The Spectrum Endorsement: Bernie Sanders

This Tuesday, Massachusetts will head to the polls, part of the Super Tuesday contest in which ⅓ of total delegates in the Democratic primary will be allocated. The thing on everyone’s mind: which candidate can take on the current occupant of the Oval Office? Each candidate has their own answer for their supremacy in that regard- experience, Midwestern appeal, billions in personal wealth, youth- but only one candidate promises to better life for regular Americans through a bold agenda of progressive legislation. Only one candidate embraces a political revolution to bring America up to speed with the rest of the world. And that candidate is the 78-year old Senator from Vermont, Bernard Sanders. 

The reasons for a board of high schoolers to Feel the Bern are clear. Among his slate of education policies is raising teacher salaries to a $60,000/yr minimum. In a district where teachers are protesting outside of the School Department and some TA’s are taking on second jobs to make ends meet, raising teacher salaries to reflect the life-changing work they do is vital. He also has plans to make public college tuition-free, and eliminate crushing student loan debt. Either of these items would make college more accessible for generations present and future, and eliminating debt would free up the economic burden that, in all likelihood, many families in this town carry. Don’t worry about the scary “How will we pay for it?” question: Sanders has released a plan for funding all his major policies, including these. For us, the ones grappling with how educational aspirations can square with harsh economic realities, can we afford not to radically alter the current situation?

Other policies would benefit high schoolers, families, and people across the world. His Green New Deal plan to combat climate change would take the U.S. economy from fossil fuel-reliant to fully renewable, modernize the country’s infrastructure, and fund environmental protection and conservation projects, reversing course from the current administration’s denial. The plan is an investment in our future, and scientists say that we can afford no less than radical action at this point. Candidates offering a middle ground between denial and bold action are offering death, make no mistake.

Worried about ‘socialism’? I can’t say I blame you. We’ve grown up hearing those with positions of power in media and government tell scary stories about Venezuela, the Soviet Union, and elsewhere. But zoom out for a second. These people rarely acknowledge that Bernie Sanders (and other progressive Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) have never once advocated for those countries or their corrupt, authoritarian systems. All they want is the same country we have today, but with stronger, government-funded social support. Bernie sees himself as a modern FDR, whose package of bold reforms brought about the most popular programs in the country (including Social Security and Medicare) and brought millions of people out of life-threatening poverty. Think of Bernie like that, if it pleases you. And educate yourself, your families and the others around you. This election is too important to ignore, and the choice ahead is tough. But when you look at who will fight for you, the answer becomes clear.The Spectrum