By Maggie Connolly ’21
“Remember where we started?” read an Instagram caption of a photo with the six women presidential candidates. Six. Let that number sink in.
Not only did we have six women running for president, we had two black Americans, one Asian-American, a Mexican American and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. And now… we have two white men, both over the age of 70, both previously ran (and loss, might I add) for president in previous years. Biden was just the vice president. Sanders just lost the Democratic nomination in 2016, and then waited too long to endorse Hillary Clinton, playing, in my eyes, a role in her ultimate defeat.
How did we get here? I find myself asking that every day. As an avid Warren supporter (billionaire tears anyone?), I was shocked and disappointed that my spring break trip was full of New York Times notifications that the next candidate had left the race and hearing them all endorse Biden was even more of heartbreak. I don’t know who I wanted them to endorse or what I wanted them to say, because it sure as hell wasn’t Bernie Sanders, but I just felt such a sense of loss. For years now I imagined being able to place my check mark by a woman’s name on that ballot in my very first presidential election.
That doesn’t mean I’ve given up, and you shouldn’t either. I will steadfastly campaign for whoever’s name is on that ballot. And that’s my problem with a lot of Bernie Sanders’ base, they refuse to give up on someone who, at this juncture, doesn’t look like he’s getting anywhere closer to the White House than he did in 2016.
Every day, I scroll through my Twitter feed and see another girl from my admittedly white-feminist ex-summer camp post on social media that Biden is a racist, that Biden will never beat Trump, and that, above all, they refuse to vote for Joe Biden. It’s like they forget we are in the biggest political crisis of the century… Wondering how they forget so easily? That, my friends, is called privilege.
It is quite an interesting dilemma, really. You see, most of these posts from people I know come from some of my smartest, most politically aware friends. But their unwillingness to vote in an election that is crucial for the lives and well-beings of some who live in this country is a clear sign of ignorance. They do not have to vote if it is not their candidate. Why should they show support for someone who has expressed anti-pro-choice views and worked on anti-bussing amendments with segregationists? Because the alternative is much, much graver for the fate of this country.
It is beyond me how someone would consider Biden not worthy of their vote, sit out of the process (which is, by the way, your civic duty) and play an active role in letting Donald Trump win. I do not try to explain or understand these sentiments, but here is what I will say: Biden is not my first choice, in fact, he was one of my last. I do not agree with several comments, passes and political faults on his record, but I also understand evolving and changing your political beliefs with time. I was team Warren and she was literally a registered Republican at one point. Politics are constantly changing and so are people! That’s the beauty of it all.
However, because Joe Biden is, at this juncture, most likely going to be our Democratic nominee, I am going to get my hand on my phone (because no canvassing during social distancing!!!) and make those calls and campaign my ass off for that man, because I want to beat Donald Trump. I want to ignore my thoughts and feelings on which Democrat should be on that ballot and focus on the one that is. This election is not a time to show your privilege and ignore what this man has done in the past four years and what he could do in the next four. This is not a time to sit back because it’s not who you wanted, it is not the person that got you out of your seat, screaming at the TV during debates. As much as I want it to be that person for everyone, it is not.
I do not doubt that it will be in the future. There will be that Bernie Sanders-esque revolution, but right now, we need to focus on paving the way to a White House and a Congress that allows that revolution at all. So put away your pride, and please, please vote. We need you, all of you.