Jacob Burrola, guest columnist
“FEEL THE BERN! FEEL THE BERN! FEEL THE BERN!”
The events and rallies held for Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., almost seem a lot like rock concerts. The noise, coupled with the buzzing atmosphere, contribute to the rock concert feel. Millennials fill the venue in order to support Sanders, their favored presidential candidate.
Sanders seems able to reach a voting crowd that has never been successfully touched before: the millennials.
According to the Census Bureau, millennial voter turnout in the 2012 presidential election was at 41 percent. This extremely low number is actually considered high, compared to past turnout rates.
According to Pew Research, young voters are more likely to vote during a historic election. This was proven when Obama (the first African-American president) was voted in, and the millennial vote reached an all-time high at 46 percent.
Considering that Sanders would be the first democratic socialist, Jew and oldest candidate to ever reach office, high millennial voter turnout rate is to be expected. According to the Washington Post, Sanders has obtained 73 percent of the millennial vote during the primaries, and is expected to do the same if given the chance in November.
Sanders mainly targets college students and high school seniors, and he is certainly gaining a substantial following.
Sure, it could be due to the cool Bernie Sanders T-shirts, mugs, Sanders’ Snapchat account or the fact that he randomly shows up at hipster coffee shops once in a while. However, I believe that for more informed voters, it is something deeper.
“He cares about my future; he wants change, and he wants a new system,” theater major freshman Monica David said.
Young millennials are quickly realizing several things: Being thousands of dollars in debt from school loans isn’t fun, climate change is real and action needs to be taken. Sanders advocates action in these areas. Sanders advocates free college, climate change action, breaking up big banks, free health care and overall change in the system.
Although these policy changes sound attractive, any American government or economic class quickly teaches one that Sanders’ plans are not only far-fetched, but also less appealing.
According to the U.S. Debt Clock, the U.S. has a $19 trillion debt. Along with that shocking number, Gallup reports that the majority of American people believe that the federal government wastes 51 cents for every dollar. As history shows, democratic socialists advocate larger government involvement. This means that Sanders either wants to add to our trillions of dollars in debt or raise taxes.
As the common saying goes, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” The money for free health care and free college tuition must come from somewhere.
Any presidential candidate can make promises, but it is the job of the voter to figure out how or if those policies will work. I encourage everyone to research how a bill passes through Congress, how Sanders will pass the bills he advocates and how economics suffer when private enterprise is limited.
Truthfully, if Sanders becomes president, those who “Feel the Bern” may actually end up feeling the burn.