ESPOSITO: Sanders supporters, youth cannot give up now
When Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) announced the suspension of his presidential campaign last week, it was met with an uproar from Generation Z.
The young people, who Democrats have been trying to mobilize to vote for decades, were captured by the promises and progressive ideas of Sanders. They rallied around Sanders and, for a moment, it seemed like the next generation was going to show up and show out. Though Sanders has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for President in the wake of the end of his campaign, the young people refuse to rally around another clean-cut run-of-the-mill politician.
All over social media, Sanders’s ride-or-dies have been rallying behind him, even with his resignation, asking people to still write him in and not wavering on their allegiance.
Sanders and his campaign were a symbol of real change, a new generation of universal healthcare, human rights and equality for all. But real change does not happen overnight. And without voting or writing Sanders in regardless, that is the equivalent of throwing in the towel.
Sanders has announced that he will do everything in his power to ensure that Biden will be in the White House come next term and urges his supporters to do the same. While Sanders wanted a political revolution and Biden campaigned for a presidential term that resembled the Obama era, he was still very quick to endorse Biden, saying he will do everything he can to get Biden into office. And the Bernie Bros are not ready to comply.
A lot of them feel that with Sanders being so quick to endorse Biden, they will lose out on possible concessions from Biden in order to gain Sanders’s supporters. And a lot of them feel that regardless of Sanders's support, they will not show up and show out for Biden in this election. And that is how the Democrats will lose again.
The most reliable voters are senior citizens. They have been proven time and time again to show up and vote, having a large part in determining who wins elections on all levels. But for a second, when it looked like Sanders had a shot, a shot in the primaries, a shot in the election, a shot in the Oval Office, it was met with a roar from Generation Z. A promise of a new age of equality, a new age of caring about each other and the world around us. Kids my age were passionate about politics for what seemed like the first time.
But now that Sanders is out and Biden is in, that fire seems to be lost. And my response to that is: Do not give up. Do not give up the fire we almost had in the midterm elections, the fire we almost had this time around in the battle for the next leader of our country.
Writing in Sanders when he has stepped off the campaign trail is giving up. Refusing to vote because the candidate you wanted is no longer in play is giving up. It is expected that young people are unreliable voters. That is why very rarely, politicians advertise to them. Our voices, though they are bold on Twitter, loud on Facebook, are silent where it counts: the voting booth.
So do not vote for Biden if you do not like him. Vote for yourselves. Young people are written off in elections due to our unpredictability and lack of civic engagement. But if we show up and show out, for the first time, politicians will start listening. They will listen to what we want, and maybe, once they realize that this generation is a generation to be reckoned with, they will give it to us.
Do not vote for Biden. Vote for choice. Vote for the environment. Vote for a step in the right direction to what we want. Change does not happen overnight. But it starts with participation. It starts with action. It starts with the youth.
Laura Esposito is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in journalism and political science. Her column, "Unapologetically," runs on alternate Tuesdays.
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