Bernie Sanders the best candidate for millennials

Sarah Simon, Associate Views Editor

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This is an opinion article and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced his presidential candidacy for the Democratic ticket on April 30. Despite his open, clear self-description as a socialist, Sanders has experienced a wave of support from all over the country. His proposed policies benefit many, especially young adults aged 18-29, a number of whom are in higher education. As college students, we should be paying attention to Sanders and his platform, which is revolutionary in American politics.

When he addressed the evangelist Liberty University, standing before 13,000 people, Sanders did not expect to increase his polling numbers. After all, he was speaking to an extremely conservative crowd. What Sanders succeeded in doing, however, was garnering respect from a specific enclave of students who otherwise would not have given a liberal socialist the time of day.

Sanders is a revolutionary. As the longest-serving independent in congressional history, he should not have shot to the top of the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, past the presupposed frontrunner Hillary Clinton. But he did.

The senator deserves to be the Democratic candidate. He has brought unprecedented life to the election season, inspiring enthusiasm from his supporters. Deviating from the other candidates, who make America’s democracy look quite similar to an aristocracy (if Jeb Bush wins, the same family will have held executive power in this country for three decades), Sanders refuses billionaire and Super PAC funding.

From the start, he has run a grassroots campaign; in the 24 hours after announcing his candidacy, Sanders raised a groundbreaking $1.5 million. This money was sourced from over 35,000 donors. The average amount contributed was $43. Where other candidates rely on corporations, billionaires and Super PACs, Sanders relies on his merit. He presents a possible future for American democracy that actually relies on communication with the general populace. He wants to minimize the lag between social needs and government action by listening to our concerns.

Sanders’ platform has resonated specifically with a young audience. He polls best in voters aged 18-29. Sanders, if given the nomination he deserves, will create meaningful change that will contribute to long-lasting progress for America. According to his website, Sanders prioritizes getting big money out of politics, closing income and wealth gaps, expanding social security and working to curb climate change. He wishes to redistribute wealth. Part of this plan involves recirculating wealth into the education system, especially by making college financially accessible and raising competency in public education nationwide.

As students, we can sympathize with the issues in our education system. Sanders wants to support the youth; we need to let him. Sanders would provide unprecedented opportunities to a democracy that has been falling deeper and deeper into habit. America believes in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but it doesn’t deliver equal opportunity or support on the strife to achieve this American dream. Sanders wants to reshape our government for the better. We cannot hold back now. A vote for Sanders is a vote for the America we deserve.

Still, if Sanders does lose the primary, Sanders’ support system needs to be ready to rally for Clinton. Support for Bernie Sanders will not end this March during the democratic primary; he has brought about immense enthusiasm and support that will last beyond this election season. Regardless, support for a democratic candidate needs to persist. I hope that Sanders receives this much-deserved recognition, but to do so, he needs the millennial vote. It is up to us to deliver.

Sarah is a freshman at Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached at [email protected]