Why you should vote for Berine Sanders from now until March 10
Submitted by Sean Arent & Riley MacDonald
Record and Consistency
First off, Bernie talks about a lot. How do we know that he means it? There’s a saying that for every bad decision made in the past 30 years there’s a video of Bernie trying to stop it. This is something that I’ve found to be almost comically true. Throughout his entire career he’s never taken money from corporations or interest groups save for unions, something that is entirely anomalous in the modern history of American politics.
As a Climate Activist
I’m voting for Bernie because he’s always been on our side. As the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he helped transform the city’s energy system to one hundred percent renewable energy. He’s been talking about greenhouse gas pollution and climate change before most people knew what it was, far before it was politically convenient. He was the first senator to oppose the disastrous Keystone Pipeline, and again led the way in opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. I’ve been involved in many actions around “pressuring politicians to do the right thing,” but with Bernie it’s just about making him aware and then he’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with you. Bernie wants to ban fracking and offshore drilling just as much as I do, and isn’t afraid to say it. As a member of the Sunrise Movement, I recognize that Bernie has always supported the tenants of the Green New Deal, and if elected will be its champion, but most importantly Bernie Sanders knows that he can’t do this alone, and after his election the movement to transform this country and save the planet won’t be over, it will just have its first real fighting chance.
As a Racial Justice Activist
Bernie Sanders’ commitment to racial justice has been lifelong and his current approach is exactly what’s needed. Sanders organized with CORE and SNICC as a college student which produced the famous photo of him chained in solidarity before being arrested. However, over time, the Senator seemed to gravitate closer and closer to class issues discussing poverty and the need for universal programs. This strategy has been historically employed by American socialists and reformers in an effort to appease Whiteness. Of course such programs will disproportionately help those most alienated from housing and healthcare do stand to gain the most from such universal programs if they are developed and applied truly universally — historically the latter part has been unsuccessful. In August 2015 at Westlake in Seattle, a Sanders rally was disrupted by two Black Lives Matter activists. Whatever you feel about that action that moment created real growth and I and this campaign owe a debt to Marissa Janae Johnson and Mara Jaqueline Willaford who were mistreated by the crowd at that event. Part of the failure of 2016 was the lack of an attempt to make the campaign not just “tolerant” but overtly anti-racist. In 2020 I see a campaign that is not reactive but proactive that extends its platform to marginalized communities rather than speak for them or tokenize them. I see a campaign that understands the centrality of race in American history and has built a movement built with that knowledge that is not just class conscious but racially conscious. Such a campaign is the strongest possible tool for not only beating Trump in November but actually creating meaningful change.