Sent a hundred dollars off to Bernie Sanders for President this morning.
While there were many reasons, some simple and some complex, it all boiled down to the phrase “youth must be served.” We’re in the midst of a generational change and too many of the baby boomers are clinging and clutching the levers of power unwilling to yield to the younger generations coming up and unwilling to accept the inevitable.
In addition, baby boomers still hold a great deal of the nation’s wealth and since money equals power they wish to influence change as long as they can. The conclusion should be clear: baby boomers are not managing change well at all. Thus, many are looking to a Clinton redux with subliminal joy that one of their own will still be calling the shots for the next eight years.
The young (and those that think and act young, like Bernie himself, who is 72) are saying au contraire. Get off the stage, its our turn and we recognize a fair and balanced playing field is only possible if big banks are busted up and the top one tenth start paying their fair share of tax obligations instead of paying smart lawyers and accountants to keep from paying any taxes.
The sheer enthusiasm that youth is generating for Bernie and his message is a wonder to behold. It’s no surprise to some that the Vermont senator now runs slightly ahead of Mrs. Clinton in national polls. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, he defeats presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump by 18 percentage points whereas Mrs. Clinton only has an easily narrowed eight point margin.
Democratic leaders would be astute to recognize also that this enthusiasm and energy is NOT transferable to Mrs. Clinton should she become the nominee.
The entire electorate does feel adrift as the old political conventions and shibboleths give way to the new. Like the making of sausage it is not always a pretty process, but it should be clear that we’re in the vortex of some major shifting winds.
Give the devil his due, too. Donald Trump had the genius to recognize that an appeal to emotional issues was far better than talking policy matters to an electorate already shell-shocked by job insecurity and growing debt. Trump also saw how easily he could dominate main street media by mastering Twitter and the other social media.
And it is confusing to many folks who have experienced job loss, home forfeiture, unpayable medical costs, growing student debt, as to how ceo’s of failing banks and other flailing institutions still make millions.
Traditional labels for parties are shifting also. Sat through a Town Hall meeting recently in St. Maries and listened to State Senator Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow, and Representative Paulettte Jordan, D-Plummer, try to explain the unexplainable - that the voter had been done in by the entire Kootenai county legislative delegation, all Republicans, who had voted for increasing their property taxes and weakening local control, while still underfunding education and cutting 78,000 Idahoans adrift without recourse to medicaid for health issues.
What many of my contemporaries do not understand is the distinct difference between “managing” the numerous and inevitable changes in life and “controlling” those changes. It’s no coincidence that those who believe they control life’s variables are high on the importance of authoritarian scales, big on traditional values and the raising of childen who can be seen but are not to be heard.
I recognize and accept that I’m in the twilight of a medicore political and writing career. I accept the fact and know it is time for this bit player to get off the stage. Hillary should recognize this also.
Youth will be served. Go, Bernie, go!