An Opinion 🤔 by @JJManring

As I have written in previously published pieces, I agree with most of what Senator Bernie Sanders has identified as problem areas plaguing our democracy. But one would have had to be living under a rock NOT to notice these problem areas on their own — no Bernie necessary.

Bernie has struck a chord with many, many voters who are sick of what has been going on politically and financially in our country. And his message has been a clarion call to a sleeping electorate thirsty for 180 degree change.

But what to the casual voter as a clarion call is heard by many older, and/or more involved voters, as (please take this as well intended, harsh as it is) nails across a blackboard.

I had right-thinking (er, correct-thinking) friends who cheered-on the candidacy of Barack Obama. His message of Hope & Change, of reaching across the political isle to get things done in Washington, was (after being rejected out of hand by Republicans) rewarded by many of those very same voters with their sitting out the 2010 election. This “sit-out” (akin to today’s “Or Bust” write-in movements — read plural “movements” as both sides are making threats), had the deleterious effect of saddling us (U.S.) with Republican majorities in the House and Senate and allowed the GOP to gerrymander the hell out of voting districts. The effects of this Principles Over Pragmatism sit-out, done because in their view, “Obama didn’t get enough done,” or “didn’t get it done fast enough,” is the very effect I fear will be the result if Bernie is somehow elected president.

In my opinion, based upon what I’ve seen and read, there are political realities that many (too many) of Bernie’s loyal followers (many of whom are millennials) are not taking into account. They thirst for a pure knight in armor — one who is free of the corrupting effects of money on politics — to ride to their rescue. But, sad as this is (and this saddens me more than almost any reader can imagine), to get money out of politics will take electing a majority of politicians into office who are willing to pass laws that remove money from the process. And then the Supreme Court and their five to four “opinion” that money is free speech has to be come to terms with. It could take many, many elections to realize the kind of change Bernie voters want, but want NOW.

I totally understand the desire to want to see positive change in the world. A thorough examination of my Twitter Timeline would reveal that I, too, want to see money removed from politics; that I, too, want to see banks held accountable for their predatory actions, for selling fool’s gold covered securities to pension funds and ordinary investors; that I, too, want to see tax fairness with everyone — individuals as well as multinational corporations — paying their fair share; that I, too, want to see businesses that ship good paying jobs overseas shunned, and businesses that repatriate jobs rewarded, et al.

But I’ve seen too many elections, witnessed to many changes in government — each promising “change for the better” — to fall for promises (no matter how well intentioned) that, without pragmatic planning and implementation, unfortunately will not not come to fruition.

Millennials are our newest voters, our newest hope for a better future for our country. They already have correct-headed views on social issues, and the older they get, the children they will raise, will only ensure continued social progress. But based on past experience, an election that promises much but delivers little could quash millennial enthusiasm and give the GOP exactly what it wants — another generation of casual voters who see all politicians as the same, and who are willing to allow Principles Over Pragmatism to rule the day. #😢


Two nuances have been pointed out to me:

1) It’s Independents, more than staunch Democrats, who sit-out midterms, and:

2) Democrats sit-out midterms because they’re “politically lazy,” “disengaged,” and “always sit them out.”

These are most likely accurate and deserving of notice, but as to our concern about new voters becoming “disengaged,” the intent of this opinion piece stands.

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