I'm A Millennial, But I'm Not Feelin' The Bern

I'm A Millennial, But I'm Not Feelin' The Bern

I am not voting for Bernie Sanders, and you shouldn't either.

As a college student at a primarily liberal university, I am in the minority as a non-Bernie Sanders supporter. I don't oppose him in order to present myself as edgy or unconventional — and I'm sure as hell not a Donald Trump supporter — so please hear me out. I am under the strong suspicion that Sanders does not have America's best interests at heart. He is a screaming example of a demagogue. In order to flourish into leadership, he is prepared to use the emotions and fears of the people. By aligning himself as synonymous with a chance at life-long security for the American people, I believe he will be letting down his supporters, as well as the rest of the country, if he does assume the title of Commander in Chief in early 2017. America deserves a leader that can accurately prioritize the issues within our country and can produce a platform for the American Dream to thrive on. I am not the kind of student to fabricate empty claims though, so following is my reasoning for my lack of support for Senator Bernie Sanders.

Taxation Taxation Taxation

Sanders went through a large portion of his campaign without producing the numbers, nor the plans, he claimed to have compiled. When he finally did, my jaw dropped. And as I looked around, students and professionals alike were having a different reaction. "It takes money to make money," they told me. Stop. Right. There. America is over $18 trillion dollars in debt, and it is expected to surpass $20 trillion by the time a new president is inaugurated. Upon extensive research directly from Sanders' website (to prevent outside bias and propaganda), there is $9,028,250,000 worth of expenses being proposed just over the next five years — and that number doesn't even include the proposed increase in estate tax and payroll tax. This $9,028,250,000 isn't coming from just anywhere; it is coming directly from the taxpayers. Many supporters of the senator think the only people who will be influenced tax-wise will be the top 1 percent, but boy, do I have news for you. No matter what your income is, you will be affected. Followed is the tax information compiled from Sanders' proposed policies, compiled by Vox. It shows that, based on your income, you will have at least a 8.8 percent increase, with those at the higher end of income expecting an increase of 33.8 percent. Let me tell you one thing — that is a lot of money. You're the one who earned it, yet you will not be the one deciding how it is spent. Sound "fair?" Not in my opinion.

Wait! We Want More!

But don't worry, Sanders is here on behalf of the government to save you. Let's implement a minimum wage at starting at $15 an hour (even though the senator pays his employees a starting wage of $12 an hour) and ignore inflation — because if you've never opened a economic textbook, it doesn't affect you. First, there needs to be a clarification of who is affected by the minimum wage. According to Pew Research Center, only 4.3 percent of workers are currently being paid minimum wage. Fifty percent of those are under the age of 25, with a majority of those also being students. Minimum wage is intended for people with minimum skills, such as students in trade schools or universities or employees attempting to work their way up within a company. Minimum wage is not intended to be a living wage. In addition, minimum wage should not be under federal jurisdiction to this extreme degree. Cities such as Washington, D.C., and Seattle have much higher minimum wages than the national minimum wage of $7.25, but that is not because they are harder workers. It is based on the price of living in those cities, which is much higher than rural areas. The states can handle their minimum wage without mediation by the federal government, because no one knows what is better for a state than the state itself.

Socialism is the Answer, Right?

This is a humongous concern to be had with millennials — we seem to have forgotten about the Red Scare. The Red Scare, for those of you who are not aware, happened in the early 1950s and was the fear of communism or radical leftism. Socialism is radical leftism. Now that that's out of the way, we can address another issue. Socialism does not work. Democratic socialism does not work. Yes, there are places that are fiercely different than the melting pot of the United States that have introduced socialism. They have government assistance programs in which they can receive free education and free healthcare, but they are not comparable to our diverse nation. The Denmark discussion is my favorite because the differences between our country and theirs is astounding. First and foremost, we have more than 55 times as many citizens on a piece of land more than 200 times the size. If the problem was just based on size alone, there would be a possibility of success with the right means of control through technology. But a much more important issue is that Denmark has people who are very similar religiously (with over 80 percent of citizens being Lutheran), hence holding similar morals. It is simply not possible to promise "fairness" to Americans when, due to our distinctive differences in culture, there is a moral difference in what fair means. Beyond our model country of Denmark, socialism, as well as the more extreme of communism, have proved not to work. Just ask the citizens in places such as Russia, Venezuela, Cuba and China. They'll give you the lowdown — it doesn't work. And life for them sucks now.

