Bernie or Bust

by Sarah Martinez

Early in the campaign, I skimmed over the list of presidential hopefuls, only to recognize a few names. I rolled my eyes at certain candidates (you know who) and when finished, decided I was Team Hillary. The Democratic party left me with few choices, but I figured it was time for a woman president. I didn’t want another old white guy in the White House. I signed up for her emails, followed her on social media, and was constantly reminded of her good chances of winning the Democratic nomination whenever I watched the news.

As Donald Trump’s spew of hate and ignorance was forced onto my news feed, I thought, “Lord, ANYBODY but Trump.” The GOP candidates followed Trump’s campaign “strategies” and I knew that I didn’t want anyone from the Republican party getting elected. I realized just how important my vote was, and decided that I wouldn’t vote for Hillary just because we’re both women. I began doing my research (because I was just a misinformed millennial) and found out just why Hillary wasn’t right for me.

She can’t make up her mind about marriage equality.

Hillary has changed opinions about same-sex marriage since at least 2000, saying that marriage is between man and woman, but they deserve rights and recognition. She’s a bit wishy-washy about the thing, so imagine my surprise when the Human Rights Campaign endorsed her. As someone who deeply cares for the LGBT community and their right to marry who they love, Hillary’s ping-ponging on the issue is not something I can look past.

She is not like my abuela.

I was already leaning toward Team Bernie when Hillary claimed she was just like my abuela. The way she and her team went about trying to get the Latino vote while also playing the grandma card was just insulting. My Chicano family has been in America for at least four generations, but we are not at all privileged like the Clintons. We’re still middle class, and one of my abuelas only went to school until 8th grade while the other has her high school diploma. They may not be as educated or accomplished as Hillary, and they are nothing like her. ¡Gracias a Dios!

She’s doing the most for my vote.

The truth is that most kids adults my age (22) don’t go out and vote, but if we all did, we’d make a huge difference in how the election turns out. The Democratic candidates know well enough to want us on their side. Hillary just tries a little too hard. She wants to seem “hip” and “with it”, although using those terms just proves the opposite.

And that’s why I’m feeling the Bern.

Rather than trying to seem relatable to voters, Bernie just is. He promises what he knows we want. I may be close to graduating from a private university, but I would love to live in a country that has free tuition to public universities. It’s 2016! Why aren’t we already funding this? I’m going broke just thinking about all the loans I’ll have to repay, but I know that Bernie is better for today’s students.

Some people – Democratic and Republican – fear a socialist agenda under Sanders, but I welcome it. I think it’s about time to give the power to the people. I’m tired of the government bleeding me and most of America dry in our finances. I’m ready for universal healthcare and parental leave. I’m ready for the government to do something about climate change. I know that Bernie isn’t supporting these changes for my vote; he’s speaking out because he cares about these issues. He wants to create a better America, and I am all for that America.

This country could use a woman president, don’t get me wrong, Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright, but I’d rather that not be Hillary. Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I have any obligation to vote for Hillary. I vote with my mind and my heart, and that’s with Bernie.

Photo via Facebook/Bernie Sanders

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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