Graphic: Andrew Provost, 42Fifty

As the Illinois Primary Election approaches on March 17, 2020, the 42Fifty staff feels it’s time to endorse one of the three current candidates jostling for position as the Democratic nominee in the presidential election. Out of the three remaining candidates, our staff endorses Bernie Sanders.

The staff acknowledges that as of right now, Bernie Sanders isn’t likely to win the Democratic Primary due to current election results across the nation favoring Joe Biden. However, because his policies are the most progressive and since his campaign structure is the best, we feel Sanders is the best Democratic candidate.

To us, one of Sanders’ biggest draws is his proposed policy regarding climate change. Sanders wants to push for a “Green New Deal” which would aim to make our energy system entirely made up of renewable energy. While this policy would likely take years to transition to– and would likely be struck down by congress– Sanders has another, more plausible climate goal which aims to reduce emissions by funding the Green Climate Fund $200 billion, rejoining the Paris Agreement, and once again establishing the U.S. as a global leader in the battle against climate change through actions such as declaring climate change a national emergency and making a commitment to reduce our domestic emissions. This policy would greatly reduce the U.S. ‘s emissions, effectively taking the country’s policy on climate change a step in the right direction environmentally and improving the quality of life for future generations of Americans.

While not as important as climate change, the issue of secondary education/college is one that we care a great deal about, as many members of the 42Fifty staff will be heading into college in the near future. The goal of Sanders’ main secondary education policy is to cancel all student debt and place a cap on student loan interest rates at 1.88%. While Sanders’ student debt cancelation may seem impossible to some, he plans to raise approximately $2.4 trillion in the next ten years by placing a 0.5% tax on all stock market trades. This tax would easily accumulate enough money to pay off the $1.6 trillion of debt. College is the likely future of our staff, and more importantly, our generation. If Sanders’ plans are set in motion, our generation and future generations can find economic stability in and after college far more easily than current college students and recent college graduates currently are able to.

But how can we, as Americans, be sure that Sanders won’t be controlled by corporations that have different agendas than his, therefore nullifying all that he stands for? The answer is simple: he runs a “grassroots” campaign. What this means is Sanders won’t accept massive donations from billionaires or corporations. The only donations Sanders accepts are those listed on actblue.com where his maximum donation is $5,600. Joe Biden, on the other hand, does accept donations from billionaires, which is one of his biggest drawbacks and a major factor in our endorsement of Sanders; we cannot truly know whether or not Biden will stand by what he says in the debates or serve his billionaire donors’ agendas.

Here’s where you come in. In order to ensure Bernie Sanders wins the state of Illinois in Democratic Primary Election, you need to go out and vote. Many of Bernie Sanders’ policies appeal to young people who are either college age (18-24) or are about to be in the college-age range. Unfortunately for Sanders, the college-age demographic always has the least amount of eligible voters vote, resulting in this age group having the lowest voter turnout. Not only will this likely result in Sanders’ defeat in Illinois, but it will also leave the voices of many young people unheard.If you wish to do your civic duty gifted to you as an American citizen and participate in the upcoming Primary Election on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, you must be at least 18 years old and a registered voter. If you are 17 years old, but you turn 18 before the Presidential Election on Nov. 3, 2020, you can still vote as long as you register to vote or are already registered. Voting registration is currently closed online, but you can still register at the polls in person on election day. If you are unsure of where your polling place is, you can find out here.

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