Letter: Sanders wins over young people by taking them seriously

Sanders wins over young by taking them seriously

To the editor:

What does it mean to "Feel the Bern?"

Most political pundits have groped and fumbled trying to find out. Some contend that Sanders' so-called "political revolution" is merely a form of youthful rebellion — simply a passing fad. Others claim that his progressive agenda, which includes a proposal to make college tuition free, is the lone factor that has motivated young people to support him.

But Bernie Sanders has captured the young electorate by an enormous margin. He won voters under the age of 30 by 70 percentage points in Iowa and by 67 in New Hampshire. Why? Bernie does not pander to young people.

Instead of crafting a calculated message to appeal to young voters, he has treated us just as we should be treated — as adult voters and concerned citizens. Comedians on "Saturday Night Live" may mock him for his serious demeanor, but his no-nonsense attitude is one of his most attractive features.

Other candidates have made deliberate efforts to reach out to the young electorate. Hillary Clinton launched a Snapchat account, and more recently, appeared on Ellen Degeneres to show off her best rendition popular dance move — the whip. And then there's Ben Carson, who spent $150,000 on a radio ad where he unleashed a rap aiming to communicate his platform to young voters via hip-hop. The media may praise candidates for reaching out to young voters, but from my perspective as a college freshman, it is condescending.

When you hear Sanders answering a question at a town hall meeting, can you guess if he is addressing a middle-aged man or woman or an 18-year old? He addresses all voters with respect.

"Feeling the Bern," is more than a clever pun; it is the battle cry of a generation that feels excited to be included in the political process. Bernie Sanders takes young people seriously, and for that we take him seriously.

Cyrus Beschloss, Williamstown The writer is a student at Williams College.


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