Yes, I am a millennial. And no, contrary to your preconceived notions (and the title), I did not vote for Bernie in the primaries.
(Sorry to disappoint all fellow millennials.)
Though I may not see eye to eye with the Democratic candidate on many of his views, Bernie has certainly stood out in a crowd of crazies. (That and watching him give Hilary a run for her money, having to engage debates much longer than she anticipated, has been most entertaining.)
Caught in the confusion of this election many feel stuck having to select between the lesser of two evils, so they say. It seems our disoriented political agendas have lead us to this present circus.
After so many months of bickering, commercials and rehearsed one-liners, there comes a point where you just get sick of all of it: The acts, the scripted speeches, the plastered smiling faces. If any age group hates these political agendas the most, it’s us good ole Millennials. Yet all of the sudden we are showing up at the polls (though we could’ve been showing up the years prior.) And mostly, with the agenda to Feel the Burn.
Now Sanders views are certainly extreme - extremely left. But Millennials love Bernie Sanders. And while I consider myself more of a conservative gal, I have to admit, I kind of like the guy.
Though, if Bernie Sander weren’t ready to reform our country into the new Denmark (though I can’t lie, I wouldn’t mind living among some pleasant Danish folks myself) there seems to be more to the man than his socialite agenda, that would make for a great candidate in either party.
Politics put aside, a presidential election has to do with a lot more than our economy and mere policies. (I know, you’re thinking, “No it doesn’t. It’s just politics.”)
Maybe for you it is. But in the long run, that’s not entirely the case.
Though I don’t buy or believe Bernie’s agenda, if the assumed Republican nominee possessed just a few of his prized traits, (two, to be exact) he would no doubt win the election.
For starters “he has been a champion of the oppressed - even when it wasn’t popular.”
Bernie has not always been in the limelight, but that has not held him from passionately pursuing his agenda, sans the glitz and glamour most politicians are accustomed to get them through the rough ride. Through his entire political career Bernie has fought for civil rights and equality. Along with the notable photo of Sanders's arrest during a protest, in his first year at the University of Chicago Bernie helped lead a 15 day sit-in at the Administration office when of group of white and black students discovered university-owned buildings were denying black students rooms to rent. (Which, after over two weeks, the school's President finally consented to investigate.) At the school he served in leadership on the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), went on to lead the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and still bears scars he received at Selma. It appears Bernie didn’t need the media, a million dollar house, or even an Instagram account to spur him on to fighting for the greater good.
However, rather than desire these qualities in a candidate, we seem to be willing to put up with more flaws in a Presidential leader than we would ever trust in a boss. Early last month, MSNBC’s Good Morning Joe listened to a group of Repulican women weigh in on Trump. When one younger woman, who claimed she felt it necessary she vote for Hillary just to keep Trump from the presidency, defended her choice, she explained, “Both sides have scandal. It doesn’t necessarily impact their ability to be a leader.”
(Really? It doesn’t?)
Apparently, a glance at current polls on both sides of the spectrum shows a majority of Americans would agree.
Yet from a Nixon to a Clinton we’ve seen how scandal affects a President's clarity, affects his version of the truth and inevitably affects his leadership. I’m not sure why the same trait we would find untrustworthy in a spouse, we find excusable in the leader of free world. I can’t quite point my finger on it, but it seem slightly skewed, no?
Quite possibly the best trait of Bernie Sanders, which lends to his honesty, humility and all-around relatable human qualities, is his integrity.
The man scarcely has a record (if you excuse the arrest and $25 fine for a civil rights protest.) There seems to be no apparent scandal in Bernie’s past or present. Through the interviews and debates you never once hear the candidate accused of lying or twisting the truth in such uncanny ways as the other current candidates ahead of him in the polls are likely faulted to.
Republican or Democrat, both apparent nominees lack a great depth of character and a stoic sense of integrity that has stood the test of time. (Time being anything beyond the last 11 months.) Rather scandal is the current discussion for both, even if we would like to dismiss it as a flawed trait we can’t judge in a person, let alone anyone running for President. Scandal may not directly affect the policies and our economy, but it in no doubt affects the man (*ehem* excuse me), the individual elected to sit in the oval office come 2017.
Then again, if scandal weren’t a discussion, this election would be a notch below the amusing Ringling Bros. Circus that it is.