Robin Ye: Why Bernie?

Source: The Nation

Robin Ye is UC Dems’ President Emeritus, a fourth-year Public Policy major, and a passionate Bernie supporter. Here’s his opinion on why Democratic voters should choose Bernie:

Why I Support Bernie Sanders

by Robin Ye

I love politics, but I’m so damn tired of it as well. I’m tired of being disparagingly labeled a “millennial” and talked down to because I am young and idealistic. I’m tired of accepting incremental change and being told by the elite few what is or is not possible. I’m tired of the fact our political elections are a sham of a process, when the “invisible primary” picks a winner based on the amount of money she raises and how much the media cares to write about the concrete issues rather than fickle perceptions and horseracing. I’m tired by the fact that in a society with soaring income inequality, stagnant income, mass incarceration, and a xenophobic Republican party, we’re worried about a “socialist” label and his ability to work with an opposition that is refuses to work with anyone.

Bernie Sanders excites me in ways I’ve never felt in my six or so years of political consciousness. For the first time in my political life, Bernie Sanders doesn’t feel like the lesser of two evils. I imagine others felt this way about Barack Obama circa 2008. Bernie Sanders has rejuvenated me because he has called out the suffocating confines of the Democratic and Republican political establishment. He hasn’t been a “Democrat” (though he caucuses with Democrats), but his voting record is a liberal one that’s shown Bernie at the forefront of social and economic equality, holding liberal positions some twenty, thirty years ago that have only become mainstream (re: Same Sex Marriage and LGBT equality). He’s shown incredible foresight with his votes against the Patriot Act, the Iraq War, Wall Street bailouts, the 1996 Welfare Reform Bill to name a few. Democrats who voted for these programs at the time were following popular opinion, fair, but history shows Bernie was a part of the dissenters who saw and called out the dangerous pitfalls of these policies. I believe in what the Senator has always championed: that change is made from the bottom-up, not top-down. I believe now is the time in America when we can have serious discourse about universal healthcare, bolstered public education, and sustainable climate action. I want these ideas discussed because isn’t that what an election should be about – elevated debate about the issues?

I think Secretary Clinton is a qualified and experienced public servant, who would do well operating within our current political system. But that’s just it – we cannot afford to maintain the system we have now, with big business and moneyed interest having disproportionate influence. I care about the environment and the existential threat Climate Change poses to our country and to our citizens. The kind of fight that the next American President needs to wage to begin reversing the effects of Climate Change is mind-boggling: ending fossil fuels (and keeping billions of dollars worth of oil and gas in the ground), trillion dollar investments in climate mitigation, and fighting back two of the largest industries in the country: fossil fuel companies and the banks/investors that finance them (Warren Buffett amongst them). This is a herculean task that Hillary Clinton is incredibly unsuited to fight, let alone unwilling to fight.

You don’t need to have college degree to know when you’re being screwed. And I can love Barack Obama but still feel that the Obama years left far too many behind, and that the status quo just isn’t enough for most people. I criticize my country and its politics, because I love my country – I want my country to be the best it can be. I want my country to be led by President Bernie Sanders.

Read Daniel Jellins’ response for Hillary here!

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2 thoughts on “Robin Ye: Why Bernie?

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