Younger generations are a timid voting block, steering away from politics for the same cynical reasons any other adult does.
Many in my age group feel like hostages as our government forces us into debt while we attempt to become functioning members of society.
We lose our will to vote rather quickly, yet the feeling during this current election cycle has shifted tremendously due to one politician in today’s political landscape, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
In high school I saw this progressive champion face off against Hillary Clinton, the Democratic establishment personified. Despite being a relatively uninformed individual, I was able to see the stark difference between each candidate and realized I sided with Sanders.
That race ended with a lost electoral battle but a victorious ideological one. Medicare for all, $15 an hour minimum wage and free education became major talking points in media outlets and were praised by those younger than the age of 40.
Younger individuals finally found a vision we could get behind, one that wasn’t as much socialism as it was a balancing of power, trading sadistic corporate bailouts for an economy that gives working-class people a proper base standard of living.
Sanders’ 2020 campaign saw him poised to be the Democratic nominee after three primary election victories. These prospects soon vanished after a deus ex machina that saw most of the other candidates consolidate their power around former Vice President Joe Biden.
With these individuals being so enamored with Sanders’ policies it’s likely that this percentage will continue to grow as these voters age and gain a greater share of votes.
As a young person, I thank Sanders for his lifetime of activism and assistance to the progressive movement, the United States will be a lot better for it. At the same time, I also feel relieved that younger generations can now move forward without being attached to the Sanders campaign.
The fire within us has now been lit, allowing us to make informed decisions on what working-class fighter we choose to all get behind in the future.
Empowered women of color like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley have wowed millions and have a fair shot of leading the charge.
Another up-and-coming voice can come from former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, whose left-wing populism and anti-establishment rhetoric have made him a true contender in the Colorado Senate primary race.
Young voters can stay hopeful, there are admirable grassroots organizations they can contribute to. Those of us who wish to pursue political offices can also contribute to the movement by making Sanders’ legislation a reality.
The fight for Sanders’ policies was never going to end with him in the White House, but at least now we can carry his torch of hope forward.