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Lewis Morris / Mar. 2, 2016

Millennial Bernie

Sanders continues to win over young voters with his message.

There has been a lot of talk among the presidential candidates this election cycle about the economy. Barack Obama continues to insist that we have a rip-roaring economy, but he may be the only person who really believes that fantasy. Hillary Clinton has the unique challenge of framing herself as his successor while also addressing high voter anxiety over the country’s economic outlook. Watching her walk this tightrope will be entertaining to say the least.

Hillary’s doublespeak is not nearly as entertaining, however, as the stir caused by her rival for the Democrat nomination. Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat in Washington who has the guts to admit he is a socialist, and he’s winning high praise for it.

The Leftmedia, which has already chosen Clinton as its winner (and, let’s face it, they’re actually right), proudly proclaims that she is running the table in terms of various voting demographics. Not so with the youth vote, however. Sanders consistently won the under-30 vote in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. He continued this trend throughout the Super Tuesday states, and he came away with four victories.

Sanders also tracks much better than Clinton with voters who are very concerned about income inequality and fear they are falling behind financially.

These young voters feel jilted by Obama, but they would never consider crossing the aisle to vote Republican. They fundamentally believe that government should have a strong hand in the economy, and their disappointment in Obama is based on the misplaced belief that he has not done enough to punish Wall Street. In short, Obama’s not socialist enough. Talk about the definition of insanity…

At event after event Sanders slings the red meat his young supporters feast on (those that aren’t vegans, that is). Former Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan notes how he speaks of establishing a living wage, of single-payer health care, and of putting Wall Street bankers behind bars.

What gives? How can these young voters believe that the cure for the last eight years is another four years of moving even further to the Left? They can believe this because they have come of age knowing only what they presume is a failed capitalist model.

We have now endured a record 10 straight years of GDP growth below 3%. During Obama’s presidency, the growth rate has never been higher than 2.7% — appallingly pathetic for a recovery. As Investor’s Business Daily points out, young voters don’t make the connection that Obama’s policies are to blame for this sustained economic malaise. They, like Sanders, believe that Wall Street is to blame. And they equate Clinton with Wall Street because she, like most politicians, has political ties to bankers and investors.

In the minds of Millennial voters, capitalism doesn’t work. For them, it has never worked. Unfortunately, what this country has been practicing for the last 10 years is not free-market capitalism, but crony capitalism (more accurate still is just simply “cronyism”), a twisted hybrid in which excessive government interference picks winners and losers. Greater interference won’t solve the problem. It will only exacerbate it.

Sanders will continue to own the Millennial demographic so long as they remain ignorant, willfully or otherwise, of the true facts of this country’s economic situation.

A final thought: Many people lament that voter turnout isn’t higher, especially among the young. But given how taken Millennials are with socialism, are these really the people we want deciding who represents us? The flip side is that we should be educating the next generation on the virtues and benefits of Liberty so they can cast knowledgeable ballots.

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