Equality of Effort vs. Equality of Outcome

My biggest concern with Sanders is the destruction of the entrepreneur spirit. When a government implements the idea of fairness as a right, it is proven that people begin to forget about individualism. Individualism is what the American Dream is based off of. People came to America to have a life better than what their home country could offer them. The United States provided the opportunity to throw away any biases that come with your country and start from the beginning. With hard work and time well spent, anyone can become and achieve anything they want to. With the introduction of socialism, the American Dream begins to deteriorate, and soon thereafter is extinguished. People can come here, automatically get all of their needs for free, while the hardworking Americans who believe in the American Dream continue to pay for it. Reference Russia for example, where they have free university education, yet half the country is still on welfare. It will continue to be the "we want more, more, more" philosophy, and there is not an end in sight.

The character of our nation was founded on capitalism. We are blessed to have a home that men, women and children can come to and have the chance to succeed at the American Dream. With the implementation of democratic socialism, we are taking away that opportunity. People come to America in order to get away from the downfalls of their country. We want to grow our country to present more possibilities for all current and future citizens. If Sanders becomes our president, that will be destroyed. A vote for Bernie is a vote against the American Dream.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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A Long Forgotten Dream

I think about this every day.

When I was thirteen years old there were a couple of places you could find me. School, a dance studio, and running around with my brothers. Dancing was the one joy I truly had for many years. I found joy in performance and I found a sense of pride in myself when I learned step after step. Although I was disciplined in many types of dance I found the greatest joy in tap. Tap dancing was the one style I felt the freest performing. Learning every single step and move I could articulate with my feet brought me a great sense of joy and pride within myself.

At the age of fourteen, my tap dancing capabilities began to accelerate to that of seniors in high school and collegiate age performers. Dance teachers complimented my skill and pushed me to continue pursuing this style of dance as they insisted that I could go very far in the world with this one style of dance. More times than not, they all began to insist that I could go on to perform tap dancing professionally.

All of these compliments came one year after my world of dance came tumbling down. At thirteen years old, I had a dance teacher tell me that I was never going to amount to anything in the world of dance and that I should just give up because of my body shape and my weight. I now sit here at twenty-two, almost twenty-three years old and I now can tell you that giving up tap dancing was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. Tap was an escape into rhythm and movement that many people did not understand. Tap did not require me to dress indecently. It allowed me to be a teenager and dress as a teenager should be allowed to dress when competitively dancing, modestly.

I let go of my anger and resentment towards this dance instructor many years ago. She owns a successful studio in Springfield and has created an army of dancers many of which have become professionals within the dance industry. I credit her for continuing her business. However, I will tell you that if your body type is not lean and slender, you are treated as an odd duck. Also, if you do not come from what she considers a wealthy family, you are a problem to her.

For a long period of time, this studio owner hired a woman I knew by Miss Laura. Miss Laura was the main tap instructor and she had a huge role in my success for a short period of time. She was someone that my mother and I could talk to comfortably without any judgment. She made me feel as if I was extremely valuable even though I was not competing in every style of dance because the studio owner said I wasn't "good enough" to be in every dance routine but I was well qualified to tap dance. So I tapped, and tapped, and tapped. I absorbed every piece of information Laura gave to me. She was my mentor and confidant that I found within this dance studio. She pushed me to my ends and made me have more skill than I could've ever imagined.

Now I go to the movies and see things like "The Greatest Showman" and I often get sad. I had instructor after instructor tell me that my tap dancing could've carried me to a professional level. As unrealistic of a career path that would've been, I think it would've been a dream job. I would've been in amazing shape, following a dream that young Amanda had, and I would've proven so many people wrong.

I don't talk about this dream I once had because everyone knows me as the "color guard girl" in college. Color guard is what filled the void once I gave up dancing. It allowed me to perform and immerse myself in newer equipment pieces and always have a reason to challenge myself.

This was a dream that I had as a young girl. A dream that was innocent and full of hope. A dream that many people have been able to acheive because they were able to push past many critics. I, however, lost that dream. A dream I regret ever letting slip through my fingers. From time to time, I still slip on my tap shoes and an immediate grin emerges from my face. I feel as free and happy as I did at fourteen years old. Do not ever let someone take away your dream. If you do, you may end up like me at twenty two and reminscing on what could have been.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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15 Inspirational Quotes From Martin Luther King Jr. For ANY Day Of The Year

Not just for MLK day, but every day.

MLK was known for his voice and leadership during a time of sacrifice. His words encouraging love and activism still apply to life today. 50 years after his death, we can still hear this quotes read in MLK's voice

1. "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

2. "I have decided to stick to love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

3. "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

4. "We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies."

5. "The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important."

6. "Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal"

7. "The ultimate tragedy is not oppression and cruelty by bad people, but the silence over that by good people."

8. "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all of humanity."

9. "There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love."

10. "Every man must decide whether we will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."

11. "If man has not discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live."

12. “Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The method of such is the method of love."

13. “Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”

14. "If I can not do great things, I can do small things in a great way"

15. "Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate; only love can do that."

Cover Image Credit: wikimedia commons

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