Bernie and the Bird: How Millennials failed to show up to the polls and elect Clinton
For the first time in history, the Millennial generation surpassed the Baby Boomers in size among the world’s population. So nearly two years after they take the world by the reigns, what’s the worst that can happen? Brexit and Donald Trump happened. A message of isolationism and nationalism will be written in the history books as the first string of events Millennials helped put into motion. Future generations will wonder why.
Shortly after Great Britain historically decided to move away from the European Union in an act of defiance and propel itself into an economically independent direction, it was America’s turn to write history. The first important concept to remember regarding Millennials in the 2016 presidential election was the fact that their previous champion, Barack Obama, was leaving office. Now, Obama’s personal choice on who should follow him — Hillary Clinton — was clearly not preferred by a significant amount of Millennials.
Clinton arrived on the scene with a lot of baggage, none of which young people were willing to carry for her during this election. Ultimately, one might point to Benghazi, her email scandal or even the massive amounts of money that Middle Eastern countries poured into the the Clinton Foundation as reasons why Millennials wouldn’t vote for her. But Millennials were concerned about different flaws. Let’s start with Clinton’s back-and-forth support for the LGBTQ community since the early 1990s. Something a more accepting, progressive and liberal group of people should be able to understand, right? No. She was immediately considered a traditional “Washingtonian” by most young people. Second, her defense of her husband’s three-strikes rule and her use of the term “super predator,” coined by former President Clinton, didn’t alleviate Millennials’ concerns that she didn’t care for the welfare of “all Americans.”
So where would the now “majority” generation find their hero? On the set of a former number one NBC reality TV show? Or maybe in a 74-year-old man from Vermont who whispers to birds and sings folk songs? Clearly, the result of the election should tell you that in surpassing the Baby Boomer generation and getting ready for their “first day on the job,” so to speak, Millennials ultimately failed, showing up drunk and two hours late.
What people fail to realize is how the message of “Bernie or Bust” may have cost Clinton the election. Senator Bernie Sanders conceded the Democratic nomination to Clinton amid allegations of voter fraud and corruption on part of the Clinton campaign. The former head of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, stepped down after it was revealed the DNC was giving preferential treatment to Clinton. Now what’s important is that no one took the time to examine what “bust” meant when the champion of the Millennial generation in this election finally bowed out. After Nov. 8,, 2016, we learned what those “Bernie Bros” meant when they chanted “Bernie or Bust.” They simply didn’t show up to the polls, and too many that did failed to bubble in or select the name “Hillary Rodham Clinton.”
So why must the world deal with a young generation whose whining, crying and calling for shenanigans has become everyday news? Because they are stereotypically portrayed as self-entitled, privileged crybabies. It’s not rocket science to figure out that all those young people who currently stain the office of the president could have prevented Trump from being in office if they simply showed up to vote. A presidential election hadn’t seen a lower voter turnout since the year 1994. So instead of crying over spilled milk, Millennials, only about half of whom turned out to vote, should look in the mirror when looking for someone to blame for a Trump presidency.
It would be inaccurate and unfair to forget about the amount of young people who chose the current president as their champion: a complete outsider to Washington who runs for the people and against big business deals with neighboring countries. Those are some of the most prevalent qualities that young people look for in a candidate. Needless to say, I’m not including the majority of young Latino voters and minorities. Although Trump did manage to win with white, college-aged males and females, it seems like it was Bernie and the Bird who flew away with the Millennial vote in the 2016 presidential election.
Written by: Brody Fernandez — email@example.com
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