Opinion: Biden is the best candidate for college students and young people

Amira Van Leeuwen, Assistant Opinions Editor

A new weekly Chegg-College Pulse poll shows that college students’ support for Sen. Bernie Sanders was consistently higher than former Vice President Joe Biden’s while both were running for office. Since Sanders’ withdrawal, some of his supporters, young people largely made up of college students, may not be willing to participate in the 2020 election or worse—vote for President Donald Trump.

However, college students should not vote for Trump or choose not to vote because of Sanders’ withdrawal from the race. They, and young people alike, still have an experienced and progressive candidate in Biden.

Some college students may struggle to identify with Biden’s policies because they feel Sanders dreamed and thought bigger. But some of Biden’s policies are progressive and parallel with what some of those potential voters are seeking.

At the beginning of April, several progressive youth organizations wrote a letter to Biden with a list of demands in order for him to earn their vote. Biden disagrees with some ideas, like single-payer health insurance, but other issues addressed within the letter are already a part of his campaign, such as the Green New Deal, ending gun violence and expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Biden is willing to compromise for the change college students and young people may be seeking. If they stick to the idea that Biden will only say and promise what he has to to get re-elected, they should re-evaluate the situation.

Unlike Trump, Biden has experience and history in politics. He began working as a part-time public defender. Later, he launched and won his first-ever campaign for the New Castle County Council in Delaware.

In 1972, Biden became one of the youngest candidates elected to the U.S. Senate. Then, in 2008, former President Barack Obama announced Biden as his running mate, in which Obama won 66% of young voters.

With Biden’s experience, the ability to compromise in Congress will go back into play—and he will make compromises and decisions with the best interests of college students and young people in mind.

Biden has already shown us that bipartisanship can be achieved under his leadership. If Donald Trump stays in office, the ability to have bipartisanship and pursue anything other than anti-immigration and fiscal policies are vastly out of reach.

Biden may not be the ideal candidate for most, but he is the only candidate within reach to keep racist and sexist rhetoric out of office.

Trump has called undocumented immigrants “animals” and “rapists” and has attacked women based on their looks, referring to them as “crazed,” “fat” and “ugly.” More recently, Trump referenced COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus“, language that undeniably contributes to an increase in xenophobia and racism, especially toward Asian Americans.

These are not accidental slip-ups. Trump has acted this way throughout the entirety of his term. His crudeness and vulgar language are unpresidential; no one should be spoken about in this way. This country—a place where immigrants should be able to contribute to society, women should be respected and the overall number of Chinese students in the country has more than tripled over the past decade—deserves better.

In addition to his abhorrent rhetoric, Trump also appeals to white supremacists. After winning the 2016 presidential election, people were chanting, “Hail Trump,” while giving the Nazi salute. While he may not outright endorse it, he fuels it with divisive rhetoric.

College students are already familiar with white supremacy propaganda lingering on campuses. Roughly 313 cases of white supremacists were documented in the 2018-19 school year. In March, Texas State saw white supremacist literature resurface around campus, nearly three years after a banner stating “America is a White Nation” was placed on the exterior of Alkek Library.

The last thing Texas State, or any university needs, is a president that adds to the trial and tribulation students of color are already facing.

Biden may have flaws, as does every candidate, but Trump’s are detrimental to the well-being of this country. And that is why choosing Biden is the only logical choice for those who care about the future of this country—and younger voters are the future.

The choice college students and young people make matters to those who have been affected the most by Trump’s behavior. It matters to those who have experienced discrimination for the color of their skin and violence directed toward their sexuality or gender identity.

Voting should not depend on political propaganda. It should be about the policies candidates advocate for and the humanity they embody as a politician.

College students and young people have the power to ignite change with their votes and improve the world we live in. They need to take that power and use it wisely.

– Amira Van Leeuwen is a journalism sophomore


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