Even If You Can’t Vote Your Top Choice, Voting Is Still A Privilege And Your Responsibility

By Sarah Bale

I woke up on April 8in the midst of a pandemic to the news that Senator Bernie Sanders was ending his campaign for the 2020 presidential election. Soon after, floods of individuals on social media stated that they will not vote in the November election because Sanders is not the Democratic nominee. Additionally, #WriteinBernie was one of Twitter’s top trends. In the eyes of many, Bernie Sanders is an American hero who shed light on many progressive ideas. I applaud Sanders for being a dignified and outspoken leader throughout these dark times. Yet, we cannot let this loss further divide our country. We desperately need the Democratic Party to come together now more than ever to defeat whom I believe to be the true threat to America, President Donald Trump. Writing in Sanders’ name as a third-party candidate will most likely be a vote for Trump. As stated by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, unity is a process. But, unity seems necessary to me right now. Especially in this time of crisis. 

I understand the ill sentiments towards Joe Biden. Yet, giving up your right to vote is your privilege. Would you feel the same apathy if you were directly impacted by Trump’s policies? It is clear that “for low-income people in Louisiana and Kentucky, the stakes of elections between moderate Democrats and far-right Republicans can be life and death,” according to journalist Eric Levitz. 

The handful of policies that we support are the ones impacting the lives of oppressed groups of people. According to New York Magazine, “the tens of thousands of Americans who’ve secured Medicaid as a result of Democrats beating Republicans in elections are worth fighting for; as are the Virginians who will no longer have to ration their insulin because Ralph Northam beat Ed Gillespie; as are the undocumented New Yorkers who can now drive legally because Andrew Cuomo beat Marc Molinaro. To abstain from two-party competition in the contemporary United States is to forfeit ripe opportunities to improve the lives of our nation’s most vulnerable people.” 

We must take these factors into consideration before making the decision not to vote in November. 

You are not just voting for the President of the United States. Many other governmental positions depend on the President. If President Trump is elected for another four years, he may get to nominate another justice to the Supreme Court of the United States. When I cast my vote in November, I will be hoping that Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be able to retire in peace after all she has done for this country. Nick Jack Pappas highlighted this issue on Twitter by stating, “the Presidency is more than one person. You don’t like Biden? Fine. But how do you feel about Trump’s cabinet? Would you prefer Mike Pence or Biden’s VP? How do you feel about Trump’s Supreme Court?”

 It is necessary to understand how much is at stake during the 2020 election. 

When I go to the polls in November, I’m going to vote for the children who died in cages at our border because of the Trump administration. I’m going to vote for women to have control over their own bodies as reproductive rights continue to be attacked by the Trump administration. I am going to vote for my children’s futures because the Trump administration continues to deny the existential threat of climate change. 

The fate of our democracy lies in your hands. I ask that you exercise your Constitutional right to vote in November. Many lives depend on it. The fact is, if you care about people of color, immigrants, women’s rights and LGBTQ rights, you’ll vote for Biden. Otherwise, you are supporting the oppression of marginalized communities and  are allowing four more years of President Trump.

References 

Levitz, E. (2020, March 11). Joe Biden Is a Tool (But Progressives Can Use Him). Retrieved April 18, 2020, from https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/why-bernie-sanders-supporters-must-vote-for-joe-biden.html

Pappas, Nick [@Pappiness]. (2020, April). Twitter. https://twitter.com/Pappiness/status/1247944785039507456

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