No one can change the world alone.
There are a litany of issues the next president of the United States must face. Right now there are over half a million homeless Americans. Medical debt is a leading cause of bankruptcy, with tens of thousands dying annually because they don’t have health insurance. There are thousands of people currently imprisoned in U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement prisons, the vast majority of whom have no prior criminal conviction.
Looming above it all is the existential threat of global climate change, which will result in unprecedented catastrophe if there is not immediate and radical action.
There is only one candidate running for president who can defeat President Donald Trump and implement a policy agenda that will revitalize the working class, increase access to health care, reform a broken immigration system, and save the planet.
Senator Bernie Sanders.
The Daily Pennsylvanian Editorial Board endorses Sanders (I-Vt.) for the Democratic presidential nomination because he recognizes that in the face of calamity — and in the face of the wealthy and powerful who would seek to continue the status quo — no one can succeed alone. That is why he is building a political revolution.
Sanders has put together a diverse and broad coalition that is made up of and supported by working class Americans. He is not beholden to billionaires and corporations, but rather to the millions of Americans who deserve a fair say in their government and an economy that is not designed for their maximal exploitation. Sanders has been on the side of justice for his entire career: when he stood up for civil rights in the 1960s, when he created a safe haven for LGBTQ people in Burlington, Vt. in the 1980s, and when he voted against the Iraq War in 2002.
Sanders is also the only candidate with a coherent vision for how to enact his policy proposals once in office in the face of immense opposition. He plans to engage directly with the American people to implement his progressive platform by putting pressure on Congress through strikes, protests, and other forms of direct action.
Not only is Sanders the pragmatic choice, but his platform shines above those of other candidates as the best chance to combat climate change and make the economy fair for working people. He is particularly popular among young voters, including many Penn students, because he recognizes that Americans are tired of being told that a better world is not possible.
By comparison, former Vice President Joe Biden's health care proposal would leave millions of Americans uninsured, continuing the devastation caused by the health insurance industry. Biden’s climate plan is also woefully insufficient. In fact, last week 57 climate scientists vouched for the necessity of Sanders’ plan, which calls for the country to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030 and achieve complete decarbonization by 2050, to avert climate catastrophe. Biden’s plan, by contrast, is several decades too slow.
While Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) platform is certainly more progressive than Biden’s, she does not support abolishing ICE, an organization with inhumane immigration policies. Moreover, her timeline for transitioning to Medicare for All risks failure if Democrats do not hold or gain seats in the 2022 midterm elections, as historic precedent would suggest is likely if a Democrat wins the presidency in 2020. Sanders plans to put forward Medicare for All at the outset of his term, which would guarantee health insurance for millions of Americans without reliance on midterm results, protecting them from death or financial ruin.
Electability, not policy, is on the mind of many Democratic voters. This is not surprising, considering the destruction wrought by Trump over the last few years. Concerns about Sanders’ electability are misplaced, and there is strong reason to believe he has the best chance at beating Trump in the general election. Sanders consistently polls well against Trump in vital battleground states like Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and he even polled strongly against Trump in Texas.
Voters will have the opportunity to cast their ballots for many candidates associated with Penn in the 2020 primary and general elections. The Daily Pennsylvanian Editorial Board recommends picking none of them. Not former Presidential Professor of Practice Biden, former Penn Law School professor Warren, or 1968 Wharton graduate Trump.
This is a moment of great urgency. The world does not have another generation to waste with inaction on climate change. This country cannot afford to continue to go bankrupt by giving tax cuts to billionaires and fomenting war. The American people cannot afford to continue to suffer under the oppression of the health insurance industry. The scourge of racist police brutality and bigoted detention and deportation of undocumented people must end.
It is rare in the course of American history that a candidate arises who not only has a platform that is for everyone, but also a clear path to enacting it. If young people in this country want a future to look forward to, they must not allow this opportunity to slip through their fingers.
There are many candidates for president. But there is only one who is on our side.
Editorials represent the majority view of members of The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. Editorial Board, which meets regularly to discuss issues relevant to Penn's campus. Participants in these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on related topics.