Extinguishing the Bern: What It Means for Millennials

On April 8th, 2020, Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders dropped out of the election due to lack of support during the Democratic primary. Interestingly, Sanders won about 29 percent more votes among those under the age of 30 by not only getting endorsements from major Millennial and Gen-Z influencers such as Cardi B and Ariana Grande, but by focusing on crucial policies important to their values which were ignored for years. One of Sanders’ key policies was free education which garnered a large following because 83% of all Americans cannot afford college. Millennials and Gen-Zers feel the pressure to go to college to succeed, but this goal typically ends in lifelong debt.

Another issue Sanders focused on was his “Jobs for All” program, which ensures stable jobs with decent wages. Those who are already in debt from school need security in ensuring they can pay back their debts. His focus on these two significant policies, as well as aiming his campaign at funding Historically Black Colleges and Universities, criminal justice reform, the legalization of marijuana, women’s rights and supporting public education made Sanders the perfect candidate for Millennials and Gen-Z, so with Bernie dropping out of the race, where does this leave young voters?

Young voters still have a voice in this election. Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, has expressed his desire to get Sanders supporters to on his side. Young voters must realize that while Biden’s primary focus is very different from Sanders, he also has similar values, such as women’s rights, public education, criminal justice reform, and student loan debt. They must also realize that most of the policies Biden wants to implement will be changed to meet the majority needs by the other branches of government. They must, most importantly, realize what is at stake if they cannot find common ground with Biden.

If the young voters refuse to get out and vote for Biden, then President Trump will secure the presidency for the second time and continue to create problems. 15% of Sanders supporters said they would vote for Trump if they could not vote for Sanders to keep Biden out of office. This is alarming considering Biden is working on many of the same issues Sanders worked on while Trump is doing the complete opposite.

If another 4 years of Trump were to take place, the Black community will be further affected. In 2019, Trump blocked funds for Planned Parenthood which removed OB/GYN services away from many minorities such as Black Americans, Asian Americans and Latinx communities. The President views Planned Parenthood as a one stop abortion shop when, in fact, it provides services to minorities who cannot afford it. Many high school girls use Planned Parenthood as a source of birth control and menstrual products so they can effectively participate in school without the symptoms of menstrual cycles. On average, 1 in 5 girls miss school because they do not have access to menstrual products.

If we allow Trump to rule for another four years, it could lead to starving millions of women and children as he continues to cut WIC and take away healthcare for minorities. Instead of being stubborn, young voters should write to Biden via his website that also holds many other ways to get involved with making his campaign a success. Most importantly, they should give him a chance by watching old debates, following him on social media, and watching upcoming speeches because America can’t afford to make the same mistake twice.

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