Dear Millennials: Why I’m Voting for Hillary and You Should Too
I am 36 years old. On some scales, I’m considered a millennial (barely) but I absolutely identify with you more than I do with “Generation X.” I grew up on the internet (as an early adopter), value happiness over money and am extremely passionate about liberal issues: pro-choice, gender equality, gay marriage, Black Lives Matter and gun control to name a few.
In 2004, I dove head-first into my passion for politics when I saw a young Senator named Barack Obama speaking at the Democratic National Convention. I immediately felt a connection to this man and wanted him to be our President. Fast-forward to the 2008 election season — I was extremely involved in his campaign. Donating as much money as I could (which was not much in the grand scheme of things,) rallying my fellow young people to get out and vote and even carving Obama for America pumpkins on Halloween.
Why am I telling you this? Because I totally get the passion you feel for Bernie Sanders. I too really like him and gravitate towards his message — you can say I feel the Bern. I also completely relate to his democratic socialist moniker and would say it’s fair to pin that on myself as well. But choosing him over Hillary is the wrong way to handle this change that you want.
Let’s be real — if you’re voting for Bernie, there’s a snowball’s chance in Hell that you’d consider one of the GOP nominees. The positions that Bernie and the Republican candidates hold are diametrically opposed. What you’re realisitcally left with is Hillary Clinton, and that’s your best choice if you want real change.
I get it — it’s hard to get behind her with the same passion that you feel for Bernie. The media has asked why this is the case, and even Hillary doesn’t know, but I think I do: she doesn’t have that charisma that Bernie and Barack Obama have which makes you want to give every ounce of your being to support them. Sure, some of her staunch supports will say that she does have that charisma, but she’s been unable to obtain a fraction of the youth-vote excitement as Bernie.
There’s a big difference between Bernie and Barack Obama though, and one that can’t be ignored. Chances are you were probably too young or didn’t care enough about politics when Obama was first running to truly know the difference between what Obama represented versus what Bernie stands for. The fact of the matter is that what Bernie is selling is all roses and unicorns which in our realistic political climate will never get done. Obama was pushing for change, and it was change we could believe it because it was change that was entirely possible in our political climate at the time. Getting out of Iraq, protecting the uninsured, tax cuts for the middle and lower class. In fact, there’s a fantastic site that tracks the amount of promises that Obama made that were kept, compromised or broken, and many of his key tentpole promises are on the “kept” site.
The truth is, the President isn’t nearly as powerful as some beleive. The system of checks and balances greatly limits their power and Bernie’s views are not only so far away from the GOP, but far away from some moderate Democrats as well. These issues that he’s trying to stand on sound amazing — who wouldn’t want “free” college or Medicare for all? Unfortunatly, the rest of Washington doesn’t want that, which means if you think the fight Obamacare had was rough — these even large radical changes make Obamacare pale in comparison. A similar tracking of Bernie’s kept promises would look a lot worse on that website if he was elected President, for not fault of his own.
Hillary isn’t as appealing a candidate to the younger people partly because her messages are grounded in reality and reality isn’t sexy. Reality is starting to hit the Sanders campaign though and it’s only a matter of time before Hillary is the Democratic nominee. What I’m hoping for is that some of you will try and use that amazing passion and energy you’re feeling for Bernie and focus it in her direction when the nominees are set. As history shows, the more young people that vote, the better the chances are for the Democrats, and while you’re not excited to fight for Hillary, she’s going to be doing a hell of a lot more fighting for you than Trump or anyone else on the GOP side will.