By: Sonali Mudunuri
Amid concerns about the global pandemic, which has caused massive sweeps of anxiety and paranoia to wash over the nation, it is crucial now more than ever for all eligible voting citizens to turn to a leader that will not only inspire and rejuvenate the nation, but set in forth concrete plans to better our current situation. With the current Democratic candidates and President Trump occupied with the prioritization of safety and social distancing, we must turn to the past to examine all they have done for their campaigns in order for us to determine who we want to rally behind.
The February 26th Democratic debate was one that occurred right before the spread of panic regarding COVID-19 and Joe Biden’s successful win at Super Tuesday. Biden earned nominations from the likes of former Democrats running against him, such as Pete Buttigeg, Amy Klobuchar, and Andrew Yang, among others. This shocking result came after Bernie Sanders surged in the polls just previously, impressively maintaining his status as the party’s frontrunner despite having the most radical ideals and policies [in comparison to his opponents]. With Tulsi Gabbard having virtually no chance at qualifying for future debates, it is all but confirmed that the primaries will continue on with Biden and Sanders vying against each other for the nomination.
As we keep this in mind, let’s look back to the February 26th debate, and specifically the way Biden and Sanders performed. Bernie Sanders applied his usual tactic of emphasizing the support he feels for the middle class; immediately as the debate started, Sanders discussed the way that his socialist plan would increase wages for Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck. He also mentioned a recent Yale study published in a prestigious medical journal, which stated that his Medicare for All plan would lower healthcare costs in the country by 450 billion dollars a year, while saving 68,000 U.S. citizens. Sanders denounced separate insurance plans, encouraging Americans to vote for the healthcare plan that so many other countries are already implementing. He further cemented his focus on healthcare by calling to light all the work he put in to increase funding for the Community Health Center program by eleven billion dollars, as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Joe Biden reminded voters of the hard work he underwent in order to earn the African American vote, citing the jobs he’s created in South Carolina and the civil rights he has fought for. Biden’s work also includes extending the Voting Rights Act as soon as he was appointed Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He made it clear he encourages investing in black entrepreneurs as a way to not only support the African American community, but also create wealth. In light of the recent mass shootings that have been taking place over the years, Biden discussed his plans for gun laws and combating the NRA and proved his capability to do so by looking back to his earlier efforts of helping to ban assault rifles and magazines that held over ten rounds.
With these focuses our two frontrunners have taken, and with consideration to the issues that plague America today, it is clear that Democrats must act quickly in rallying behind a single candidate who will reflect their ideals and prove capable of going head-to-head with current president, Donald Trump. In such turbulent times, we must all stay level-headed and focused on the political climate at hand, educating ourselves as best we can to help save our country.