Sometimes I forget why and for how long I liked Bernie Sanders. I listened to him on and off for years as he was a mostly unknown Senator from Vermont regularly doing Tom Hartman’s radio show “Lunch With Bernie”. Each week he would show you the simple sensible reasoning, through a socialistic lens of the world, why we should cast off long standing rigid perceptions and give some of socialism a fresh look. After all, it’s not exactly like we have created a fair game. Using current rules we seem to spend all of our resources repetatively rewarding the previous winners while extending great efforts to justify the same. Even broaching the conversation with most Americans is almost unfathomable.
However, during the Bernie vs Hillary campaign that was not the case. Bernie tried to keep the discussion issue based, as much as possible, but he was never afraid to use the “S-word”, although he would further clarify himself as a “democratic socialist”. Still, for far too many, who would agree with him on almost every issue, this was just too much, if not also, too soon. But for some, it was not and the tide did seem to be moving with Bernie. For an increasing number he was “right on” and many wanted him to go even further. If nothing else, we needed the conversation to take hold, for it to be a constant, like Hillary’s “damn emails”. How else are we ever going to open eyes that have been cemented shut by excessively broad stroking brushes of propaganda and then solidified by time?
One group seemed more open to Bernie’s message than any other, possibly because they have not been alive long enough to have their minds closed to what is possible and still posses a psyche where the glass is as often as not full. Young people, “millennials” are taking a hard look at different ideas and what they saw in that “old dude” from Vermont they seem to have liked. In the article below from The Nation magazine, Julia Mead (a millennial herself) provides one analysis of why Bernie and the “S” word seem to be acceptable to so many young.
She also points out that it is not happening just here in the USA. “This new New Left renaissance isn’t confined to the United States: Our British neighbors witnessed a similar wave of enthusiasm for Jeremy Corbyn.” In many ways you could say it doesn’t make sense. As Mead says:
“Sanders and Corbyn both look like my dad, except even older and less cool … Socialism, the redistribution of wealth, providing vital benefits and social services through the mechanism of the state—people were talking about this in the 1960s. And in the 1930s. And in the 19-teens. And now Sanders and Corbyn are recycling those hoary ideas (or so the argument goes), their only concession to the 21st century being the incorporation of racial-, queer-, and climate-justice rhetoric. (We can argue about how earnest they are and how successful that’s been).
It may be that these ideas have resurfaced because they all represent a vast portion of unfinished business, like an infection that has been allowed to fester with time, eating away at much of the progress fought so hard for by previous generations. Maybe it will take the millennials and future generations like them to put us back on a track towards making some kind of fair social design. Read her entire article and make sure to watch the video on inequality repeated here.