Opinion: Progressives Could Risk Ruining Their Movement by Not Voting for Joe Biden

If news of the severity of the coronavirus pandemic worsening and fears of a second major recession within a span of 15 years are not stressful enough for you, try this on for size: this November, Americans will vote for which alleged rapist they would like to hold to the highest office in the land. That sounds pretty bad (and it is) but there is a lot at risk in the 2020 election, and while Progressives no longer have a strong candidate in the race, they still have a lot to lose if they don’t rally behind and vote for the Democratic nominee.

Bernie Sanders suspending his campaign for president came as a hard blow to many of his supporters hoping for a progressive revolution. Some are so sure-footed in their desire for a progressive future in America that they have taken to social media to comment on their disapproval of any candidate who will not fight for large structural change on the scale that Senator Sanders would, as well as their refusal to even consider casting their vote for Vice President Biden...and they have amassed thousands of likes from like-minded voters. Hopefully, these progressive voters won’t mind waiting a few decades to make their revolution a reality, because this mindset hands Donald Trump his second term and his third Supreme Court Justice on a silver platter. 

The future of the Supreme Court should be the deciding factor for those struggling to pick which morally corrupt old white man they hate the least. Considering Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s age and recent medical history, it is very likely that she will not be able to perform her duties as a Supreme Court Justice for another four years. This will open the door for Trump to appoint a third hard-right Justice to an already hard-right-swaying Supreme Court if he wins the upcoming election. What would this mean for the United States? It would mean a Supreme Court which strips millions of women of their reproductive rights, strips millions of more Americans of their religious liberty, and does anything in its power to silence the Progressive Movement in America today. A 6-3 conservative Supreme Court with four far-right Justices would hold a tight leash on Progressivism for years to come.

Look, Joe Biden isn’t the morally righteous Democrat that many of us would like to see in office, but a write-in for Bernie Sanders on Election Day is at best an empty vote and at worst a vote for Donald Trump and the consequences of his second term. It doesn’t help the kids at the border. It doesn’t help people get healthcare. It doesn’t help fight gun violence in the United States. It doesn’t help pass environmental legislation.

Like it or not, a two-party system is in place in the United States and the two equally morally corrupt candidates that the system has thrown at us have unfortunately put Americans in a position that requires they throw some of their morality out the window and vote based solely on policy. That might not be easy, but it's a must, because the perfect-candidate mindset displayed by progressive voters won’t just get Donald Trump re-elected; it will devastate their movement.

So let’s talk about policy. While Biden and Sanders are largely ideologically different in how they plan to approach the issues most important to Americans today, there is enough overlap between the two to show a Biden administration turning the United States pretty hard back to the left in some areas; and compared to Trump’s, Biden’s policies are objectively better for those voting on liberal and progressive lines.

Climate Change: Biden supports rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, moving to cleaner nuclear energy to combat climate change, and taxing carbon emissions.

Education: Biden supports two years of tuition-free college.

Gun Control: Biden is in favor of universal background checks.

Healthcare: Biden will expand the Affordable Care Act.

Joe Biden is not a perfect candidate. Not anywhere close. But this election will come down to Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden, and it will be important for Progressives (and anyone else looking for more liberal policy in the coming years) to cast out their perfect-candidate mindset and vote for the lesser of two evils. If not for the good of the country, then for the survival of the Progressive Movement.