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This November, citizens all across the country will come together to elect our nation’s next leader. As a high school senior, I have the opportunity to give my input; As little as my vote may seem, every vote counts. I have never really been actively involved in politics until this past year as I was approaching my 18th birthday. I started watching presidential debates involving both parties so I had a better idea of what my options were.
When I went downtown to register to vote, I chose to be known as a Democrat. The more liberal social views, opinions on immigration, and the way I saw my parents’ reaction to certain issues is what made me lean more towards the Democratic Party. After weighing my choices for Presidential candidate, I have chosen to back Bernie Sanders. His liberal views match seamlessly with mine, and his views on gun policy, immigration and taxes go along with my own.
His past is really what influenced me, though, along with how he reacts to certain situations that arise during his campaigning process. In Sanders’ past he was a civil rights activist. There are pictures of him chained to African Americans in protest during the 1960s because he believed in an equal country, and he supported desegregation. During one of his speeches in Chicago this past year, two African American girls rushed the stage to speak their minds. Instead of stopping the two girls who interrupted his speech, Sanders sat back and listened to what they had to say. This is in sharp contrast to Donald Trump, whose staff has been documented actually assaulting protesters. Sanders, to me, actually care about what citizens think, and he is civil to them.
Coming from a family who is very open-minded, extremely accepting, and not very religious, it is very important to me that I vote for the candidate who shares my same values. Although I don’t agree with raising the minimum wage, almost all of the issues he addresses I can stand by and support. Sanders believe in helping people. He wants to have free access to college, which I agree with. I feel like if you want to go to college, after years of being forced to go to school, it shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg to go. If you make the choice to further your education then it should be provided. He also believes strongly in government assistance to those in need. I will admit that some people on assistance do cheat the system, but I’d say 95% of the people actually cannot work, and they do need this help in order to survive.
Something that scares people is that Bernie is known as a Democratic Socialist.
He models himself politically after Franklin D. Roosevelt—the president who created social programs like Medicare and Social Security. The U.S. does not have economic equality, and this is shown in his economic proposals. The bottom and middle class have to rise to create a healthy Capitalist system.
If we want things to change in this country, we have to recognize that economic inequality and poverty are the core causes for violence and crime. When a whole segment of the population is disillusioned, when they cannot provide for their families no matter how hard they work, and when they can’t afford to get sick or can’t get an education to improve their situation, what else are they supposed to feel?
The happiest country in the world is Finland. Their government provides free college and health care for all using universal health care. Sanders believe in the idea of universal health care, and he wants people to have the same coverage as people who are out in the work place, also regulating health care companies. This would not only help the American people live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives, but it would also promote innovation and entrepreneurship in every sector of the economy. People would be able to start new businesses, stay home with their children, or leave jobs they don’t like knowing that they would still have health care coverage for themselves and their families.
I also back Sanders because he is the exact opposite of Donald Trump who is a prime example of ignorant, foul mouthed, spoiled, inconsiderate, and racist people who sadly still exist in 2016. The fact he is trying to build a wall and kick out the people that helped build this country is outstandingly ignorant and racist; I don’t understand how someone could vote for such a man. Bernie Sanders specifically states, “We’re here to discuss how our country comes together to, among other things, make sure that 11 million undocumented people in our country no longer have to live in the shadows, no longer have to live in fear, but can live in security and dignity.” He understands the Mexican government is flawed, and it’s hard to get legal status in America as it takes years to become a citizen. He knows the Hispanic race works very hard for barely any money, yet still don’t complain. Ask yourself if you can honestly vote for a man like Trump who wants to label all Muslims to have IDs like the yellow stars Jews had during WWII. Ask yourself if you can vote for a man, when brought to his attention about his followers’ violent acts on a homeless man, responds “My followers are just passionate.”
Although I don’t stand with Sanders on every single issue he addresses, I will vote for him this November. He shows hard work, acceptance and understanding; He shows that he cares about America as a whole, not just a certain race. If you turn 18 before April and haven’t registered yet, please register for the party of your choice, and do the research to pick the right candidate for you. You may not think you matter much but every vote counts. Even yours.