Aja Moore, Contributing Writer
There are fewer than 600 days until the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Candidates are announcing their bids. Among them are familiar faces such as U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, and even former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. The latest candidate to announce his run for presidency wants us to “Feel the Bern”… again.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who ran against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primaries, is running again, and I am not pleased. The 2016 primary was a weird one, with candidates that were all pretty well-known and mostly capable — but Clinton was held as an elite. While she had some scandals and people often talked against her, she was still expected to win.
Nevertheless, Sanders’ progressive platform had people excited. Even though Sanders is not young himself, his platform is especially attractive to young people. Liberal and progressive millennials gave him support, taking away steam from Clinton early on in the race.
Just one day after announcing his candidacy for the 2020 democratic primaries, Sanders raised nearly $6 million dollars, compared to Harris who raised $1.5 million dollars.
Although Sanders is running under the democratic ticket, his views align with socialism. His appealing platform differs from other candidates to include free tuition, “Medicare for All,” a $15 minimum wage, estate tax expansion and eco-friendly policies.
But there is more to Sanders that college-aged students who overwhelmingly love him might not be as aware of. Sanders recently shared his opinions on reparations for descendants of slaves, saying he feels these reparations would be very “divisive” and therefore has lost black support. Sanders said that we should be focusing on issues such as the poverty rate and high unemployment in the black community.
Candidates for the upcoming 2020 election — such as former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary and San Antonio, Texas, Mayor Julián Castro — agreed that reparations in the form of tax deductions and decreased education costs should be given to those who are descendants of slavery.
“So, if, under the Constitution, we compensate people because we take their property,” Castro told Politico. “Why wouldn’t you compensate people who actually were property?”
On an issue unrelated to policy, Sanders is almost 80 years old. Age is but a number — but our country needs youth. The world of politics needs younger, progressive minds in office who will have more time to grow. Having a younger leader refresh and add a sense of hope to voters.
With the long list of potential candidates, there are bound to be some flaws with others — we are all human — but I would love for candidates such as Castro or U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke to get more of the spotlight in our daily media coverage. It is time for another change, whether that is with race, age, gender or sexuality. Our country has had a long history of old, white men running it. If it so happens that another white man is elected, we should elect one that has a well-rounded agenda and expresses inclusivity in all aspects.