Why Baylor Democrats need to vote in the primaries

As a Texas Democrat, it is easy to get discouraged by the fact that my vote will likely be nullified in the general election on Nov. 8. Texas has been a red state for 32 years, after all, and good ol’ Ted Cruz would have the home field advantage, should he receive the nomination. So why even bother voting?

Though Texas cannot be expected to turn blue this election season, students can still participate in the democratic process by showing their support for their preferred candidates in the primaries on March 1. Casting this vote could be the determinate in an already historical Democratic candidate lineup: a former first lady and a Jewish Democratic Socialist. That’s why it is so important for Democratic students to side with their candidate now.

The Democratic Party also already has a few big states to back it up. Though Republicans have Texas, the Democratic Party has secured New York, Illinois, California, and probably Pennsylvania – comprising 46 percent of the needed electoral vote to win the presidency. Even if the Republican Party gets Florida, that’s still only 25 percent of the votes they will need. All to say, the Democrats stand a fair chance for winning the general election, making each and every primary vote all the more important.

Should Hilary Clinton win the presidency, we can expect much the same as we have seen the last eight years with the Obama administration. Hot-button issues such as gun control and immigration policy will be addressed in a pro-establishment manner. This means slow, underwhelming change, like Obama’s first term. Compared to Bernie Sanders, Clinton is the golden child of the DNC. Even though her presidency would guarantee a few more Supreme Court justice seats, and might even lead to a Democratic-controlled Congress, we may have to wait until the end of her second term to see anything exciting. I literally feel like I am describing Obama.

If Sanders wins, we can expect a lot more executive orders and bypassing of Congress. I mean, the guy has been spewing revolutionary rhetoric before our parents were born when he was still writing folk music. It only makes sense that millennials are latching onto his campaign – with the promise of free tuition and the legalization of marijuana, how else do you reach out to college students? It could also be his beautiful hair. In all seriousness, he is pulling a lot of these ideas from Scandinavian governments, with their single-payer healthcare systems and best-in-the-world education.

Clearly it makes a difference on who gets the nomination. With our generation breaking records with how little we show up to vote, it’s time we do our part by actually giving a you-know-what and casting our votes this spring.

Since many of us are not from McLennan County, an absentee ballot will be necessary for voting. Don’t let it sneak up on you – the application for the ballot should be sent via snail mail (we still do that?) 11 days before March 1. To get the application and receive further information, got to longdistancevoter.org.

So what’s it going to be? Are you going to continue the Clinton dynasty, or do you feel the Bern? Show it with your vote.

Gavin Pugh is a junior journalism major from Coppell. He is a reporter for the Lariat.