Lets Go Bernie!

When people our age think “Bernie Sanders,” we first think of the meme appeal. Sanders, a frail man, remains relatable to younger generations through it all.

During his presidential campaign in 2016, Sanders was receiving much higher turnout numbers at rallies than his competitor, Hillary Clinton. As each respective campaign was holding their rallies, the Huffington Post reported Sanders was getting more than triple Clinton’s rally turnout in California.

On Oct. 23, 2018, in Arizona, Bernie Sanders appeared at rallies for fellow Democratic party member David Garcia, who was running for governor. Turnout totals for the rallies, which took place at Arizona State University and University of Arizona, combined to roughly 1,500 people.

Sanders’s ability to connect with younger generations stems in-part from his all-inclusive policies. At the rally at the University of Arizona, Sanders said, “We are not going to accept dividing people up by the color of their skin, where they came from, what their religion is, what their sexual orientation is, what their gender is… This country has suffered from discrimination for too long.”

In a time when so many young people are begging for the equality and our country is so divided regarding race, religion, gender, orientation, and origin, Bernie Sanders brings us together.

Sanders has even called out his supporters, asking for them to be polite when dealing with his fellow candidates in the upcoming race. On Feb. 23, Sanders said in an email to his supporters, “Let us do our very best to engage respectfully with our Democratic opponents… I want to be clear that I condemn bullying and harassment of any kind.”

The elephant in the room is, of course, Donald Trump. President Trump is the antithesis of Sanders in so many ways. Though they are both elderly males, Trump generally stands for his own group who originate from upper class situations – many of whom were also involved with his previous business ventures. On the other side of the coin, Sanders represents the working class – no matter the background – and seeks to fight for them if he’s elected to office.

Sanders has proposed a few different major policies that would benefit the working class. One of the most discussed is medicare for all. In a December appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Sanders said that though he was looked at as an extremist just a few years ago for suggesting. “Medicare for all, single-payer system,” but that now 70 percent of the population is in agreeance with him.

In the same appearance, Sanders said that it is the duty of the Democratic senators to unify on issues and put pressure on Republicans to “do the right thing,” especially when it comes to issues like medicare, student debt and climate change.

Last presidential election, the younger generation took a back seat. In many cases, young people only voted, or stayed home and didn’t vote at all, out of spite. During the midterms, that changed. Record turnout numbers and record margin of Democratic victories show that the upcoming 2020 election can, and will, be different. Bernie Sanders, polar opposite of a president that outraged us, is the type of candidate to command the vote of our generation.

Damon Allred

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Stories written by Mesa Community College journalism students. See article for corresponding author.