Before we get started, let’s get some preconceived notions out of the way: Yes, I am a young millennial, a recent college graduate and a female. Unfortunately, this formulaic assumption leads to comments like, “Of course you support Bernie, you naive little thing.” But like most millennials, I grew up in a broken system.
This broken system was lead by the Clinton and the Bush family. We grew up watching the system fail before us, 9/11, the housing market crash, bailouts galore and now we are going through one of the biggest racial divides our country has ever seen. Even seeing all of this, we aren’t negative, we’re distrustful. Maybe I am being presumptuous and speaking for a generation who doesn’t feel the way I do, but look at the support gathered around Bernie Sanders.
If you are younger than 55, you tend to lend your helping hand to Bernie Sanders, a self proclaimed democratic socialist who wants to fix a broken system. Based on that alone, we are drawn to his idealistic ways, even though we were skeptical when he first announced his candidacy. Then how did he attract the younger crowds, you might ask? His record, his history, his approval rating in the senate. Unlike many politicians, he isn’t afraid to go out of his way to voice an unpopular opinion because the thing is, it isn’t so unpopular.
Our drive is for a candidate who is open and cares about our voice, the voice of the working class. Take a peak into how politics is being ran right now, the voice of the public rarely turns out real results. And now comes along a senator who stands up to “Big Brother,” and we flock to him. It’s the same reason Republicans are drawn to Trump. The system is rigged, and we want someone who we feel can change it. The only difference between the two lies between “telling it like it is,” and someone who actually listens to the people and wants to make a difference.
Sanders is leading a political revolution, he is funded by the people and has voiced his distrust of the establishment. The same distrust I mentioned earlier, the one that strikes a chord with millennials and turns them against main stream media. We want the American Dream in the sense that we want a government that provides equality for all and cares about the betterment of society and its people. It makes sense why younger generations are attracted to someone who is anti-establishment because we want to restart and build something better, like FDR with the great depression.
And that’s really the meaning of democratic socialism, right? Providing people with the opportunity to succeed without capitalism getting in the way. Big money shouldn’t be in our politics, our medical care or our schools. The graduating class of 2015, my graduating class, will graduate from college with more debt than ever before. We are being set up to fail before we even get into the business world, so Sanders’ message of cutting the bullshit resonates with a lot of us. It is resonating so well, that even Hillary Clinton has started adapting his stump speeches into her own. And this is not to bash HRC, but to show that she recognizes the power Bernie has tapped into.
Millennials biggest concern with Hillary is her indecisive nature. Six months ago, Hillary wasn’t running the campaign she is today. I’ve always struggled with the Clintons’ simply because I remember them growing up, I remember her campaign in 2008 and how she has a very fear heavy tactic of deeming the GOP as our biggest enemy, and clinging to people like Obama and Henry Kissinger. It makes me afraid that she cannot work across the aisle and won’t be able to pass through a lot of the ideas that she is now promising. It makes me afraid that she will say what people like to hear to get elected, but not follow through when it comes time.
To quote The Dark Knight (2008), Bernie Sanders is the hero America deserves, but he is also the hero America needs right now. For those put off by his plans to uproot the political system, research his policies, look through his history and how he has always championed social issues. Maybe this is a “rose-tinted glasses” view of the Sanders’ campaign, but it fits the candidate I choose to support and the idea of what I want the country to become.