Oracle After Hours: “Settle for Biden” founder and former South student, Sam Weinberg, reflects on his political involvement this election


photo courtesy of Sam Weinberg

Sophia Pinc, columnist

It is November, which means the event which has had everyone talking for months is finally here: the presidential election.
Because politics and the election are such hot topics among society right now, many people have made their political preferences very clear. Social media especially is filled with different opinions and ideas on the issue of who our next president should be: current President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden.

However, one social media slogan in particular caught my eye: “Settle for Biden.” This phrase has been used as a popular pitch, especially among younger voters, and I was curious as to where this particular saying came from. As it turns out, its creator is Sam Weinberg, a former South student. 

I recently had the opportunity to interview Weinberg on one of his biggest successes- his “Settle for Biden” account on Instagram, which has a whopping 277,000 followers and continues to grow every day. 

I was curious as to what motivated account founder and executive director Weinberg to create the account with that particular message. Using the word “settle” seemed like a unique campaigning plan. Weinberg explained how he originally started the campaign after hearing an interview with Jill Biden, Joe Biden’s wife. One thing Weinberg said really struck him was how she told listeners that even if they didn’t agree with everything Biden said, that they needed to just settle for him. 

 “At the time, I thought it was kind of a dumb thing to say and might not be the most effective campaign strategy,” Weinberg said. “But in April, I realized that might actually be an effective message.” 

Weinberg said he originally started the account in April, right after his primary candidate, Bernie Sanders, dropped out. For the first few months, the account had a couple hundred followers, until around June, when posts started doing really well, according to Weinberg. 

“Up until then I wasn’t really putting a whole lot of time into the account,” Weinberg said.  “Then around  [June], things started to gain traction.”

Managing such a large and popular platform that speaks to such a prevalent topic can seem daunting, but luckily, the account management has grown into a larger group of people from all across the United States, according to Weinberg. Even some of his friends at South have helped him maintain this growing platform, as his campaign slogan has inspired people to want to get involved. 

Many people in his social circle said they wanted to vote for the lesser of two evils, according to Weinberg. 

 “That really incensed me both on a policy and personal level because I understand the hesitation that some people have to participate in the two party system,” Weinberg said. 

This is not the only time Weinberg has gotten involved in politics. 

Despite the last few months of chaos, Weinberg has made sure to make his own voice heard. From “Black Lives Matter” rallies to getting involved in political campaigns, Weinberg has continued to advocate for change and has made an impact in spreading his political ideas through not only his social media account but also through interviews with news channels such as BBC World News. 

While Weinberg has peacefully expressed his ideas on social media, he has had to deal with his fair share of people who are much less tranquil regarding their viewpoints. According to Weinberg, the account receives many vulgar and vile messages. 

“Personally I try not to read the comments on our posts, as we get a lot of [hateful] messages or emails,” Weinberg said. “We try not to be fazed by it. We think that, at the end of the day, what we are doing is effective and the fact that people are so angered by it just goes to show how effective it is.” 

As we grow closer to adulthood, it is important–as the future of the United States–to begin learning about our country and who is vying for its leadership. Having a wide network of sources that offers people various different opinions and viewpoints allows those who may not be as educated in politics or current events to begin forming their own opinions and political beliefs. 

Whether people agree or disagree with Weinberg’s political preferences, it is clear he has created a large platform to peacefully spread his political views, so that people become more educated on what is happening in our country and furthermore are equipped to form their own opinions. 

 “The main thing we are focused on is trying to lift up other people’s voices and get people to engage and promote progressive change,” Weinberg said.