Author : Shani Young
Today I am in DC, the nations capitol and although I am freezing, it still kind of feels like magic. This magic is the kind from which peace and justice, equality, and equity are made. Thinking back on the Democratic debate, I’ve gained much-needed perspective on our candidates. There is a detailed play by play posted on the New York Magazine, so between that and the live debate, here’s what I’ve gathered:
On the one hand we have Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, refusing to make promises she cannot keep, but still pushing a more progressive agenda, (at least compared to the GOP candidates). Then we have the Virginia Senator, Bernie Sanders, who, even at the tender age of 74, dares to dream of world in which a political revolution can happen (and, furthermore, be televised).
Both of our Democratic candidates are pushing for reform and are generally cordial with one another. So if we are getting along, where is the distinction? Why vote for one as opposed to the other? Simply put, Hillary Clinton harps on reforming injustices, but none of the economical kind. She opened the debate with a few heavy hitters, racism, sexism, and the injustices in the LGBTQ community, but free college, and cutting tax breaks aren’t on her agenda. She claims she is in the business of getting things done. Seems to me she is afraid to dream, afraid to incite trouble by advocating for a change the world will really feel.
Then there is the Bern! Do you feel it? Millennials all over the country are rallying behind him. And for what? Who cares! Bernie Sanders is not yet selling you on what he will do in the white house. His aim is to sell you on his vision, a vision of a different democracy, an altered economic norm, a health care system that is improved and more fitting of the name “universal”. So for all of the intricate details concerning the execution of his goal that he has yet to disclose, it doesn’t seem to matter, because people seem to believe in him. He has entered into the golden circle.
So whom do you vote for, the man with a vision or the woman with a plan? Sitting on the balcony of my DC hotel room, although it is frigid, I can feel the magic in the air, Bernie Sanders’ tweet, roaming around in my brain like words on a jumbotron, “You can be a moderate. You can be a progressive. But you cannot be a moderate and a progressive.” In its original context, it was a slam at the Clinton camp’s agenda. As we choose between two democratic candidates, it speaks directly to the people. Do you just want a plan, one with compromises, but still allow things to get done OR do you want a vision, a complete overhaul to the status quo, a revolution? Whatever you decide, both choices are valid, according to the Bernie, “On our worst days … we are 100 times better than any Republican candidate”.