Millenial voters are really feeling the Bern

by Julianna McDowell, Contributor

We feel it while we’re in class, listening to our professors’ lectures, when we’re stuck in traffic, bingeing on coffee at the library, driving to the beach with friends, at the gym and in our apartments.

Regardless of when or where we are, one thing remains constant, we the millennials are feeling the Bern.

Bernie Sanders seems to have come out of nowhere overnight. Appearing like a kind of Jewish, left-wing, socialist dream for liberal millennials. Sanders, the 74-year-old, two-term Independent senator of Vermont joined the Democratic race for president early last year.

With him, he brought his passionate political drive, his Brooklyn accent and attitude, and his unforeseen ability to relate to millennials across the board.

But how does Sanders do this?

Why do, according to many polls, the majority of young people identify with one of the oldest presidential candidates in the nation’s history? Why are we rallying around Sanders and his self-proclaimed political revolution, making contributions and phone calls and knocking on doors for him, and voting for him in our states’ presidential primaries?

The answers to these questions lie at the heart of Bernie’s appeals to America through his unwavering policies and beliefs and his determination to prove that Americans can come together to make real progress and change in our society through his political revolution.

His ideas and stances on climate change, wealth and income inequality, war and peace, student loan debt and free access to college for all students, raising the minimum wage, universal healthcare, fighting racism and oppression, immigration reform, legalizing marijuana, and women’s rights are many of his positions that are appealing to youth of America.

Sanders’ campaign is empowering us to be more aware, more politically inclined and most importantly, more vocal and active voters.

Despite his age, Sanders is articulating the issues that have resonated with young people for generations, and acting on them long before we ever heard the word “inequality.”

The senator’s promise to govern based on his core values, thereby addressing these issues head on, is what stirs our passion and draws us to him.

We have willingly, without a lack of thorough scrutiny, accepted him as one of us.

We are seeing him plastered across our social media feeds, clothes buttons, T-shirts — commodities we gleefully buy to signify our support for the face of this movement, our movement.

We are feeling the Bern because Bernie’s passion is driving the “berning” passion within all of us to make this our election. We cannot continue to allow politicians, multi-national corporations and faceless billionaires decide the fate of our generation anymore.

We are feeling the Bern because we can’t afford to let our America be run by leadership with intentions that only benefit the governing class, representing a small fraction of America.

We are feeling the Bern because Sanders is our best bet at making sure this country does not fall into the hands of leadership that does not have our best interests at heart. Because his long-held core values align with our first- and second-time voters’ somewhat new social awareness and political affinity.

We are feeling the Bern because, as Sanders told the Associated Press the day he announced he would be joining the 2016 presidential race:

“People should not underestimate me.”

Or us.