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The One Thing Sanders is Doing Right

While its a stretch to say Ill be feeling the Bern in this years upcoming
presidential election, I have to hand it to Bernie Sanders because he is doing quite a few
things right in his campaign, including actually giving a shit about the young vote.

Weve been asked this question a billion times; why doesnt the young generation
participate in politics? Why dont you care? And, the answer is always the same; politicians
dont care about us and we feel our vote wont make a difference. So, is that on us? Or
them? Because politicians only want to campaign to those willing to cast their vote, which
is why they spend so much time talking about retirement reform and all of the stuff we
dont care about. But, we make up one-fourth of all voters out there, so why dont we voice
our opinions?

But, now we have this new beacon of light, Bernie Sanders, a long-time Independent
governor of Vermont with a funky grandpa-feel to him says the words, free college
education and we are lining up to give him our vote. While I think this is a bit hasty and we
are quick to bandwagon-jump onto these glamorous ideas, thats a topic for a different
time. The point is, he cared enough to bring it up.

Based on a Harvard IOP Report, in Fall 2015 only 22% of 18-29 year olds (survey of
2,000 participants) supported Trump, and that was the majority. Whats worse is that even
though Trump polled the highest 39% of Millennials said they didnt think he was qualified
to be President.

I decided to try to gather more info on the consistently most popular candidates
amongst Millennials, Trump and Sanders. Just looking at their campaign website alone was
pretty telling
Lets play a little game of I Spy, what is literally the second bullet point on Sanders
list of issues? Oh thats right, making college tuition free. Trumps positions tab doesnt
even reference anything that interests Milennials. What is missing is any attention to our
financial concerns and social issues that our generation cares about more than any other.

Besides online presence, Sanders has outshone every major Republican candidate in
terms of actually showing up to make his face known to college students. According to a
NECN candidate tracker, Trump has made a total of 46 stops, 12 of those being to colleges.
In contrast, Sanders has made 93 stops in total, 21 of those to colleges. Even if not many
college students actually attended, the buzz of a presidential candidate making a stop at
your college campus is definitely enough for most students to take notice and be interested
in possibly going. Its not rocket science to realize that the more you expose yourself to
someone the more likely it is that they will recognize you later on.

The GOP needs to face it, they are OUT OF TOUCH with our generation and dont
seem to understand the issues we care about. Research by the Pew Center found 64% of
young Republicans think homosexuality should be accepted by society, 57% said
immigrants strengthen our country, and 48% said stricter environmental laws are worth
the added cost. We are far more liberal today than we ever have been and for options for
Republicans we have a nice selection of mildly conservative, conservative, and staunchly
conservative, so who do we choose?

At this point it would be pretty suicidal for any candidates campaign to come out
and start backtracking on social policies that they have been conservatively touting for
months. It also would destroy their campaign at the expense of getting the Millennial vote.
But, at the very least, how about they get a little wake up call and realize they are pushing
us towards the opposition because the lack of attention is translating to a lack of care.

In my own poll that a variety of college students took part in there are some
interesting results. Although it is a small sample size of 73 students that took the survey, I
believe the outcomes are very telling. Contrary to what many politicians today believe, our
generation DOES care about politics. 85% said they care, but what is really amazing is
83.6% said they planned on voting in the upcoming election. That is only slightly less than
those who said they cared, so much for not being invested and taking action in politics. And,
what that further shows, is that if that many kids plan on voting, then its true our
politicians just arent showing us the TLC we need.

Take a look at more results below

I then asked surveyors to give a short answer to the question, if you could change
one thing about the democratic and republican party, what would you change? For
democrats the consistent answer was that they needed to get a better grip on the economy
and be more realistic with how much we can give to federal handouts. And for republicans,
the main complaint was, as predicted, that they are far too conservative on social issues
like same-sex marriage, environment and climate change, which makes them unrelatable.

So what is the answer? Whats important for Republican candidates to take away is
that youth do care, but were not convinced they care about us. The question is, when, if
ever, they will become perceptive to this. And, as a young Republican myself, its
disheartening to see the disconnect young kids are having with their representatives, and
understandably so. It is not too much to ask for some representation since we are the
future, like everyone tells us. So GOP, are you willing to lose us to The Bern?