B&G: Joe Biden vs. Bernie Sanders – who should have won the Democratic nomination?

April 29, 2020

Many voters are disappointed after Sanders dropped out of the 2020 Democratic primary, but that doesn’t mean he never stood a chance. The primary came to a close with only Biden and Sanders left, so who should have ultimately won? Read both sides to learn more:

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Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sander speaks at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum in Des Moines, Iowa on Aug. 10 to advocate for gun safety.

Think again America, Sanders’s radical plans are what we need right now

The media and public are searching for a nominee that can beat Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Biden is praised for this in that he claims his platform has centrist policies whereas Sanders is considered to be a far-leftist, eventually leading to Sanders’s downfall as he dropped out on April 8, 2020. However, what America needs to realize is that Sanders’s policies are representative of what other first world countries already have and is why he should have won the nomination. 

Democrats believe that Sanders has deviated away from the true ideals of the Democratic Party. However, his platform, as stated on his website, included LGBTQ+ rights, gun control and the Green New Deal, among others all of which are the main fighting points of the Party. What makes Sanders stand out as a “far-left liberal socialist” are his popularized stances on Medicare-for-All and free public college. As radical as these ideas may seem to some, they are systems that have already been implemented in many parts of the developed world with widespread success.

Many argue that universal healthcare is not financially feasible, leads to longer wait times, or decreases crucial research. However, according to the Commonwealth Fund, a research group on healthcare policy, the United States spends approximately over $10,000 per capita on healthcare and has an overall worse healthcare system than Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom—all of which have universal healthcare at much lower costs. Universal Healthcare is not meant to bankrupt the country, but instead provide necessary healthcare to those who cannot work, do not have medical facilities nearby that accept their insurance and those who avoid seeking crucial care and medication out of fear of the extremely high costs.

Attaining a higher education has become increasingly important. According to Inside Higher Ed, in 2016 about 70 percent of high school graduates immediately went to college. However, the costs have also skyrocketed and according to Investopedia, in 2018 the average student loan reached an all-time high of $35,000. As a result, approximately 45 million Americans owe about $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. Even worse, these figures will only continue to grow as younger generations continue this trend of piling on debt which will follow them for the rest of their life.

The solution to this national crisis is Sanders’ tuition-free public college plan which would cancel and lower the interest rates for crippling student loans. All of these initiatives would put a huge dent in America’s student loan crisis and ensure that it never occurs again in the future. Once again, other countries already have either free or low-cost college tuition. A 2017 study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that the US has the highest average tuition costs of the 35 OECD member countries at about $8,000 per year.

Regardless of what certain issues are labeled as, Sanders’s influence has shifted the moderate stance to be far more leftist than previous years’ nominees. He has influenced everything from the wealth tax to climate change. For example, Biden’s proposed tax increases of about $3.4 trillion over a decade are more than double what Clinton was advocating in 2016, while Buttigieg’s were more than quadruple according to a New York Times article. These proposals are far from what moderates supported just four years ago. 

According to the same article, though Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Biden all promote a moderate stance, their actual platforms are fairly progressive. Biden declared that the Equality Act, which protects the LGBTQ community, is his top priority and that he would extend health care benefits to undocumented immigrants. According to the NYT article, he said he wanted to spend $750 billion on Obamacare over a decade, $750 billion on education and $1.7 trillion on a climate plan.

These are initiatives that Sanders has been advocating for since the beginnings of his political career. Biden keeps clinging onto the pretense that he is a moderate and will fight to balance conservative and liberal ideals, whereas Sanders is proud to be called a socialist. Yet, it is blatant that Biden’s platform will not coincide with that of Republicans, especially with increasing partisanship. 

Furthermore, it is more than clear that Sanders would have been the best option to face off Trump. The image of a more moderate candidate failed in 2016 and will fail again. This is because while Biden primarily appeals to the Democratic Party, Sanders had a much higher chance of bringing in independent voters in the general election. The increase in votes for Green Party supporters was greater than Trump’s margin of victory in Michigan and Wisconsin in 2016, and Sanders’ radical policy on climate change offers promising results for bringing these voters back to the Democratic Party. Moreover, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, while only 28 percent of independent voters support Trump, Sanders held 46 percent among this demographic.

Sanders is the president we need. He understands the underlying problems of this country and knows that these “radical” changes need to have already been happening. He can take a firm stand on his beliefs and lead with drive and motive. When many parts of the world have already achieved basic standards of living that America is still struggling to reach, we need to start looking towards big changes and Bernie Sanders is the one to hold that promise.

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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum in Des Moines, Iowa on Aug. 10 to advocate for gun safety.

