I was planning on voting for Elizabeth Warren not long ago. Over the last few months, however, I have slowly shifted my support into a different camp. Come March 3, I will be casting my vote for Senator Bernie Sanders. Previously, I thought there were few differences between Sanders and Warren. However, recent policy differences and political attacks have solidified my choice. Also, Joe Biden has lied about not supporting social security cuts, and continued gaffes on the campaign trail demonstrate how Sanders is the more electable candidate. So, let’s explore why Sanders is the best candidate for leftists, liberals and moderates in the 2020 Democratic Primary.
I should probably address the elephant in the room. Bernie Sanders is not the secret sexist the Warren campaign may have you believe. Sure, thinking Sanders said running as a woman would be difficult is reasonable. However, him telling Warren a woman couldn’t win the presidency is preposterous. Sanders has argued that women could be presidents since 1988, just one example of how he has been consistent for more than 40 years in politics. Warren, on the other hand, was a registered Republican until 1996. And while some may see Warren’s political shift as open-minded, she has lied in different contexts. Look no further than when she misrepresented her Native American heritage – or lack thereof. Given the two candidates’ respective histories, I am more inclined to side with Sanders.
Sanders and Warren differ relatively little in their policies. However, the former is the more progressive candidate. Take the wealth tax, for example, a proposal that has widespread support. Sanders’ wealth tax starts at incomes above $32 million compared to $50 million in Warren’s plan. Additionally, Sanders’ policy has more brackets with higher tax rates, meaning his plan garners more revenue and covers more people. Both candidates’ ambitious plans like medical debt and student loan forgiveness will require a significant amount of money, and Sanders has a better idea to pay for those policies.
Furthermore, Warren has distanced herself from Sanders’ Medicare for All bill by releasing her transition plan. However, the new policy is problematic for several reasons. For one, her plan calls for implementing universal health care in two bills – a public option and Medicare for All. This proposition is problematic because every Republican and many Democrats will oppose Medicare for All. Granted, Sanders’ bill will face significant opposition from the Democratic establishment and the Republican Party. Moreover, he has made it clear passing that Medicare for All will require a political revolution. But compared to Sanders’ plan, Warren’s proposition will need a miracle to pass not one, but two contentious bills.
Sanders doesn’t just face other progressives – he also has to contend with centrists like Joe Biden. The former vice-president’s most significant selling point to voters is his electability. However, his long Senate record and continuous gaffes indicate Sanders is more likely to beat Trump. For example, Biden has lied about consistently opposing Social Security cuts while in the Senate. Biden will tell you he has tried to expand Social Security. However, Biden is on video arguing for Social Security cuts. His record will not sit well with older voters, and he is already losing support among this demographic to Sanders. In a general election, Trump can weaponize Biden’s record to sway many elderly voters in major swing states, such as Florida. With Sanders, the incumbent president does not have the same attack route.
Biden’s various gaffes also present potential issues. In a debate against Trump, the former vice president’s incoherency will place him at a significant disadvantage. For example, while Biden rambles on about record players, Trump will be mocking “Sleepy Joe.” And while many argue Trump will refer to Sanders as a socialist or “Crazy Bernie,” he’ll call every Democrat a socialist and come up with cute nicknames for all of his opponents. Also, Sanders has made it clear he can hold his ground in contentious debates. He has defended himself from Warren’s sexism accusations and attacked Biden and Buttigieg's billionaire donors. Trump would obliterate Joe Biden, but Sanders’ past debate performances suggest he could hold his own against President Trump.
For those of you still trying to make up your mind before March 3, consider where you stand policy-wise. If you’re a progressive, Sanders has more progressive policies and will not back down, unlike Warren. Her Medicare for All transition plan cedes significant ground to moderates like Biden and Buttigieg, and it makes passing universal health care more difficult. For other liberals, Trump will obliterate Joe Biden in a general election. His long record, corruption accusations and gaffes in debates will be a field day for Trump. So, consider voting for Bernie Sanders.