Opinion: Burning for Bernie

Dylan Webb is a teaching English as a second language major. Contact him at [email protected].

Dylan Webb

It’s been an interesting campaign year. We’ve seen the rise of Trump, the return of Hillary Clinton into the presidential race and other candidates who really haven’t made any waves. One of the most amazing candidates is the senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders. He’s an underdog because none of his financial support has come from super PACs, but rather 20 dollar donations from personal contributors. He’s real in what he says, backed up by voting record. He’s known to be genuine, down to earth and even frugal to the point that even as a senator he doesn’t even own a tuxedo.

For once, our generation had hope for someone who makes genuine change. He’s actually acting on it more than a moderate politician with a corporate agenda and a handsome appearance. There are major problems that if go unsolved can really become disastrous later. Whether it is the corporatization of politics, the student debt crisis, the removal of our essential rights, government surveillance and even the destruction of our environment. If nothing is done or limited effort is made to change the way our system is headed, we will pay heavy costs — especially for our future generations.

Put simply, the major problem with our generation is that not enough of us are involved. We know more about the dynamics of a video game or the latest episode of “Parks and Recreation” than to put attention where it belongs: The collective future of America. One of the most important ways we can do this is by using our system for the people, by the people to make significant change.

Furthermore, by not voting we chose to make a choice and in our indifference, evil triumphs. As Sanders explained, “60 percent of the people don’t vote; 75 percent of low-income people don’t vote; 80 percent of people between 18 and 21 don’t vote.” The people who are oppressed and pushed aside the most in our political system  become the smallest voice. This creates a vicious feedback loop cycle of heavier oppression and apathy to the problems of the poor because those who go out to vote are pushing these agendas.

We take the seriousness out of politics and insert ourselves into the political drama. It’s closer to an episode of The Kardashians or Big Brother, just on a greater scale. Trump even uses this to his advantage, using attention-getting techniques he used on The Apprentice for ratings and now it’s working for his campaign. We need to pay attention to the issues what these candidates support, who these candidates are funded by and seeing if they are the best fit for the presidential office.