Rasmussen: Looking into the future of politics

Columnist Olivia Rasmussen reviews the future of politics in relation to younger generations. Collage designed by Olivia Rasmussen through the use of stock photos.

Olivia Rasmussen

If you’re like me, you’ve been utterly frustrated with the candidates we have to chose between this election. I used to blindly align myself with liberal Democrats, and then I had a major wakeup call while working on Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. I now align myself as a Leftist, with the goals to empower and uplift the working class through livable wages, access to health care and education (including trade schools) across the board, comprehensive climate justice and complete equity for minorities.

The unfortunate reality is that corporate Democratic leaders and Republican leaders are really no different with their focuses on greed, special interest groups and the elite class as their stomachs growl for war and negligence.

This year casted doubt and sorrow among many Americans, and the election is not helping. Staunch Donald Trump supporters are excited like persistent moderates, but what about everyone else? As someone who opposes most Republican beliefs, I can’t speak from experience, but I can only imagine the folks on the right who do not agree with Trump are stuck in the same rut as folks on the left who do not agree with Biden. This is the issue with the two-party system.

I’m aware there are other third-party candidates, but one of the unfortunate things about our voting system is that those candidates are hardly ever viable and have virtually no opportunity of winning. Imagine a future where the two-party system is abolished and the American people have a complete say over who wins the presidency based around the popular vote, the person the American people actual want. We’d get rid of the Electoral College and move toward complete democracy.

While that dream may not be viable, there’s a hopeful future in on the horizon. According to a Pew Research study on social trends, 77 percent of Generation Z disapprove of Trump’s presidency. This is exciting news for people who want to preserve American liberties and freedoms, rather than continuing to crawl into a fascist regime under the guise of authoritarian leaders who want this country transformed into a submissive police state where the Constitution holds no weight.

“Gen Z is more racially and ethnically diverse than previous generations,” the study reports. Solely focusing on identity politics is very much a liberal’s game that I don’t enjoy playing, but this kind of diversity allows for more representation on all levels, which is desperately needed in our country.

A variety of polls show more than 50 percent of Gen Z voters also hold favorable views on socialism and socialist candidates.” A good reference guide of what democratic socialism looks like is from the Democratic Socialists of America:

Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically — to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives.”

Further explanations of the history behind the terminology of democratic socialism can be found in this The New York Times article.

Looking at the future may be bright, but what about right now? This election, I will be reluctantly casting my vote for Joe Biden in hopes to repair our country from the damage Trump has caused. While Biden has done virtually nothing to gain the votes of the left, other than the “it’s not Trump!” approach, I’m putting my ideologies on hold for the sake of others.

It’s easy to want to sit this one out, but not everyone has the luxury or privilege to do so, which is why we all need to step up and vote. And after we vote, we will continue to hold our leaders accountable, regardless of political affiliation, and work to ensure the people of this nation are the priority.

I’m bringing Bernie Sanders’ quote, “Fight For Someone You Don’t Know,” to fruition during this election in hopes of a better future that will take time and effort but is possible.