Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders dropped out of the campaign race for president last Wednesday, April 8. This effectively places Joe Biden in position to become the democratic nominee with no competition, but that doesn’t mean Sander’s fight is over.
Sanders was an important figure for many young voters, breaking away from the typical democratic mold of centrism. His campaign’s scale proved to younger generations that you can want bigger and better and still be heard—more importantly that you deserve to be heard.
The strong support behind Sanders’ campaign came from a variance of demographics, all placing hope in someone who dared to ask for more of the American government. Sanders sought to establish free health care, free higher education and taxing large corporations in order to lessen the gap between the upper and lower classes.
This was not in vain, though. As Sanders endorses Biden, it has become clear that Biden will have to work to appeal to the more liberal voters who were devastated to see their favored candidate drop. Perhaps this could be a good thing: if Biden were to adopt some of Sanders’ plans or even begin to make similar ones, it could help his voter turnout significantly.
Young voters generally prefer progressive candidates, and Biden is not exactly that. Though he and Sanders are both older politicians, their past does not look the same in the motions they have supported. What made Sanders so appealing to the younger generations was his long track record of refusing to give up what he believes in for what everyone else says is possible.
It’s because of this stark difference that Biden is going to have to make serious efforts to appeal to young voters. Given the response to Sanders ending his campaign, there could be a seriously low turnout among young voters who are upset with the situation.
Sanders didn’t end his campaign for that to happen. He ended it so that all Democrats could vote together against Donald Trump. The idea that this may have been a failed effort is frightening, but the divide amongst the Democratic party is so strong that reaching across the aisle will be necessary in the coming months.
Though this is Sanders’ second campaign which failed to gain a nomination, his impact has been enormous. He has inspired a young generation of voters to become involved in politics and push for what they believe in. He has shown time and time again that the things you believe in are worth fighting for against all odds.
As Sanders said in his live announcement, “While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not.” When November rolls around, we can all hope that the inspiration Sanders gave to young voters shows in the voting booths.