By Ben Goldberger —
Bernie Sanders brought the 2020 presidential election back to the forefront of Americans’ minds after he announced the termination of his presidential campaign April 8. This paves the way for the democratic nomination for Joe Biden and almost guarantees we will see a Biden versus Trump battle for the presidency.
Sanders spoke to many of the underlying issues in society today that affect a vast amount of people, and built a strong base of young, diverse supporters, especially college-age voters in the process. Many Democrats are devastated by his resignation, seeing their two choices return to the norm for American politics: old, rich, white men.
This disappointment is leading many of Sanders’ supporters to either vote third party in the presidential election or not vote at all. While this frustration with the current political system and democratic party is valid, voting third party or restraining from voting will only further the systematic struggles that Sanders’ fought so hard to combat.
Let’s be honest, a third-party candidate will not win any election in the current political scene, especially the most important presidential election in recent history. The two-party dominant political system is not the best system by any means, and third parties allow for vaster representation in politics, but this is not the election to protest this system.
While it is easy to look at the two major-party candidates for this election and find issues with them both, this election is about more than just the candidates.
For starters, it is likely that at least one or two Supreme Court seats will open up within the next four years. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, a Supreme Court Justice known to lean democratic in her decisions, has faced multiple health complications throughout this year. Along with fellow Justice Stephen Breyer, also over 80 years old, are likely to resign in the next coming years.
This means that whatever party is in charge could change the balance of the Supreme Court for years to come.
Another issue to consider is the rapidly decreasing health of our planet.
In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report that said if the global temperature does not decrease by 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040, the Earth will reach past the point of return, leading to a state of inhabitability.
The current administration has not made saving the environment a priority, enacting or removing laws in order to benefit businesses over sustainability.
The next administration to take office will set the tone for how this country acts towards environmental justice and will either start to make progress that will keep this planet livable or worsen the situation and decrease the time until Earth is no longer habitable.
2040 may seem far away, but it is much closer than it feels. Children who started kindergarten last fall will be seniors in high school in 2032, only eight years until the point of no return.
This is an extremely pressing issue, and this election will decide the fate of the planet, and the fate of future generations.
Despite all of this, many supporters of past democratic candidates cannot bring themselves to vote for Biden, because they see the similarities between him and Trump. While voters should not condone his past behavior by any means, they also should not let the disappointing choices of candidates deter them from what this election is truly about.
This election is not about one candidate or the other. It is about which party gets control over the Supreme Court for upwards of 25 years to come, altering decisions like reproductive justice, LGBTQIA+ equality, transgender rights and racial justice to name a few.
It is about making a larger effort to save the environment before it is too late. It is about making a greater life for the upcoming generations.
Even if neither of the two dominant candidates represents voters’ beliefs entirely, people should vote for the candidate who will pass the most policies that they agree with.
Biden is definitely a step back into traditional politics, but if Sanders supporters want even a speck of what Bernie stood for to become a reality in the next four years, they should put their personal pride aside and vote for the democratic candidate.
Baby steps will still move us forward.
File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal