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Why Are So Many Millennials Feeling the Bern?

by Chase Dariso, published

Thanks to the millennials, Bernie Sanders has just beaten Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire and continues to surprise both Democrats and Republicans across the nation. Many people struggle to understand how a 74-year-old white male has managed to lock in the votes of the young adult population.

Young adults have become increasingly fed up with the status quo and can connect with a candidate like Sanders, who has been a voice for them since he emerged. If you ask college students or recent graduates why they support Bernie, you will likely get several different answers, but all of those answers will be filled with passionate energy.

The most pressing issue concerning young voters is higher education. This is no surprise when the average college graduate is $30,000 in debt. College debt is the highest form of debt in America at 1.3 trillion and continues to increase.

Often times, these students are underemployed years after graduation while the interest on their student loans piles up. Sanders promises to make tuition free and put an end to the higher education crisis.

With Sanders, millennials who are not apart of the wealthy class feel they may actually have a fighting chance in this uncertain economy.

Some millennials have praised Sanders for taking a stand against the influence of money in politics. Corporations that only value profit are able to pay lobbyists to push policies in their favor, regardless of what it does to the environment or the people.

When wealth consistently influences politicians and the policies they pass, the average American no longer has a voice.

Donald Trump has argued that other politicians are “puppets” being controlled by their wealthy donors. This is also a commonly held belief among millennials. For that reason, it is refreshing to hear that over 80 percent of Bernie’s campaign donations have been under $200.

Sanders has the grassroots support of the people. Many young voters no longer believe the system is fair, but they have faith that Sanders will fight to fix it.

With Sanders, many young voters believe they finally have an honest politician to get behind. They finally have a politician that is genuinely upset about wealth inequality, climate change, health care, women's rights, the Black Lives Matter movement, undocumented families, the middle class, and even Muslims who have been targeted throughout the past decade.

Sanders is supported by a diverse group of college students and young adults, and their reasons to support him vary, but their excitement for the upcoming election is equal across the board. They can sense that despite being 74 years old, Sanders cares about our nation’s future.

In other words, millennials can sense that Sanders cares about them.

Photo Source: Gage Skidmore

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