On April 8, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the last truly progressive candidate, suspended his presidential campaign. This is a major blow to many younger democratic voters who viewed Sen. Sanders as a figure for progressive change. His loyal supporters are now being focused on by the remaining candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign.
On Monday Sen. Sanders endorsed Biden as the presidential democratic candidate. In a live stream with Biden, Sen. Sanders showed his open support and urged his supporters to support Biden as well. This endorsement came much sooner than his endorsement for the 2016 democratic nominee Hilary Clinton.
“I will do everything I can to help elect Joe,” Sanders said, openly commenting that it would be “irresponsible” to oppose Biden.
However, as noted in the New York Times article, “Bernie Sanders Pitches His Supporters a New Idea: Biden 2020,” by Astead W. Herndon, Sen. Sander’s base is more than skeptical. Many want Biden to make more policy concessions that reflect more progressive values.
Winning over these supporters will be vital for Biden, who’s base of supporters leans toward an older generation. In order for Biden to win the upcoming November 2020 presidential election, his base needs to include younger voters, in a similar pattern to Obama’s support in the 2008 presidential election.
Without support from these more progressive voters in the democratic party, President Trump will likely win the 2020 presidential race. It is difficult to defeat a sitting president after just four years in the past; most presidents have held onto their office for the full eight-year term. The influx of support from younger more progressive voters could be the push that Biden needs to win the 2020 presidential race.
Even though Sen. Sanders is doing everything he can to support Biden he is also pushing Biden’s campaign to take on more progressive policies. In an effort to win the support of the more progressive side of the democratic party, Biden has already made some concessions on policy. Biden has proposed to lower the age of eligibility for Medicare to 60 instead of the current 65.
Progressive figures like, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, feel this is a too small step for Biden’s campaign. However, these concessions speak to Biden’s growing willingness to listen to the progressive left. Biden will have to listen to the growing progressive values of the democratic party if he hopes to gain the support he needs to win.
In the midst of this, Biden also has to contend with the recent allegations of a late 1990’s sexual assault made by a former co-worker Tara Raede. Previous allegations of sexual harassment toward females have already impacted his campaign.
While these allegations have yet to be confirmed this is a concern for a party, wanting to set itself apart from the Trump administration, who has several allegations of sexual assault and substantiated boasts from President Trump.
With this in mind, supporters of Sen. Sanders should rally now more than ever to continue their grassroots movement to move the party toward a more progressive agenda.
Especially on the heels of President Trump’s declaration that “When somebody is president of the United States, your authority is total.”
Not only is this statement factually wrong, but it is also legally wrong. This statement is against the ideals found in the Constitution of the United States of America. No president should ever have absolute authority, it is counter to the beliefs of democracy in this country. The United States was founded on the opposite principles to escape a tyrannical king.
What this country needs now more than ever is citizens who organize and unite to keep the founding principles of this country alive.