Dear Sanders Supporters, Vote For Biden

Senator+Sanders%27+supporters+must+make+a+decision+on+whether+to+support+Joe+Biden+or+seek+an+alternative.+

Biden Campaign

Senator Sanders' supporters must make a decision on whether to support Joe Biden or seek an alternative.

Alana Campbell, Opinions Editor

Dear Bernie Sanders supporters,

I know you all see the writing on the wall. Joe Biden’s insurmountable delegate lead at this stage in the primary process all but guarantees him the democratic nomination, and nothing, not even a sexual assault allegation against him, will turn the tide in Bernie’s favor. 

You have every right in the world to feel frustrated at this fact: frustrated at the mainstream media for its unfair reporting, frustrated at the democratic establishment for consistently backing moderates, frustrated at all of the politicians who endorsed him, frustrated that universal healthcare is becoming less and less of a possibility. I understand why many of you strongly dislike him. In fact, I could write a whole article about why Joe Biden is a bad candidate with a questionable record and an even more questionable mental state. But, the outcome of the 2020 election is about much more than Biden or Bernie or even the democratic party. 

It’s about defeating Donald Trump. 

I know you’re all probably beyond tired of that mantra at this point. I am too, but hear me out. We can’t let Trump get re-elected, not just because he’s a corrupt liar who has made a mockery of the office of the president for four years, but because having four more years of a Republican in office will prevent our country from progressing in terms of social equity and environmental protections for decades to come, and could lead to a lot of preventable deaths. I am not exaggerating. 

The unfortunate truth is: the planet is dying and so are our Supreme Court justices. 

If you’re of voting age, you’ve likely taken a civics class, so you know about checks and balances and the power of the Supreme Court. For those who need a quick refresher, here it is: Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) justices are appointed by the President and serve life terms, and these justices have the power to rule any law passed by congress or any executive order passed by the President as unconstitutional based on their interpretations of the constitution. In just his first term, Trump has had the privilege of having two justices confirmed — the same number that Obama and Bush were able to nominate despite serving two terms. Like many presidents in recent decades, Trump has not opted for politically-moderate judges, but instead has chosen the very conservative Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Not only are these justices very far to the right, but compared to the average age of the other justices, they’re young, which means that their conservative influence will affect rulings for decades. There are two justices over 80 years old right now: Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who’s had a series of recent ailments and injuries, and Steven Breyer. Both are left-leaning and have served on the court 26 and 25 years respectively. A retirement (or worse) for both is imminent, and, if re-elected, Trump would have the ability to turn the moderately conservative Supreme Court extremely conservative. This will have negative repercussions on the country for decades, opening up the very real possibility of Roe versus Wade being overturned and any attempt at a single-payer healthcare system being ruled unconstitutional. This will prevent Medicare For All and Sanders’ many other progressive policies from being passed in the future because they could be classified as congressional overreach. 

And then, of course, there’s the elephant in the room: Climate Change. 

There’s no stopping it. It’s already here. And the warming climate has already killed hundreds of thousands of people be it through natural disasters made more extreme by increased evaporated moisture in the air; infectious diseases that have spread more rapidly because mosquitoes thrive in warmer climates; droughts, floods, heatwaves  — you name it. We can’t reverse these effects, but we can prevent things from getting worse. And they are going to get much much worse. In the next few years alone, we’ll continue to see rising sea levels on the Northeast coast damage the economy and take lives, longer wildfire seasons destroy California, extreme heat affect health in southern states, and more. Trump has only worsened the problem. In an effort to undo everything that the previous administration has done, he’s undermined many of Obama’s policies that sought to curb climate change and limit pollution. He’s severely weakened regulations on the fossil fuel industry, limited federal funding to climate scientists, reduced the fuel economy standards for cars, and replaced the experts in head positions in environmental agencies with non-experts that have been outwardly critical of the climate change discourse. In total, he’s taken 142 actions towards federal climate deregulation since he became president. And the result? The complete reversal of three years of declining US carbon emissions in a time where doing so is more important than ever. If Trump is re-elected, he will continue to actively worsen the climate, and people who wouldn’t have otherwise died will continue to die until we have someone in office who cares. Biden, despite all of his flaws, cares. We need to take efforts to mitigate the effects and adapt to them, and Biden understands this. Not only does his climate plan embrace clean energy and aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, but also he consistently emphasizes the importance of adaptation through improved internal infrastructure. Under Biden, we will be more prepared for upcoming climate catastrophes and their effects will be much less extreme. Sure, it’s not as comprehensive and radical as Bernie’s plan, but it’s infinitely better than the alternative.

The fact is, not voting for Biden is a vote for Trump. Plain and simple. If you want to delude yourself into thinking that not voting (for whatever reason) is the “moral” thing to do, while ignoring the widespread harm of the incumbent’s policies, be my guest. But then, you would be part of the problem. Biden may not deserve your vote, but when November rolls around, and you’re at the voting station thinking about all of the things that aren’t going to change under his leadership, remember, this isn’t about him. This is about our future.

So, please, don’t stay at home, and don’t #WriteInBernie to spite the DNC. Vote for the candidate that won’t destroy the country and the planet!

 

Sincerely, 

Fellow Sanders supporter (and concerned citizen)

Alana Campbell