In past elections I would always see the graphic of “undecided voters” and think “what’s wrong with these people?! How do they NOT KNOW?”. I must admit that I, on the eve of the NY primary, find myself to be an undecided voter. I feel like I have failed in some way. I’m an educated voter. I read blogs about politics, I listen to political podcasts, I watch Sunday pundits, and yet, I can’t decide. All I know is that I am a democrat, there is no doubting that.
Here’s the deal: I was feeling in the Bern. I donated to Bernie’s campaign. I love Bernie. I think he is more personable and comes off as more trustworthy than Hillary. BUT, the issues that I find most important as a voter are more a part of Hillary’s platform than Bernie’s. I too want the money out of politics and think the million-aihs and billion-aihs shouldn’t be controlling policy and elections. I too think that college should be more affordable. HOWEVER, I think that getting kids to graduate high school is a bigger problem that needs to be addressed before making college affordable. There are so many school districts around the country where just getting kids into a classroom at all is a challenge, and it starts with early childhood education. Hillary’s platform has always included a strong stance on K-12 education. Her other platforms are things that I certainly don’t disagree with Bernie on, but Hillary has pushed more in her agenda — gun control. Women’s health rights. I know she shoe-horned it in there (and that Bernie has the same stances), but when she brought up right to choose in the Dem debate I think I yelled “yasss queen.” I can’t believe we are in 2016 and we’re still talking about how the Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade. Women having access to safe abortions has actually caused abortion rates to decline every year since 1990. Abortions only account for a minimal percentage of the services that Planned Parenthood provides. And yet, men in politics still insist on telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies.
Additionally, I have to admit that endorsement of Hillary from former Obama staffers has swayed me. They worked with Hillary on a daily basis and have nothing but positive things to say about her. I admire the work they did to get Obama elected and direct him in his time at the White House, so their opinion is valid to me. Could it be possible that #ImWithHer? Am I a traitor to the millennial generation if I am? Honestly, living in NYC and being under the age of 50, I feel like I am obligated to vote for Bernie in some way. I would say nearly every politically active young person I know here is feeling the Bern. I am currently being bombarded with ads for Bernie – on TV, Twitter, Facebook. I get that it’s a revolution, and I respect it. But I just don’t feel the passion for it that I felt when Barack ran in ’08.
That was truly, in my eyes, a revolution. Young people showed up to vote like they never have before. I was so thankful to be in college at that point to see this change in action. I was excited to vote. I was damn proud to vote for Barack. I cried when he won. It was one of my most memorable nights in college. People spilled into the streets of campus chanting “YES WE CAN!.” We felt like we made it happen. We knew positive change was on a horizon, and now we know we weren’t wrong. Looking back on the Obama administration, things were accomplished that I could have never dreamed possible prior to 2008. Gay marriage. Universal healthcare. The end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Improving the economy. Unemployment at a low.
Barack has been so, so, beloved. I feel like Bernie is the only person in the race that could follow that. So, politics aside, that’s why I like Bernie… buuutttt then we come back to the politics and policies, and I’m feeling like #ImWithHer…
Ultimately, when compared the republican race, I guess this is a good problem to have. On many issues, Bernie and Hillary have the same stance but maybe have a different way of going about implementing it. So as long as a democrat wins the White House in November, it’s all good by me.