Why We Support Bernie Sanders

Students in my spring course were given the opportunity to complete a candidate statement for extra credit where they were asked to write a 300-500 word statement about which candidate they supported and why. They were required to focus on two to three policy issues on which they agreed with the candidate on.

Out of the students who completed the extra credit, 33% supported John Kasich, 32% supported Bernie Sanders, 15% supported Donald Trump, 12% supported Ted Cruz, and 8% supported Hillary Clinton. Every few days, I will post some of their statements to this website in order to a) highlight their work and b) to provide some context on how today’s college students feel about the 2016 presidential candidates.

Here’s the schedule for the postings (in alphabetical order by candidate):

Today, we will hear from three students who personally support Bernie Sanders.

Response 1, Flint C.*

The candidate I believe would make the best President and whom I support is Bernie Sanders. I support Sanders because he believes that when it comes to foreign policy, the measure of how great a country is comes from how they can solve problems diplomatically, rather than with force. Sanders believes war should be an absolute last resort; however, he believes it is sometimes necessary when America’s vital interests are at stake. Sanders was one of the few congressmen to vote against the war in Iraq. I support Sanders on foreign policy because I believe that under most circumstances, war is the worst way to solve problems and is only detrimental to the human race. Specifically, the war in Iraq destabilized an entire region and only fueled the fire of anti-western world radical terrorism. When it comes to dealing with radical terrorist attacks that seem to increase in frequency every year, Sanders advocates for addressing the causes of radicalization rather than responding to radical acts with military force. Specifically, Sanders believes that stopping online radicalization and terrorist funding networks is better for the future than just responding solely with force. On this issue of radical terrorism, I believe that broad aggressive forms of foreign policy only serve to radicalize and recruit potential terrorists. The solution I support for radical terrorism involves more calculated and less hawkish responses to attacks, which aligns with Sanders’ position.

On criminal justice, Sanders believes that the war on drugs has failed. He believes that imprisoning non-violent offenders costs taxpayers money, ruins families, and doesn’t solve the underlying problems. Sanders believes drug related imprisonment should be dealt with rehab rather than imprisonment. I support Sanders on this issue because I, and most psychologists, see drug addiction as a mental illness, and it should be treated as such. Nonviolent drug related offenders should be sent to rehab until they can integrate back into society and contribute to society instead of draining resources in an overcrowded prison system. Sanders also believes that the death penalty should be abolished, except in rare circumstances. I support his stance on this because killing someone for killing others is redundant. The death penalty does not work as a deterrent, and very often, it costs taxpayers more than life in prison.

Response 2, Aaron S.*

Historically, I have identified as a Republican; I supported John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. As of late, the Republican Party has lost track of what’s important. The GOP doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge the true issues at hand. This has made it attractive for me to change parties, because of the Democratic Parties’ ability to make necessary changes that are good for Americans. I support Bernie Sanders as the Democratic candidate for president. He embodies the moral and political views that I look for in a presidential candidate.

Bernie Sanders believes that abortion is women’s choice. He has always been a feminist, and he displays it by fighting for women’s rights, especially equal pay for women. I agree with his views for gender equality. I think we have an ethical obligation to ensure gender equality so that our daughters can have the same opportunities as our sons. Bernie Sanders also supports same-sex marriage. This stance goes along with his stance on women’s rights. He not only believes in gender equality, but he believes in equality for all. This is very important to me because I believe that all are created equal.

When it comes to foreign policy, Bernie Sanders believes in creating a coalition with middle-eastern countries in order to stop the terrorist group ISIS. He believes that working with surrounding countries will not only help the U.S. financially, but it will create better opportunity for peace with the Middle East. I agree that we should have a coalition with Middle Eastern countries in order to help stabilize the area. Tactically, this makes the most sense because diverse pressure will result in better outcomes. For almost my whole life, I have lived in a country that is at war. Because of this, I am cautious when deciding on whether or not to get involved in global issues. We need a President that will fight for gender equality, same-sex marriage, and smart foreign policy. This is why we need to elect Senator Bernie Sanders as our next President.

Response 3, Karlis T.*

I support Bernie Sanders because he supports the Equality Act as well as other measures regarding LGBT equality. Senator Sanders is a cosponsor of the Equality Act, which would add new sections to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include those with different sexual orientations or gender identities. Not only does he cosponsor this specific act, but he also wants to get rid of legislation that puts other rights in jeopardy. I support Bernie Sanders position on this issue because I believe that even those with different sexual orientations or gender identities than me deserve to have the same rights given to me by this country. Growing up in the 21st century, it has been very clear that the United States of America have become much more progressive. During this time I have accepted that my religious ideals shouldn’t affect others rights.

I also support Bernie Sanders because he supports increasing access to higher education. Senator Sanders has talked about six steps that would make college tuition virtually free, as well as help many to be debt free after going to school. One of the six part plan is to fully pay for college by imposing a tax on an incredibly small percentage on Wall Street speculators. I support Bernie Sanders position on this issue because as an accounting major at Fisher College of Business, I have paid attention to Wall Street and understand how much a small percentage would mean in tax revenues. Seeing how much my parents have paid for my schooling makes me support equal access to higher education. Neither students nor their parents should not go into debt just to send themselves to college.

Finally, I support Bernie Sanders because he supports fair immigration policy. His plan outlines many aspects of our regulation policies as well as the inhumane deportation programs, and his ideas to change them are fair and built around the way our nation is supposed to work. Senator Sanders is the son of an immigrant and argues that our nation is built around immigration. I support Bernie Sanders position on this issue because I believe our country should work in this way with immigrants. As the grandson of immigrants on both sides of my family, I truly think we should be doing this in a much more sensible and fair way.

All in all, I support Senator Bernie Sanders to be the next President of the United States, for many reasons more than the three topics outlined above.


What about you? Why (or why not) did you support Bernie Sanders?

*Responses shared with written permission from the authors. Replication in any form, without permission from the author, is prohibited

"Bernie Sanders 104 03/04/2016" by Todd Church (CC BY 2.0)

“Bernie Sanders 104 03/04/2016” by Todd Church (CC BY 2.0)


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