Millennials have developed this nasty stigma, with older generations having painted a picture of us in their minds with black sharpies rather than water colors. They view us as addicts of social media, think that we are unconcerned about the future of our economy and that we are too self-absorbed to leave an actual footprint on our nation. And from only seeing us through a distorted window, I can understand how our mature peers could look down upon us and think that we aren’t ready for what’s ahead. However, they couldn’t be more wrong.
The thing about Generation Y is that we have seen our country at some of its lowest points in history. We remember the day that we became victims of a terrorist attack. Our families fell alongside the economic crisis of 2008. We’ve watched the war in Iraq escalate, without an end in sight. Our elders need to remember that we haven’t been dealt the best cards, and it is up to us to pick up and reorganize the deck.
We aren’t turning a blind eye to the struggles we have plummeting towards us, we simply have problems getting our leaders to listen and act upon our concerns. We don’t need a politician in office who is going to put a band-aid over our injuries and call it reform. What we crave more than anything is progress and sustainability. And we realize that the way our country is being operated is anything but sustainable.
I believe that Bernie Sander could change that.
Sanders is a threat to Hillary Clinton because he is not only addressing the issues that are plaguing our generation, but he is making them a priority. He realizes that we are doomed if we keep trudging forward the way that we are. If the price of higher education continues on this uphill slope, we are going to have generation after generation of citizens with heaping debt, which will quickly deteriorate what is left of our economy. Sanders wants to stop this economic crisis in its tracks by making public institutions of higher education tuition free.
Tons of millennials suffer crippling anxiety just thinking about paying back our student loans. The current job market doesn’t have the strong backbone we need to not only pay them back, but to create a thriving economy afterwards. Sanders supports legislation which would “invest $1 trillion over 5 years to modernize our country’s physical infrastructure, creating and maintaining at least 13 million good-paying jobs while making our country more productive, efficient and safe.” Sanders also opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which ships many jobs overseas when we desperately need them here in America.
The sustainability we crave doesn’t only exist economically, but environmentally, too. Fossil fuels are not only going to run out, but they kill our chances of future habitability by being one of the main contributors to global warming. Our generation knows that we can’t just keep burning fossils fuels without a care, like generations senior to us did. We need to find alternative energy sources, and Sanders seems to be the most boisterous in advocating this necessity. He has long supported solar energy and the search for substitutions to fossil fuel. After all, we’re the ones who will be inhabiting this world after their generation is gone.
An Attempt at Peace
From Jeb Bush to Hillary Clinton, many of our country’s leaders have admitted the Iraq war was a mistake. Us millennials have seen what war has done to our country, and it is the last mistake we want our government to make again. Sanders’ anti-war stance appeals to many Generation Y-ers because many of us just want the conflict to be over. Having a strong military is a necessity of value, and one that Sanders supports, but he doesn’t believe that war should be our first thought. He believes war should be our last option.
However, his history with gun control has swayed multiple ways. His current stance entails enforcing background checks for gun owners, but he likes to focus on the reasons why guns are being misused, like mental illness. With ever increasing cases of anxiety and depression among college students today, we know that mental health is an issue that needs attention. What goes hand in hand with mental illness, however, is the cost of healthcare that goes to treat it. Sanders has us covered here, too. He wants to make healthcare affordable for everyone, regardless of income status.
Older generations have millennials all wrong. We do care about the future of our country, the economy that we live in and the footprint that we will leave on our nation. Sanders gives us a voice. He relays our concerns for the future. He could be the one to create the sustainability our generation needs.
And now that the April Primary results have come in, Wisconsin has proven that we too believe that change is possible.