Content Warning: mention of sexual assault
After Sen. Bernie Sanders ended his presidential campaign on April 7, young liberals on Twitter analyzed the current horror facing Democrats: whether to vote for President Donald Trump or Vice President Joe Biden. Many tweets claimed that they refused to vote for Trump or Biden and would rather stay home than see Trump fall from office.
Leftist Twitter is wrong.
Make no mistake. I abhor Biden to the furthest extent. He’s the picture boy for casually racist boomers everywhere. He engenders capitalism, inheritance and elitism. His policies do not go far enough for the millions of people without healthcare or the dying environment at the hands of people like him. Still, Democrats must vote for him.
Although Biden and Trump are both “racist, rapist Republicans,” as coined by Twitter, treating them as the same person is dangerous rhetoric. These two candidates are actually quite different from each other — likely the most different we’ve ever seen in recent history. Because of Sanders’ dedicated supporters, we have one of the most progressive candidates ever running against one of the most conservative.
I detest Biden’s history and even current policies, but there’s no other choice. Twitter claims that a revolution must take place and that we must overthrow the government, but a coup is completely impossible during the year of COVID-19. Such a dramatic act would be highly unfavorable for a majority of the country, especially for Biden supporters.
Plus, I doubt young people would actually show up, just like how they didn’t show up for Sanders during the primaries. Therefore, the answer from liberals is to completely stay at home and hand Trump his second term.
Countless posts on Twitter claim that voting “blue no matter who” is white privilege; to them, voting for Biden is a morally reprehensible act. While I agree that ignorantly voting for Democrats can be dangerous, I wonder what these Tweets hope to accomplish for the vulnerable people in this country whom they claim to be protecting with their strategy of staying at home.
I have no ability to discuss what is white privilege or not, but I have a few problems with people pretending they’re protecting minorities by not voting. It is laughable that people assume Sanders could deliver even half of his policies.
Congress, whether Republican or Democrat, would never vote for nationalizing healthcare, closing private prisons or tackling big pharma. Neither Democrats nor Republicans have ever helped racial minorities in any major way, and it’s silly to think Sanders could help even if he wanted to.
If liberals wanted big policy changes, they’d be out on the front lines for all senatorial races, because senators are perhaps the most powerful political figures in the country, especially compared to the president.
I also find it difficult to believe that liberals somehow know what minorities want and what’s good for them. As writer Evan Faas wrote for The Messenger, black people voted for Biden over Sanders during the primaries. Black people already chose Biden as the man best prepared to help their community.
Not voting is a privilege in this election. For the wealthy or white or all of the above, staying at home because Biden is a rapist, while in one way is noble, will cause serious extended peril for the people genuinely affected by Trump’s policies.
I am tired of pretending Biden and Trump are the same. No doubt, they both suck and represent a part of America that is shameful, out of touch and just plain bigoted, but Biden will provide relief for children in cages at the border, our dying planet and schools imapacted by Education Secretary Betsy Devos. No matter how much liberals love to say they’re the same, Biden would be held to an incredibly higher standard. It is impossible for him to continue Trump’s policies. Republicans and Democrats alike would shut him down.
Presidents can never do much to fix the country. Biden can’t end xenophobia in this country, and neither can Sanders. Biden can’t end the school-to-prison pipeline for black kids or end school shootings. However, the small victories that Biden can accomplish do matter. The smallest improvements are miracles because the truth is that Biden will help this country more than Trump will.
Biden is the most progressive candidate in recent history. Sanders and his insistent supporters helped change the landscape of modern politics in America. I understand if anyone who has been raped or anyone who suffered at the hands of Vice President Biden doesn’t want to vote, but a vote for Biden is better than a vote for Trump, and staying at home is a vote for Trump.
The primaries are over. Sanders can’t win. Liberals didn’t care enough during the primaries to give Sanders the nomination, and there is no way that protesting is possible during a pandemic. There are only two choices: Biden and Trump. Liberals need to vote for Biden on behalf of the vulnerable people whom they claim to care about.
Karen Larionova ’23 is from Eden Prairie, MN. Her majors are English and Russian.