BY SANDRA RIANO
According to the Pew Research Center, the millennial generation, defined as ages 18 to 34, is overtaking the “baby boomer” generation as the largest living generation in America. This will make millennials the biggest voting demographic in the country. So what will we do with our new found power? Are we going to stay home on election day or vote for a candidate that will defend our interest? What issues are most important to millennials? Unemployment, student loans, health care, privacy, economic stability, minimum wage and climate change are assumed to be among the most important issues relevant to this group. Luckily there is one candidate who shares ideals with many millennials and his name is Bernie Sanders.
Bernie Sanders is the longest serving Independent in congressional history having served the state of Vermont for 16 years before being elected a Senator. He is currently running for Presidential office as a Democrat. Sanders is a self proclaimed democratic socialist like Dr. Martin Luther Jr and Albert Einstein. He believes we need to end corruption in both our banking system and in our campaign finance system. Sander’s campaign is not funded by multi-million dollar companies but instead is funded by union donations and by regular citizens with the average donation being around $33 and 99% of the donations being under $250 according to CNN Money. Up until July Sanders had already raised $15.2 million. “I don’t represent large corporations and I don’t want their money.”
Bernie Sanders opposes tax breaks for the billionaire class and believes that they should pay their fair share in order to fund important social programs like affordable education and healthcare. Sanders wants to break up big banks, reduce income inequality, overturn the Citizens United decision that enabled corporations to gain more political power, and punish companies that moved their operations overseas to evade taxes.
On social issues Sanders believes that everyone deserves basic human rights and protections. Clearly the most progressive candidate, he believes in intensive immigration reform, a woman’s right to choose, gun control, a livable minimum wage, supporting union efforts, reformation of the police force to reduce brutality, decriminalization of marijuana, abolishing for-profit prisons and the right to an affordable education amongst other issues.
It’s an unfortunate fact that Sanders is being ignored in mainstream media. It’s unknown whether he is being ignored because of the focus on louder, ignorant (racist) voices shouting their beliefs or if media is ignoring Sanders because he is discussing legitimate issues and confronts multi-million dollar conglomerates like the ones that control the media.
All of Sander’s ideas tie into a virtuous economic cycle: Increased wages leads to increased economic activity leads to more jobs leads to more tax revenues, leads to investments in infrastructures and education leads to higher quality jobs which leads back to increased wages. Through these actions Sanders wants to rebuild and strengthen the middle class and increase the quality of living for many Americans. “You’ve got the top 400 Americans owning more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans. Most folks do not think that is right.”
Bernie Sanders wants to move this country forward by empowering the middle class but he needs your vote to do it. “What the American people want to see in their president is somebody who not necessarily can win every fight, but they want to see him stand up and fight for what he believes.”