Bernie 2020

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Illustration by Ella Apuntar

The United States is in political turmoil. Divisions within our country are growing deeper. We need dramatic change, and we need it now. 

Our next president must possess an unwavering commitment to fight for basic human rights, which our current president has abused since he took office. To City on a Hill Press, the candidate capable of reforming the U.S. political system is Bernie Sanders. 

After falling short in his 2016 bid for president, Senator Sanders now leads the 2020 field heading into the Nevada caucuses. Still championing signature policies such as Medicare for All and tuition-free public college, the Vermont senator’s campaign is a juggernaut — relying on a vast network of supporters to raise money and knock on doors. 

As in 2016, the U.S. is drowning in a deluge of economic, social and environmental problems, which have only been exacerbated by the Trump administration. These problems call for comprehensive solutions that recognize their interconnectedness. 

Sanders is the candidate with these solutions. 

His Green New Deal commits the most resources and sets the strictest timeline for combating the climate crisis, compared to other Democratic candidates. He has stayed true to Medicare for All, something that can’t be said of other candidates, and continues to support the cancellation of all student loan debt. Sanders plans to alleviate the nationwide housing crisis by building 10 million affordable housing units and implementing a “just cause” requirement for evictions. 

Sitting at the core of his policies is the simple belief that no profit should be made off human misery, and that a just government is one that guarantees basic services to its citizens. 

Clearly, his message struck a chord. At a time of record income and wealth inequality, unbearable medical costs, rising costs of living and stagnant wages, Americans are desperate for a new path. Sanders has received over 6 million donations from over 1.8 million donors, and had an army of volunteers in both Iowa and New Hampshire. In one weekend alone, volunteers canvassed half of New Hampshire’s houses.

His overarching message, taking on the rich and powerful, is reflected in his policies to strengthen unions, expand social security and other welfare benefits, tax the rich and end corporate influence in elections and legislating. But it can also be seen in more indirect ways, like in his anti-war foreign policy, which would take on the military–industrial complex, and in his criminal justice plan, which would ban for-profit prisons and end the War on Drugs. 

Not only are Sanders’ policy prescriptions the most exhaustive of the Democratic presidential candidates, but he’s also best positioned to beat Donald Trump in November. 

Trump, who largely drew his strength in 2016 from disaffected voters who were hungry for an anti-establishment candidate, would struggle against Sanders. Without an establishment foil to rag on and facing a candidate who resonates with suffering Americans, Trump could find himself at a disadvantage. 

The enthusiasm of Sanders’ supporters would also give him an edge in the general election. During Presidents Day weekend alone, he spoke to over 50,000 people at rallies across five states. Over one million people signed up to be volunteers for the campaign, a manifestation of the immense grassroots support the senator has garnered. 

So, as Bernie Sanders asked his record-setting crowd of 26,000 in Queens, New York last fall, City on a Hill Press now asks you: “Are you willing to fight for someone you don’t know? Are you willing to fight for that person, who you don’t even know, as much as you’re willing to fight for yourself?”