Fall in line Sanders supporters, Biden is the rightful Democratic Nominee

Divided since January of 2019, the Democratic Primary field has finally narrowed down to a presumptive nominee, Joe Biden, with the campaign suspension of Bernie Sanders on April 8, 2020. And while Biden is now the winner, former Sanders supporters refuse to pledge support to the former Vice President, calling for Sanders to return. However, other than the argument that Biden fairly won the primary, he is a far superior candidate to Sanders, after all being the only true Democrat out of the two.

Simply put, both candidates were preaching, “Trump is bad, I’m the best to beat him,” though they conveyed this message in very distinct ways. Biden took a more centrist approach to unite Americans from all parts of the spectrum while Sanders was so far-left that he alienated over half of America. Senior Camber Vincent said, “I believe that to actually bring this country back to a working point, we can’t keep the pendulum swinging back and forth between extreme left or extreme right. I think we need to go for a candidate like Biden who is more moderate in his policies and more willing to compromise.” 

Biden is extremely qualified to be the nation’s leader, serving as both a senator from Delaware from 1973 to 2009 and Barack Obama’s Vice President from 2009 to 2017. As a senator, he co-sponsored the Violence Against Women Act which raised $1.6 billion for the prosecution and the investigation of crimes against women. He was also monumental in the passing of tax relief and other acts meant to curb the economic disaster of 2008. This, combined with his experience in the White House means he is prepared to deal with all types of domestic and global crises, such as the Coronavirus pandemic.

The superiority of Biden became more apparent during the debates. Biden’s plans align closely with the Democratic platform and include support for easier legal immigration, veterans and ending gun violence. Sanders, on the other hand, chose to paint every non-socialist policy as detrimental to society and instead suggested impractical ideas such as Medicare-for-All and free public college. 

These policies are extremely radical and unrealistic as it is very unlikely that these plans would receive bipartisan support. An even bigger question is how he is planning on paying for these services which would cost more than the entire GDP of the country. Sanders has considered increasing taxes on the rich to pay for them, but in the end, he would spend 100 days fighting for a bill that would burn up his time, ultimately would not get passed, and thus, would accomplish nothing. 

Biden’s version of a public option is a much more viable policy proposal as it has a greater chance of getting passed by a partisan government. And, unlike Medicare-for-All, it does not create a chain reaction in the independent healthcare system which would lead to mass unemployment. And with over 18 million Americans working in healthcare according to the CDC, even if a small portion of these jobs are lost, crippling effects could spread through the U.S. economy.

There is a lot of talk about the “senile” nature of Biden and his comments. For example, Biden has once said that busing of black students to try to desegregate schools was, “a rejection of the entire black awareness concept, where black is beautiful, black culture should be studied; and the cultural awareness of the importance of their own identity, their own individuality.” Comments like these have brought up the idea that Biden is losing his mind and that he doesn’t have the mental capacity to be president. Ironically, Sanders is older than Biden yet is the one preaching that Biden is losing his mind due to age.

While he has made some controversial and possibly inaccurate statements throughout the years, this doesn’t mean that Biden is any less qualified for the presidency. He has changed since his younger and arguably more controversial period, and a few wrong statements over the course of a distinguished political career isn’t enough to disqualify someone from being the leader of the free world. Biden has learned from his past and has changed his mindset on these issues.

A big disqualifying factor for Sanders is that he is a Democratic Socialist with far too life-altering and outlandish ideas for the country. Government teacher Toni Kellinger said, “I think Biden is the more attractive candidate for Democrats in general because he is someone who you would consider fairly mainstream and…the Democratic leadership was a little afraid of someone representing their party who says he’s a socialist.” He has proven he won’t budge from his ideas and thus will only be a president for the uber left-wing, satisfying just his base and no one else. And by running with that attitude, he would get nowhere near the White House.

The Democratic Party wants someone who can connect with people and be an empathetic leader. Biden is that exact person with both his folksy charm and viable policies that make people hopeful the government will get stuff done. Mrs. Kellinger said, “My gut feeling is that Joe Biden will get the nomination and will pick a younger, probably minority, vice president.” Compared to Sanders, Biden has a deeper understanding of what the people want and is capable of giving it to them. 

Sanders is dividing the Democratic Party into two parts, one centrist group and one group that desires a revolution. He has such extremist views that he seems a lot like Trump, an out-of-control authoritarian who has radical and non-viable policies that play off people’s emotions but will never actually happen. But Biden offers hope, clarity and unity for the entire nation, and unlike Sanders, Joe is the one who will get it done. “Bernie Bros” need to fall in line and help support the Democratic Nominee so America does not get another four years of Trump.

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