Bernie Sanders: Not me, us?

Written By Nardos Haile

After a year of numerous Democratic candidates entering the 2020 election brawl, only two remain with the likelihood to win, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders.

Before the vie for the Democratic nomination between Biden and Sanders, five other democrats were still on the ballot. Most importantly Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race right before the multi-state primary voting day, also known as Super Tuesday.

After Biden’s win in South Carolina on Feb. 29, both moderate candidates dropped out of the race and swiftly endorsed Biden as the Democratic nominee.

From this point on, it was clear that the race to win the nominee was a clear distinction between the Democratic establishment and the Progressive movement which aligns with candidates like Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Moderate Democrats and Progressive Democrats have two different agendas regarding policy and political ideology.

First of all, Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, his policies regard universal healthcare, known as Medicare for All, cancellation of student debt and implementing a wealth tax on the top one percent.

Biden’s policies, on the other hand, contrast Bernie’s. Biden believes two years of college should be free, the expansion of debt-relief on student loans but not the elimination of them and the opposition of Medicare for All, preferring an improvement on the Affordable Care Act instead.

After Super Tuesday, Biden won a majority of the state participating and Sanders followed behind as a close second. Sanders had been the front-runner for months before Biden won South Carolina and the moderate Dems endorsed Biden.

I think all of this established a clear motive that the Democratic Party would rather self-sabotage its chances at winning the 2020 election because they are petrified of a democratic socialist, specifically Sanders, becoming the nominee.

The Democratic Party has unquestionably moved starkly to the left and that is a direct result of Sanders and his base. The establishment fears this shift to the left because of socialism. There are so many misinterpretations and stigmas to unpack about socialism that I do not have the time to explain.

American politics are deeply entwined with money, whether it be the corporate establishment, the pharmaceutical business, insurance companies or the fossil fuel industry. Money and wealth influence the way our politicians implement policies that directly affect our daily lives.

Sanders challenges this idea that politicians need to receive tainted money to win. Voters can’t be bought; strong policy, on the other hand, will drive people to a candidate and their cause. It’s why Sanders’ campaign exemplifies a young, diverse, galvanized grassroots base, exhausted with the real-life quagmire our government has turned into over the years.

Sanders isn’t just facing the establishment and moderate Dems. Someone with similar views, Warren, played a role in Sanders’ second-place status. While Warren hadn’t won a single primary and trailed behind the other candidates, she still stayed in the race and divided the progressive vote. Her progressive voting population could have propelled Sanders to win more Super Tuesday states, but, ultimately, the progressive vote was split, and the moderate vote wasn’t.

The Democratic Party may want to create an internal schism, but it’s important to understand the policies Sanders and Biden hold. Who will make the most difference given the chance? Is it the candidate that represents just a quarter of the democratic voting pool, or the candidate who’s been fighting for general human decency and rights since his teen years? It’s up to you, but I think you know what the right choice is.