We Could Have Had It All: Why I Have Mixed Reactions to the Election

Don't get me wrong, I am relieved that Joe Biden won and that Donald Trump will no longer be our president. While I am still appalled that seventy-one million Americans voted for a man who is as overtly racist, misogynistic, and homophobic as Trump, I like to think that many of these people are misinformed, not hateful. I agree with much of what Biden stands for, but I still feel like we got robbed, and we will continue getting robbed without even realizing it.

Joe Biden speaking in front of an American flag Photo by Gage Skidmore from Flickr Bernie’s crazy, right? Too radical. Or is he? 

People love to call Bernie crazy— Democrats and Republicans alike. But, I have yet to find an aspect of his campaign that is actually unreasonable. How is it that affordable education and healthcare are radical, yet billion-dollar tax cuts for corporations are acceptable? 

What is so crazy about universal healthcare? We are the only developed nation that does not consider healthcare as a basic human right. Anyone should be able to go to a hospital and be treated. It is immoral and unethical that there are people in this country who are sick and suffering, but will not receive treatment because they can’t afford insurance. How is it even a political debate whether someone deserves to be treated when they are sick? Not to mention the fact that we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs as most pharmaceutical companies are only concerned with making a profit and remain unregulated in their accumulation of wealth.

Bernie Sanders at Rally Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash I have yet to figure out what is so crazy about corporations being held accountable and paying their taxes like the rest of us. There is a long list of major corporations that pay little to nothing in taxes. A system in which a family that is struggling to put food on the table pays more in taxes than a multi-billion-dollar corporation is fundamentally flawed. According to CBS News, sixty of America’s largest companies paid no income taxes in 2018. “The companies, which include tech giants such as Amazon and Netflix, should have paid a collective $16.4 billion in federal income taxes based on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's 21 percent corporate tax rate.”

Bernie has been fighting for the rights of working people his entire life. The gap between the rich and the poor has been getting wider and wider for decades, and it is clear that this trend will only continue. “There is something profoundly wrong when the top one-tenth of 1 percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, and when 99 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent,” said Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally. Meanwhile, tens of millions of people are forced to live off of starvation wages, which are seven dollars an hour in some states. This is unacceptable.

flicker: creative common Bernie wants to eliminate all student debt. Many of his critics exclaim that this could never work— how is he going to pay for all this?! But if they bothered to read his plan, they would realize that all student debt could be eliminated by a modest tax on Wall Street. When someone graduates college and is already hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, they should not be expected to feel a sense of freedom or optimism for a future that has just begun. I don’t think people should be punished in this way for seeking higher education. Knowledge should not have a price tag attached to it; those who have a desire to learn should not be condemned to insurmountable debt. 

At the end of the day, Bernie is too good for this country. He was ahead of his time when fighting against income inequality in the 1970s, and he is still ahead of his time today. 

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