UMB 4 Bernie's dedication to Sen. Bernie Sanders is evident in the passion exhibited by the volunteers during tabling. Bernie bumper stickers, Bernie stickers, and Bernie posters are littered across the table and in the hands of the volunteers. As a passerby travels, they can hardly miss these signs. And herein lies the essential truth about Bernie Sanders: for an America that is incredibly pessimistic, where socialism is back in fashion, and when the young, voting and college population of today are incensed, Bernie Sanders is what we need.

Now, while I wholeheartedly endorse Sen. Sanders and believe him to be the ideal candidate the U.S. needs, I am not without my reasons; my father helped to clarify this further on a brief call where I entreated that so many college students were confused about whom to support in the Democratic primary, and my father gave me this scenario that summarizes everything of why him and I earnestly believe in Bernie: 

My father said: pretend that the U.S. had a budget of $100. Of course, this number is exponentially larger in reality, but for the sake of this argument, imagine that the federal budget is only $100. As of now, $70 of that $100 goes to military spending. Only $30 goes to social programs such as Medicaid, Social security benefits, education, roads, etc. What Bernie Sanders wants to do is flip these numbers: instead of investing $70 in the military, Sen. Sanders wants to invest this amount in social programs, allowing a system of universal healthcare, social security benefits, education and other benefits. The $30 would instead go into finding the military. Today, Trump invests the $70 into tax breaks for the rich, possibly building an expensive and unnecessary wall, ammunition for the military and overseas wars and soft power diplomacy that requires military presence. Now imagine the possibilities for the American people if most of the money went to where it should go: the people. 

As someone who earnestly believes in the success of social programs in benefiting an entire populace, Sen. Sanders policies are extremely appealing. Because of his focused investment in expanding social programs, his aim to forgive student debt, and his general understanding of modern-day American struggles, Bernie Sanders is the ideal candidate for college students.

Some college students fear a suspected overtly socialist tone in Sen. Sanders’s proposals, however, the average voter needs to understand that Sanders is not your typical socialist. Of course, he may believe in the regulation of private enterprises, along with high taxes for said enterprises, but he does not desire to control the banks and manufacture cars at the federal level. 

While the modern voter may argue that Sanders should distance himself from the label of “socialist,” especially because the U.S. fears anything along those lines and often groups socialism with communism, I would argue that it is high time the U.S. abandon its irrational fear of socialism. Socialists in the U.S. are not advocating for a communist takeover; instead, we are denouncing the extreme capitalism inherent in the U.S., and would rather see a mix of capitalism and socialism incorporated in the economy, government and social programs. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders is the breath of fresh air the U.S. needs, especially in the wake of the Trump administration dominating international politics With aggressive soft power tactics and unnecessary spending. By electing Sanders, we are sending a message to the world that the U.S. is not the prejudiced nation we are currently perceived to be, and we are saying that it is high time we begin to invest in our own people. The federal government is a mismanaged jumble of finances, and Sen. Sanders has a plan to reverse this and invest it those who truly deserve it: the American people. 

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