Sungjoon Chang / N. Hollywood High 11th Grade
“A nation will not survive morally or economically when so few have so much and so many have so little” -Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont, has suspended his 2020 Presidential campaign on April 9th, making way for a Biden-Trump general election showdown.
Following a series of crushing losses in the democratic primaries, Sanders announced that the path to victory was “virtually impossible”, and that he could not “in good conscience” continue a campaign that cannot win during these circumstances.
Joe Biden, the former vice-president and presumptive Democratic nominee, credited Sanders for creating a movement that “changed the dialogue in America”. Though they differed in some policies, Biden has promised to carry on Sanders’ progressive ideas through his platform. In fact, he recently announced plans to expand Medicare and forgive student debt.
Although Sanders claimed an early lead in delegates thanks to victories in New Hampshire, Nevada, Colorado, and California, he was unable to secure enough delegates on Super Tuesday to maintain his lead. Biden, on the other hand, managed to grab 10 states including Texas on Super Tuesday, to gain a healthy lead over any other candidate.
Sanders’ campaign ran on the idea of giving power to working families and curbing the power of billionaires, Wall Street, and large corporations. He advocated for universal, single-payer healthcare, paid parental leave, a $15 minimum wage, and tuition-free tertiary education. He also voiced his support for the Green New Deal, designed to address climate change.
Though Sanders conceded the democratic nominee race, he stated that he would remain on the ballot on states that have yet to vote in order to gather delegates; an attempt to leverage his influence on the Democratic party to further spread his message.
Sanders’ progressive and liberal ideas scared away voters who prefer a more moderate candidate, like Biden. Unfortunately, he did not bring enough new, young, democratic voters under his wing to make up for this deficit. However, that does not mean he did not affect change in the Democratic Party. Through his campaign run, he managed to ideologically shift the Democratic Party to the left, in addition to showing that fundraising is possible without mega-donors. His presidential run will leave a legacy to future democratic presidential hopefuls, and the example he set will prove that a grassroots political revolution can be achieved in 21st century America.
<Sungjoon Chang/ N. Hollywood High 11th Grade