When I was a young and idealistic voter, I would have gone for Sanders. Now, as much as a some of his ideas appeal to me, I recognize how impractical and even fantastical they are. Sanders’ platform may represent the future of politics, but the kind of radical change it would take to get there isn’t happening. It certainly wasn’t when Hillary Clinton pushed for the Health Security Act in 1993, and 20 years later, we still aren’t there. Clinton may have been able to push through enough compromise to get us a few steps closer, but we’ll never really know.
Two problems here:
- Young people are better informed than old people nowadays. Old people rely on old, slow, and propaganda-ridden sources for their information. Young people get their information from newer, faster, unvarnished sources.
- Young people are always on the right side of history. Plenty of old reform-minded people thought a constitution was too impractical or that women’s suffrage was too impractical or that the Civil Rights Act would be too impractical to pass. Young people didn’t believe them.
Your experience as a young person has little to do with the youth vote of today. Not only were you not as informed as they are today, but your idealism could have just as easily been eroded by decades of propaganda as it could have been by common sense or wisdom.
Calling Sanders’s platform radical is a joke. I’m a radical, and his platform seems moderately to the left and antiquated to me, but it clearly appealed to the youth and, seeing as how it is modeled on ideas that have already taken root in many countries around the world (including such exotic places as Canada), calling them impractical can either be read as an illogical rejection of empirical evidence or a hallmark of how older people aren’t as well informed as the youth.
Regardless of whether you agree with any of this, it is the height of condescension and arrogance to for the DNC to dismiss it in the face of impending doom for a Democratic Party that loses the youth vote. If the Democratic Party cannot develop a platform and offer candidates that appeal to young voters on the left, they cannot win elections. Period. They need to stop calling young people dumb, idealistic, impractical, uninformed, or unrealistic and actually try to win their votes. The DNC is not going to be able to badger or scare them into voting; they’re going to have to win their votes by giving them something worth voting for.