Many have said this could be the most consequential election of our lifetimes. However, for valid reasons, many young people feel disenfranchised and may not vote. Former Vice President Joe Biden, as a lifetime politician and proud moderate, is maybe not the ideal for progressive youth who want to tear down the system. Inspired by the likes of U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, young people may not feel motivated to go vote for the “lesser of two evils,” something we heard often in 2016.
As a young person and social worker, although I too would love Warren’s big structural change that I canvassed for, I don’t think it’s fair to equate Biden to Trump. We currently have a president who actively spouts hate and causes intentional harm to all kinds of people. Biden, on the other hand, is running on a platform to heal America and take steps to make real, positive change in our lives. He supports Medicaid expansion, bolstering the Affordable Care Act, universal preschool, tuition-free public college for low-income families, and many more policies that would help people who have historically been left behind. He would also work to overturn Citizens United, match small-dollar donations with public funds, and with a blue House and Senate, we could see some real progressive change.
Whether you see it as voting for Biden or against Trump, it is essential that all young people vote. Staying home because we feel left out is not going to prove anything to anyone. What did it do for us in 2016?