Tuesday, February 9
Sanders has captured a key millennial concern - inequality - and he deplores inequality of opportunity as much as inequality of income.
The young may expect Sanders to make worthy appointments and might wonder about nepotism in a Clinton administration, and not just the influence of big donations and speaking fees from Wall Street. There might be concerns, say, about a role for Chelsea Clinton versus Elizabeth Warren in a Clinton administration, whereas the perception is that Sanders would not hesitate to appoint Warren to a cabinet position.
Along the same lines, Sanders seems as though he could work well with Hillary, but young voters can't be sure that the Hillary would be willing to work with Sanders.
The biggest problem may be Hillary's stoic attitude - that she has had to put up with much and she may expect young voters to be patient and do the same - and leaders who expect voters to fall in line with expert opinions.
Clinton's hold over the 2016 democratic nomination was described as inevitable. But too many democrats did not want to be denied the opportunity to listen and choose. Too many in leadership positions, on both the democrat and republican sides, assumed that they could select a winning candidate in advance and impose that on unsuspecting voters.
But voters have their own opinions. The young, the women, all voter can surprise.
Clinton's eager supporters have made a huge miscalculation by chiding young women's support for Sanders - by suggesting that Clinton is entitled and destined to become the first woman president of the United States. Scoldings by Gloria Steinem ("When you're young, you're thinking 'Where are the boys?' The boys are with Bernie") and Madeleine Albright (Young women have to support Hillary Clinton... and just remember, there's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other") were cringe-worthy moments that are particularly damaging for the Clinton campaign, as described by Robin Abearian for the Los Angeles Times.
Parents, politicians, teachers have lectured the young time and time again, warning of economic chaos and hell, metaphorical and otherwise, if certain paths are selected or traveled too quickly. Marriage equality is just one example.
Many young people are weary of polarization between the parties, sexes, races, religions and more. Their world is a crowded place - they must navigate among 330 million Americans and 7.4 billion people in the world versus the 200 million in the United States and 3.6 billion of the world in 1969 when Hillary graduated from college. Yes, the world's population has doubled in a lifetime, and the country is more diverse. The young want to and must get along. Most voters would prefer that candidates in both parties cooperate within the party and across-the-aisle, coalescing around a few reasonable positions to solve big pressing challenges and get some some work done for the country.
Photo of two campaign supporters assisting an elderly voter, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and the State Library of New South Wales.