Why I Voted For Bernie Sanders

When voting in my first presidential primary in 2016 I voted for Bernie Sanders in Rhode Island, he won the state. I was 22 at the time, was going to Northeastern, and didn't follow politics too closely. I recently voted in my second presidential primary and I again voted for Bernie Sanders.

I follow politics pretty closely now, I listen to every FiveThirtyEight podcast, I read the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Stranger, I watch political commentators on YouTube and Twitch, and I've also read every candidate's website, not once, but twice. Through all of that Bernie Sanders is the candidate that makes the most sense for me. One major thought for me is the political theory called the Overton window.

The Overton window is the range of policies politically acceptable to the mainstream population at a given time. The term is named after Joseph P. Overton, who stated that an idea's political viability depends mainly on whether  it falls within this range, rather than on politicians' individual  preferences. According to Overton, the window frames the range of policies that a politician can recommend without appearing too extreme to gain or keep public office given the climate of public opinion at that time.

I believe that Bernie Sanders has helped shift the Overton window to the left. a single payer Medicare for All system, making public college free for all and cancelling all student debt, supporting the Green New Deal, breaking up big monopolies. These ideas wouldn't be talked about on the national stage without Bernie Sanders. These ideas started in 2016 and they've become even more important now in 2020. I appreciate that consistency, I appreciate sticking to what you know is right.

Yes, I do fall into the Bernie Sanders supporter stereotype. I am a young person, who has student loan debt. I am too idealistic and not realistic. But I believe that ideas is what drives progress. We say shoot for the moon and even if you miss you'll land among the stars. I believe Bernie Sanders is trying to do that. The Democratic party says they would like everyone to have health care, they say they would like everyone to be able to get a quality education, they say they want to stop climate change. I think Bernie Sanders is the only one saying it loud enough, it's his top priority.

His campaign slogan, "Not me. Us." truly focuses on what is important in politics. It's not only about the person at the top. It's mostly about everyone else. When Obama was president I was young but believed that he would be the one to fix things. He did help fix some things but Obama didn't fix everything. There's a lot of things left to do and it's up to us to fix them. Not Bernie Sanders himself, us. This is why I've started to get involved locally, voting in local elections, reading about local issues, meeting with my local councilmember.

In my second presidential general election I voted for Hillary Clinton, I knew Trump would be an awful person to have as president. He exemplifies the worst qualities of America. Hillary Clinton was a well qualified, well educated, well respected candidate and was happy to vote for her. Whoever the Democratic nominee is in November I will be happy to vote for as well. They will be well qualified, well educated, and well respected. They will respect the ideals America claims to be built upon.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

These are ideas. In 1776 a man like me wouldn't be treated like I was "created equal" to others. In 2015 we finally allowed LGBTQ+ people to fully pursue their happiness in being allowed to marry. We still have a long way to go and I believe Bernie Sanders is the best one to take us there.