In the midst of the 2016 Presidential campaign, your mind may immediately go to ‘Trump’. He’s exciting and yet rather horrifying to watch-why wouldn’t that be the first candidate to think of? However, upon further reflection on who they would vote for in the upcoming election, many millennials are jumping on the Sanders train.
Bernie Sanders is becoming a hot ticket with millennials, and it’s no surprise when much of his platform is geared towards us college graduates who have thousands of dollars worth of student loans, or soon to be high school graduates deciding what school they can actually afford.
Sanders, has become ‘bae’ to millennials simply because he is appealing to this young generation who, like myself; watched our parents struggle through the 2008 recession, have been part of social movements like gay marriage becoming legal, and who are rallying behind women like Ke$ha who have been sexually assaulted.
We grew up in a time when reality hit hard for many families, in a time when change has been drastic in political issues, and in turn made us think about our own futures (which seemed doomed).
Now, with a campaign slogan stating ‘A Future To Believe In”, Sanders is giving millennials hope for their own destiny that once may have seemed bleak and daunting.
Young adults are swarming his rallies to hear him speak, how is he accomplishing this? Easy:
1. Student Loans
I don’t know about you, but I’ve racked in a couple grand in student loans. No one taught me in school how sh*tty it would be to have to pay this back, what bills would be haunting me in my dreams, and how my higher education for a ‘better life’ would turn into scrambling to pay my loans.
However, Sanders is coming in hot with a push for making college free for all. This grabs millennials attentions. Can he actually make it happen? Who knows, but he wants to try.
We’re a generation that freaks out over winning free T-shirts at a basketball game, why wouldn’t we gravitate towards someone putting the words ‘free’ and ‘college’ in the same sentence.
2. Authenticity Factor
Politicians are known for their rep of lying through their teeth to get that last vote, and millennials are for lack of a better term-over it.
Millennials don’t want to hear that you’re for gay marriage one day and then by the next debate flip your decision.
They want the truth-something that they can believe in. For millennials following the Sanders trail, that is exactly what they’re getting.
In his words, ‘We’re doing something radical, we’re telling the truth.’. Sanders has followed this way of thinking since his time as Mayor of Vermont back in the 80’s, and unlike other candidates he means what he says and says what he means.
As opposed to the Republican right, Sanders is a ‘progressive alternative’ as in he is against the ‘status quo’.
What do millennials want to see in this election? Transformation, new ideas, and financial opportunity.
And at a time in their lives when everything seems pretty uncertain concerning jobs, loans, relationships-basically everything-Sanders gives Millennials a sense of hope that it’ll get done.
3 . He Doesn’t Look Like a Politician
When you think of a politician, I’m sure your brain immediately goes to the clean cut hair, suit and tie (or pant suit), an overall well-groomed, well-spoken human being.
However, with Sanders you get a less commercial look. Of course he is well-spoken in his speeches, and has an incredible political background. But, he looks quite the opposite.
With white hair going every which way, that thick New York accent-Sanders is not your average politician.
What does this mean? He gains likeability points with millennials. Sanders and his wife Jane have that ‘hometown feel’ that many young adults crave in the uncertainty of their insane day to day lives.
Millennials want change, they want the truth-this is what that looks like to many of them.
Check the crowds at the next Sanders rally, and you’ll be sure to see the room filled with millennials who are most definitely feeling ‘the bern’. Sanders gives them a feeling of optimism in the face of such chaos.
Millennials need someone they can count on while taking on the tasks of; finding well-paying jobs right out of college, learning to deal with debt, health care, and other ‘adult’ things they only wish they could avoid.
Bernie Sanders gives Americans, young adults especially, a plan for transformation-and that is something that millennials are willing to and are following