Feel the Bern: The Impact of Bernie Sanders on Millennials

By Austin Wolfe

Politics has always seemed beyond the reach for a millennial like myself: a topic usually reserved for Ivy League intellectuals and old people who had grown tired of daytime TV dramas. Besides, there were better things to worry about, such as my bank account being in single digits.

Politics did come up in conversation on rare occasions, but the tone was dismissive—a collection of votes don’t matter, presidents are puppets, and illuminati. Basically, no one cared.

Millennials, thus far, have been defined by entitlement, disinterest and disillusion; we spend too much time on our phones, react emotionally to everything and have no concept of hard work. Why would a bunch of entitled, emotional, scatterbrains pay any mind to a bunch of old white guys pretending they care about things?

The older generation noticed and began scheming—80 million dormant voters were worth something, after all. They started social media campaigns and hip television commercials, but neither worked.

If we were going to care about politics, we need someone fresh, new and genuine. Someone came along with all those traits at the right time: a 74-year-old Jewish Senator from Vermont.

It started with some Reddit posts—memes and leftist blogs talking up some Vermont Senator who marched with MLK. Then, on twitter, popular pundits and personalities tagged their posts with #FeelTheBern.

Soon even Facebook—the lamest of social media outlets—had posts praising universal healthcare and free college tuition. Someone had finally reached the millennials: Bernie Sanders.

It only takes a look around campus or your preferred news feed to see the impact: Laptops are adorned with Bernie stickers, status updates are rallying around Sander’s talking points, the TVs in the dining hall with CNN on them are actually being watched on occasion. The no-cares-given generation finally has something to care about besides Jackson Street and GPA’s.

Will Bernie Sanders win the election? He’s already accomplished more than whoever ends up being the next president; he has lit the political flame of an entire generation.

Featured photograph: photo by Gage Skldmore

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