Senator Bernie Sanders has ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president, stating he will be focused solely on amassing delegates to create a stronger presence to his campaign's platform at the Democratic Convention. This gives Vice President Joe Biden a clear pathway to the candidacy.
With nothing stopping Biden from claiming the nomination, the general election has essentially begun between Joe Biden and our current president, Donald Trump.
Many Bernie supporters are not happy with the decision from the Sanders campaign and are shocked that he conceded without going through the whole primary process, some going as far as to commit to being "never Biden."
And yet, the next four years are now down to a battle between Joe Biden and Donald Trump and Bernie supporters really need to think of what the next four years will look like under a Trump presidency.
1. Global warming
Under a continuing Trump presidency, there are no doubts that climate change will accelerate even more than where it is currently at.
Trump is a supporter of fracking. That means we will eventually reach the "point of no return" in terms of climate change and for eight years America will have had a president who was actively pushing against climate science. That doesn't bode well for our planet.
Trump has tried drilling in the Arctic and has opened the "Arctic Wildlife Preserve" for oil companies. He also has opened national monument land for drilling and mining purposes. Under Trump, the EPA has weakened car emission standards and has reduced fines and regulatory action against environmental violators.
2. Trump's potential 7-2 conservative-majority Supreme Court will almost certainly become a reality
Right now, the Supreme Court has five ideologically conservative justices and four liberal ones. But with reliably progressive Ruth Bader Ginsburg's diminishing health and Stephen Breyer being 81 years old, the next president will almost certainly appoint one, if not two, new justices. None of the conservative justices are as old as Breyer, nor had as many health scares as Ginsburg, so a conservative SCOTUS will be conservative for many years to come.
If Breyer retires or dies within the next four years and Clarence Thomas — the oldest reliably conservative justice on the court at 71 — follows the same pattern, that means there will be no conservative retirements or replacements for 10 years.
To put this into perspective, most, if not all, of the major progressive victories at the Supreme Court in recent history — the upholding of Obamacare and the legalization of same-sex marriage to name a few — wouldn't have passed if the supreme court was a seven-two conservative majority.
3. None of Bernie's ideas will see the light of day under Trump for the next four years, and possibly many years after that
Sanders' big ideas — Medicare for all, a wealth tax, a green new deal, and others — would almost certainly be challenged all the way up to the Supreme Court level. And if Trump wins in 2020 and the court goes to a 6-3 or 7-2 conservative majority, those could all potentially be overturned regardless.
4. A fight for universal health care will be dead in the water
Trump doesn't believe in universal healthcare. In fact, he hasn't put much of a package together on what he believes healthcare should look like in America.
However, he has worked to repeal Obamacare, which would leave millions of Americas without health insurance. And in the face of the major COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more obvious than ever that a move towards universal health care would not only save lives but is the most sensible thing for our society moving forward.
5. Four more years of a deceitful president who mishandles and misleads the public on life-or-death issues like the COVID-19 pandemic
Trump dropped the ball on COVID-19 early on by not letting people onto the severity of the spread. That has gone a long way in creating an environment where the disease can sustain its hold for longer than anyone was prepared for.
With four more years of Donald Trump as our president, we can expect to see more of the same in how important news is reported to us from our highest position of public office.
6. Kowtowing to dictators
Russian interference in the 2016 election has marred the first four years of Trump's presidency and Trump has actively kowtowed to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
This is not something that anyone who isn't conservative or Republican has taken lightly. And for four years, we've had to accept that this is who Donald Trump is. However, it's something that a vote for Donald Trump would establish as something we as Americans are okay with. Rather a vote for Biden would be an explicit vote against this being something legitimate our president can and should be doing in office.
8. Calling the Charlottesville mob "very fine people"
Trump has said that there were "very fine people on both sides" during the Charlottesville rally. He has argued that he was speaking about some group of people who were there to support Confederate statues but weren't marching with KKK, neo-Nazis, and neo-Confederates.
However, there is no proof that there was a separate group of such people — just the tiki-torch-waving, anti-Semitic-slogan-chanting mob on the first night of the demonstration and the KKK-hood-wearing, neo-Nazi-symbols-emblazoned, civilian-assaulting-and-murdering group on the second day.
Without any proof of a group of "fine people," it's hard to pin down who exactly Trump was talking about. The Charlottesville rally is well-known for its blatant racism in the face of the removal of an implicitly racist statue. It was essentially a white-supremacist rally. And it's the people who attended that rally that Trump called "very fine."
Under a second Trump term, we can expect more of the same. A racist apologist who believes that you can march shoulder-to-shoulder with literal Ku Klux Klansmen and neo-Nazis and still be a "very fine" person.
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With this general election, America has a choice of which direction it intends to go over the next four years and beyond. We can go in a direction of healing our country, our world, and putting the pieces back together from a destructive and abusive Trump presidency. Or, we can choose to move towards a world that is even more disheveled, deceitful, and regressive then it already is.
As troves of Bernie supporters speak on how they will never vote Biden, it's important to note that a vote against Biden, or a write-in vote for Bernie, is, in reality, a vote for a second Trump term.