Today is Super Tuesday, and I’ll be casting my vote in Texas for the primaries. While I’ve not been vocal in my political opinions, I have made it somewhat apparent who my preferred candidate is.
I never used to be political. I wanted to avoid it altogether because I hated everything about it. I saw the flaws in the system and saw the way it polarized even the most rational of people, and I decided that, for the sake of my mental health, I wanted no part in something that seemed irreparable. So what changed for me?
Simply put, I discovered Bernie Sanders. Suddenly, I heard a candidate talking about the things I believed in with a campaign that focused less on fixing the world and first on fixing ourselves. And that candidate was a distinct possibility because despite the man’s age, he has reached out to the generations that hold this country’s future by simply showing us that he’s “with the times,” as it were. I mean, basically crowdfunding an entire presidential campaign? More than that, he’s simply proven himself with candid honesty and unwavering stances on the issues he cares about.
Is he flawed? Of course. No candidate is ever perfect, but there are so many reasons why I desperately want this man representing my country and not Hilary Clinton. And what is it about Hilary that turns me off again when she’s saying almost all the same things? Aside from the fact that I’m offended by part of her campaign actually shaming women into voting for her, aside from the fact that she spends more time talking about her presidency as an extension of Bill’s and not something progressive, aside from the loads of big money being thrown at her and controlling her voice, I just don’t trust her. While we’re all allowed to change our opinions as we grow, the way in which her opinions have shifted, as if to manipulate the masses into her following, is vile to me. And that shaming women thing for not supporting a woman is really offensive.
It’s also terrifying to think that there are a large number of people that will not be voting in the election if Bernie does not get the nomination, which would mean the possibility of a Trump or GOP presidency, because so many people also don’t trust Hilary. In my eyes, Bernie needs to be the candidate for the Democratic party. He needs to be the president.
I don’t really care who anyone else votes for, in the end. We are all welcome to our own opinions, and we have the right to support the candidate we believe in. But allow me to finish making the case for Bernie, and if you’re voting today, keep in mind why you’ll be choosing the candidate you do.
One complaint against him I see is his lacking stance on foreign policy. For some reason, America is really caught up on this idea that, at any given moment, the world is going to turn against us and blow us up. I can’t imagine why that is, really (note: sarcasm,) but back when I was a Christian, there was a bible verse that appealed to me, and it’s one I still see value in today. It was Matthew 7:5, and it read “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” I can’t help but see this as the very nature of Bernie’s campaign. Our government is flawed, our country and economy are broken, and it’s time for us to stop piddling overseas and start fixing what needs our attention here. The world will always be out there, doing its own thing, but we never know how much longer we have. If we’re convinced the world hates us, then it’s better to die trying to fix ourselves and grow than die as this target of everyone’s ire.
The other argument against Bernie I’ve seen is that his ideas are too radical and impossible to achieve. Again, I’m just going to quote something that I took from childhood and continue to try and live by today. There was this ginger woman with a bus that I think my entire generation knows by name, and that woman had a catchphrase to encourage children to learn. Do you remember it? “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!” Sure, Bernie’s ideas sound crazy, but how are we supposed to know they don’t work without just fucking trying? I’m tired of our approach to change being timid and cautious. We might as well try something new and crazy just on the slight possibility that something will change than looking like cowards with our baby steps. We shouldn’t even call them baby steps anymore because once kids learn to stand, they’re ready to fall flat on their faces to learn to run.
Today, if you’re voting, vote for who you choose, but make sure you’re doing it for reasons you truly believe and not because you feel obligated to one candidate or another. Forget party, forget sex, forget gender, forget race. Forget all of that, and choose the candidate that makes you believe in America’s future.