Millennials feel the Bern
Millennials are making a huge stamp on the 2016 presidential election circuit as popularity through social media can now make a huge impact on whether a candidate can. And who is the new voter demographic rooting for in one of the most bombastic presidential races in the history of this great country? None other than U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders., I-Vermont.
Dawning the unkempt look of a mad scientist similar to Christopher Lloyd in “Back to the Future,” the selfproclaimed Socialist has the political charisma of Theodore Roosevelt while still maintaining the credibility and stability that many candidates struggle to maintain (I’m looking at you, Trump).
Sanders really brings the “Bern” to issues that matter to millennial voters, and for a man in his 70s he’s already striking a chord with youngsters far better than the younger candidates. Social-media campaigns through twitter and tumblr have given Sanders the upper hand with bloggers, both micro and macro, even if you don’t include his policies.
Just three months ago, Sanders was a nobody on the radar of political analysis groups and news organizations paid little to no attention to this crazy old man shouting his beliefs in a Brooklyn accent; fast forward to today, and he has already led the polls in Iowa over Hillary “Just Chillin’” Clinton and people are starting to wonder if Hillary will make it out of this as the Democratic candidate after all.
While Hillary has floundered in attempts to connect with the young sports (i.e., futzing around in the Mystery Mobile, making clumsy Vine videos while “Chillin’ in Cedar Rapids,” etc.), Sanders has the support of the young voters based on his policies alone. While rallying for support in Portland, Oregon, a city with a young voter demographic of more than 28 percent, Sanders drew a crowd of more than 20,000 eager and spirited fans. He is the Betty White of politics.
But, what is it that makes Sanders so lovable to the social-media generation? Perhaps it’s his diplomatic foreign policy: on an interview with Bill O’Reilly (right wing extremist and terrible at manners), Sanders said that in order to deal with Russia, we must politically isolate them and freeze its currency in global banks.
“We can’t be repeating what we did with Iraq and Iran,” Sanders politely tells O’Reilly, who proceeded to collapse inward like a dying star.
Perhaps it’s his willingness to fight for those less fortunate. Sanders is a sort of political Robin Hood wherein he takes money from the sickeningly decadent 1 percent and divvies it up among the middle and lower classes; he strives to combat poverty in America. Slate compares his plan to prevent another crash onWall Street to Roosevelt’s New Deal, or Truman’s G.I. Bill.
Perhaps it’s his competency of race issues going on all around us. Tragically, it was a bad move when the Black Lives Matter chapter in Seattle protested his speech, demanding a moment of silence for the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown as the Progressive rally booed their disturbance. As Sanders said in another speech, no other presidential candidate is going to fight for racial equality more than he.
Throw in his ideas for Social Security reform and a proposed idea for universal health care, Sanders may be one of the few candidates within the past half-century who actually break the mold of whitewashed bureaucracy that has both plagued and stagnated the Oval Office for decades. He has potential to be the next FDR or Lincoln (minus the vampire slaying).