Opinion

Madison should ‘feel the Bern’ this Tuesday

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders stopped at the Kohl Center Sunday for a rally before Wisconsin holds their primary vote. Sanders is currently running against former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

Image By: Jessi Schoville

Last night, the Kohl Center hosted an extremely passionate crowd. A crowd that had gathered as a result of Sen. Bernie Sanders’, I-Vt., campaign rally, one that came only days before the primary on Tuesday. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at this event, and Madison was most definitely “feeling the Bern.”

Sen. Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic socialist, was widely accepted as an underdog in the Democratic primary when he first declared his candidacy. And though he remains behind in delegates, Sen. Sanders could very well be the person still running come November. The Marquette University Law School Poll has Sen. Sanders beating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, and with the campaigning Sen. Sanders has done in the state of Wisconsin, I am siding with the poll. If you’re not already “feeling the Bern,” you may want to start, and I’ll tell you why.

As a college student, woman, minority or any other everyday American, Sen. Sanders should appeal to you. While at the rally, I asked Kyle Casey, a freshman here at UW, why he was supporting Sen. Sanders. He replied, “Showing his face and inviting college students to hear what he has to say shows that he really cares. It shows that he is for the people.” A statement like this is one that I completely agree with. Clinton made her appearance in Madison an invite-only event. It seems as if she has all but given up on the college student crowd.

Now, besides his genuine and inviting nature, there are other reasons why I support Sen. Sanders, and you should consider doing so too. He is the only remaining candidate without a super PAC, and nearly three quarters of his campaign funds have come from donations of $200 or less. His campaign does not answer to, and is not influenced by, multi-millionaire sponsors. It answers to you and me, the everyday American supporting his cause. Sen. Sanders is for the people, and his campaign has been funded by those people whose best interest he is looking out for.

Looking beyond the surface level appeals of free college education and a Medicare-for-all program, both of which are excellent reasons to support Sen. Sanders, there are a number of other issues that he is pledging to address that no other candidate has legitimately touched on.

The first of these is the issue of gender equality. Despite the drastic advances that the United States has made in solving this problem over the last 100 years, gender inequality is still very prominent in both the workplace and social sphere. Women continue to make, on average, roughly 79 cents per every dollar a man makes in the same position. This difference in pay is discriminatory against the brilliant and talented women that are in the United States workforce. This is a problem that Sen. Sanders plans to solve using his Paycheck Fairness Act, making it the law to pay men and women the same amount of money for the same work.

In addition to solving these wage issues, Sen. Sanders has consistently defended women’s rights to control their own bodies. As President, Sen. Sanders would expand the funding for the Title X family planning program, Planned Parenthood and other initiatives to protect women’s health. These are things that I am a strong supporter of, and I hope that you would be as well.

Sen. Sanders is also campaigning to create a livable minimum wage in the United States. He wants to increase the national minimum wage to $15 an hour, decreasing the number of Americans living in poverty. To go along with this, Sen. Sanders would look to strengthen the roles of unions and the voices of working people. These are all things that would increase the quality of life in the United States, and something that you should be able to get behind.

To go along with supporting women and workers, Sen. Sanders supports other racial, religious, or sexually oriented minorities. Sen. Sanders has pledged to fight for the fair treatment of racial minorities in the United States in the justice system, as well as pushing back against the legislature that has been put in place to intentionally make it more difficult for these groups to vote. These are serious issues in the United States and legislation like this interferes with democracy. All people should have equal and fair opportunity in the justice and voting systems.

Additionally, Sen. Sanders is in full support of the LGBT community. At the rally last night he stated: “There are many people out there that think gay people should not have the right to be married. I disagree.” Sen. Sanders has been a long-time supporter of gay marriage. He supported it “before it was cool” to do so, as actress Shailene Woodley stated last night at the rally. Sen. Sanders is a very respectable man for this reason. Everyone should be able to love, regardless of the gender of the person they are in love with. This is an issue, as a straight white male, that I feel very strongly about. No group of people in the United States should be denied a basic civil right.

There are a dozen other good reasons that I can tell you to support Sen. Sanders, but these are the main ones for me. Bernie Sanders is, in my opinion, the most genuine and pure of all the candidates. He cares about the United States of America and its people, and has continuously done so since the beginning of his political career over 30 years ago. However, my thoughts will not control who you vote for on Tuesday. I just hope that you take these things into consideration when heading to the polls. We, as the millennials, are the future of the United States of America, and I encourage you to get out and vote regardless of the candidate you support. I just hope you can support a future to believe in.

Jack is a freshman intending to major in journalism. Did you attend the rally? Send all comments, questions and concerns to opinion@dailycardinal.com.

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