Let’s be completely honest, before a couple months ago, how many people knew who Bernie Sanders was? If we held an official poll, I’m positive that number would be somewhere in the millions. Fast forward to now, and he’s one of the leading candidates to earn the Democratic Party nomination to run for the President of The United States of America. The Senator of Vermont has made tremendous ground in giving Hilary Clinton a run for her money in such a short period of time, that I wonder if he’s just going to win this race by a landslide. Sanders has accomplished this by doing one simple thing, what he wants to change speaks to the masses. He speaks to the ever so disappearing middle class in this country. But most importantly he speaks to my generation, generation Y, or more famously known as the Millennials.
According to the population projections released by the U.S. Census Bureau in December of 2014: In 2015, Millenials (those between the ages of 18-34) will outnumber the Baby Boom Generation(now aged 51-69) for the first time ever. Take a second to let that sink in. What does that mean? It means we now have the loudest voice in America and one of Sanders’ biggest plans is to make Universities and Colleges tuition free in the United States. That directly affects the Millenials as most of us are still in our college years. I mean; correct me if I’m wrong but it doesn’t seem right to me that interest rates on student loans are higher than what people pay for a house or car. What kind of message does that send to people? It’s like they don’t want us to get a proper education. Isn’t that counter productive to your country? Don’t you want to educate your citizens to the fullest potential? It’s a vicious cycle, we grow up poor, can’t afford to go to college, we work minimum wage for the rest of our lives and can never make it out of the system. Which brings me to my next point.
I was watching a Bernie Sanders interview with Bill O’Reilly on YouTube and he threw a statistic out there that completely blew my mind. Sanders said that the top one tenth of the top 1% of the richest Americans have almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. Yes, I know. Mind-boggling isn’t it? His plan is to raise taxes on the wealthy and I am all for it. This country is a big pie and we all have to help cook it. He also went on to say that 1 out of 4 corporations in this country pay $0.00 in taxes a year. Wait a minute, what? Every two weeks when my paycheck comes around I get taxed about $400 and these corporations like Goodyear, who brought in $2.45 billion in 2014, aren’t paying a dime? Sanders’ doesn’t think that’s fair either and plans to re distribute the wealth in America.
Did you know the United States, by itself, spends almost more money in defense than the REST of the world combined? Sanders voted against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once again, my generation is deeply intertwined in this topic. Young men and women my age will be the ones headed to war. Most politicians’ campaign that they love the people but Bernie Sanders shows you he cares for the people. He doesn’t want to lose lives of our soldiers for a pointless war that cost this country trillions of dollars. I lost a high school friend in Afghanistan during his second tour in the war zone. If you go to any city in America you’ll find many people my age who have lost a friend, brother, sister, aunt or uncle. This is very real for us. Sanders, like myself, don’t understand how we have trillions of dollars for war but not enough money for when the soldiers return safely.
What really caught my attention to Bernie Sanders’ campaign was his stance on police brutality. Let me give you some insight on where I grew up to add context as to why I have a certain view of law enforcement. I grew up on the North side of Austin, TX, down the street from where Interstate 35 and Rundberg lane meet. On that corner is nothing but run down hotels where prostitutes and dope fiends linger 24/7, 365 days a year. As you can imagine, with that type of environment comes a heavy dose of police presence. I’m no stranger to cops on every corner. But I never felt safe around them. I am of Mexican descent and Austin Police has profiled me on several occasions. I’ve been pulled over for no reason, on several occasions. I always felt that they could get away with anything and suffer no consequences. It was a feeling that made me resent them and when I’m around them I’m scared for my life. Sanders wants a major police reform. He wants police officers held accountable for their actions. Sanders, like millions of Americans, is tired of watching our citizens be gunned down by a “shoot first, ask questions later” police officer. It’s an epidemic in this country that needs to be stopped and Bernie Sanders wants to be the one to do it.
You may not agree with what I have to say but it’s true. I had a discussion with someone about Sanders on Facebook the other day and I told the lady I was talking to that I believe he’s the only candidate running for the people. Isn’t that who the President of a country is supposed to represent? The people? I understand everyone has different views and we all come from different walks of life but Sanders has the chance to tap into the new generation of voters by continuing to fight for the rights of the everyday man. Bernie Sanders, like my generation, is absolutely fearless. He’s not afraid of standing up to the big wigs with all the money, he identifies with the regular average Joe. My favorite rapper, J.Cole, has a line “I’m here for a greater purpose, I knew right from the start, I’m just a man of the people, not above but equal, And for the greater good I walk amongst the evil.” Does that remind you of anybody?