe that he should be the president. I didn’t believe it in 2016 and I certainly do not believe it in 2020. In a perfect world, someone like Elizabeth Warren would be my candidate, but we don’t live in my perfect world, and the real world has given us Joe Biden. Do not misunderstand, I love Joe Biden, but I’m not alone in my assessment that there were other (maybe better) options out there. When the Iowa Caucuses happened and Mayor Pete won that first state, I was a little hopeful that we could have a fresh, younger, more progressive person who would lead the party, much like Obama did in 2008. That quickly died out as time passed on and the inevitable started happening. It would indeed be a Biden Vs. Sanders thing. Now we’re in April, and it’s clear who will be the Democratic Nominee, and as someone focused on getting rid of Donald Trump, I figured other like-minded progressives would feel the same way. Turns out the Bernie Bros are out in full force and acting like fools today.
Listen, I get it. It’s a sad day. Okay. But making it a mission to purposely not vote, or write in Bernie at the ballot in November could give us another 4 years of this very dangerous Trump Administration. Your candidate didn’t win the nomination. Too bad. We have something bigger than Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden to fight for. We have a whole damn country! Donald Trump and the Republicans are currently packing the courts with young, deeply conservative judges that will be on the bench for years. Judges that could easily help overturn Roe V. Wade, and other crucial legislation.
This is not the time to be protest-voting. This is not the time to act on your perceived “principles.” This is the time to start thinking about the big picture. The time is now to rally around the democratic nominee and do everything we can to make sure he wins in November so that we can at least have a foot in if we want to make some of these ideas a reality. We need to realize that Bernie Sanders is not the only vehicle for this movement. The people are the vehicle.
With our vote we can say no to racism, xenophobia, bad leadership, and the bad policies which have gotten us to where we are today. Letting the entire county burn to the ground does nothing for the ultimate goal. Bernie Sanders and other progressives in congress advocate for us, but what’s the point if there’s a criminal in the white house? What does it matter if Mitch McConnel continues to control the Senate? Sanders supporters, I beg you; don’t let today’s sadness make you blind to the ultimate goal. Our futures are literally on the line. This election coming up is so very important. Please do not forget why it’s important to back the nominee. Don’t forget that Joe Biden isn’t the end to the progressive movement, it instead pushes us one step closer to the progressive goals. Let’s get the white House, let’s take back the Senate. Let’s actually work towards a better education system, free college, universal healthcare, immigration reform. Bernie isn’t the movement. We are.