I didn’t vote in the 2012 election. I was eligible, but I genuinely believed (at the time), that as a liberal in a very conservative red dirt Oklahoma, my vote wouldn’t amount to much. I’m not certain if that was true then, but I’m fairly certain it’s not true now.
Bernie Sanders is, at his worst, enigmatic, and at his best, the most essentially radical and different candidate since the United States gained its independence. Having gone at this whole life thing for the first time, I can’t tell you with any admirable clarity whether I am simply becoming more politically astute or rather the political system is simply becoming more transparent.
The majority of people my age — those in their early twenties — seem ambivalent about who they are voting for. This isn’t their fault. If anything, I blame the candidates: Republican and Democrat alike, for not being clear about what their values are and what their plans as President of the United States might be. I’d like to take a few paragraphs to simplify some of Sanders’ more prevalent stances in a manner that is neither political nor mystifying in hopes that you’ll understand why I am voting for Sanders.
- Care for Veterans: I believe one of our sacred duties as a citizen of any sovereign nation is the care of those who have cared for us. There are few, if any, that are more deserving of care than the soldiers and veterans of our armed forces. The United States has a long and terrible history of being unable to properly administer the proper care for those that have served in the line of duty, and Sanders has repeatedly admitted that this is a gross and disturbing trend in our current political sphere. Quoted from Bernie Sanders’ website:
“1. (To) fully fund and expand the VA so that every veteran gets the care that he or she has earned and deserves.
2. Expand mental health service for Veterans.
3. Make comprehensive dental care available to all veterans at the VA.”
Those less interested in politics might ask: “But how would that work?” As no genuine student of political science (my degree is in biochemistry!), I can only offer the most meager of educated guesses. Taxation.Suppose the following prompt were one day offered to you at work: Would you agree to the federal government taking 3% of your paycheck, every paycheck, for the care of veterans? 3% is a seemingly benign number, but veterans are a surprisingly small minority in our nation. If you would agree to the following, then Bernie Sanders’ stance on care for veterans might be for you.
- Living Wage: This issue hits closest to me, so any bias here is both inevitable and intentional. Bernie Sanders is the only candidate for either party that currently advocates for the federal minimum wage in the United States to be increased to $15 an hour. A tweet from Bernie Sanders very succinctly put it: Nobody who works 40 hours a week should live in poverty.This issue requires no taxation, no grandiose change to the political spectrum. It means businesses no longer holding ransom millions of dollars of profit from the employees that help generate that revenue. My belief here is very concise: If your business model cannot afford to pay your employees a living wage, your business model is flawed.
The owners of Wal-Mart, the Walton family, are worth $136,000,000,000. That’s 136 billion dollars. The majority (meaning at least 50%) of their employees qualify for food stamps and Medicaid.
These are only two of Sanders opinions on the issues, and you can find the rest here: https://berniesanders.com/issues/. If nothing else, seek out those candidates that interest you. Research them. Do not limit yourself to the snapshots and headlines of local and national news.
Educate yourself, for someone that can vote that isn’t educated about the issues is a wasted vote. Once, I was a wasted vote. Don’t follow in my footsteps.
Bonne journeés, mes amis.