A Political May-December Romance?

Every generation finds fault with the next, which finds fault with the one before.  But sometimes a wave of mutual affection manages to skip generations, creating a surprising bond between the young and the old.  Could this be a factor at play in the millennials' enthusiasm for 73-year-old Bernie Sanders?  In the Iowa caucus, he captured that vote six to one over Hillary.   

Children have been known to bypass parental advice in favor of the same from their grandparents, whom they find less judgmental – possibly because they 're not living under the same roof.  Grandparents have been known to lavish an accumulation of disposable income on their children's children.  Could this contribute to the reason why Bernie Sanders is being so unexpectedly overwhelmed by the empowering approval of the young?

America is hardly a country applauded for its veneration of the aged.  So the affection of millennials for The Bern is probably due less to sentimentality than to pragmatism.  Indeed, his age may not even be a factor for his supporters.  But if one studies the actuarial tables, President Sanders would statistically be in the grave before the end of his second term.

The primary impetus for Bernie's support among the young is that he promises a vague "future to believe in," which translates into even more of the Moon than most liberal politicians promise.  Free is good when you want stuff you can't afford.  As one young Sanders supporter griped when interviewed, "why should I have to pay for my college education?"  

Perhaps the next question he will ask is, "Why should I bother working, when I can't have the kind of job I want?"  Countless unemployed or underemployed young people – and they are, indeed, uncounted – have already opted to exit the job market, at least for a while.  Many of them are college graduates whose inability to find meaningful employment could be one of the strongest arguments against imposing even higher taxes on Americans in order to provide free college tuition.  After all, glowing comparative stats about the enhanced earning power of a college degree are immaterial when you don't even have a job. 

And if you don't have a good job, you can't have all of what millennials consider the necessities of modern life.  For them, Bernie's freebies are an important part of the conversation.  They cheer the idea that "paying one's fair share" can be accomplished by taxing the tar out of millionaires.  They buy into the class warfare rhetoric that ripples through Socialist Sanders's sermons, expunging government of the blame for societal failures by placing that blame on the expensively clothed shoulders of the super-rich.

Liberals have always preached that money pumped into problems solves them.  It becomes just a matter of what source can be legally squeezed.  Our colleges and media outlets have made certain that the culprits are clearly identified, so that when their protégées go to the polls, casting votes is like casting stones.

An oddball like Sanders doesn't materialize as a political icon overnight.  He's been operating in the shadows of politics for a long, long time.  His surprising candidacy would have been impossible a generation ago, when most Americans were taught to think differently…or for themselves.  Nor were most young people's dedication to political candidates as intense as it is now.  Technology is a great enabler in that pursuit.

But the major political impact on millennials has been wielded by liberals who dominate the faculties and administrative strongholds of college campuses across America.  These are the real recruiters for Bernie Sanders's young army of supporters.  The seeds of socialism are sown, nurtured, and harvested in a rarefied academic atmosphere, where popularity and even grades depend on one's willingness to mulch common ground.

By the time millennials ripen into voters, the path is cleared toward getting what they are told all Americans deserve.  It is anticipated that they will register as Democrats – or maybe independents – just as workers are expected to become dues-paying members of a union. 

Universities have become training venues for the art of marches, protests, political skulduggery, and general rabble-rousing.  Unlike previous generations, millennials acquire the moxie to hustle off to rallies or hunker down in protest in cities they don't even know.  One wonders how they get the resources to do this when they picture their lives in America as circumscribed and grossly unfair.

The left-wing college lesson plans begin with an assumption that it is okay to wage war on perceived rights violations here at home, but not overseas.  We must stay out of other countries' problems, especially militarily, but we must accept the fallout of those problems when they show up at our borders.  The crucible of liberal indoctrination is a fear of those who are not of like mind.  Obama and Clinton, for example, both talk of Republicans as a great threat to America.  "It's not who we are."

So liberal academicians have, in effect, provided a vital run-up to the viability of a Bernie Sanders.  They laid the foundation for his war on Wall Street, his attack on the wealthy, his pledge to legalize drugs and decriminalize pushers, and his dream of making the United States of America more like Sweden.

Bernie owes one to these professors.  That's why he's glad to promote free college education, which would insure the further growth of captive audiences in ivy-covered halls, leaving the power of leftist gurus unchecked.

Millennials are a dominant power in the United States.  In 2013, they represented one-third of the total population.  If Sanders falls by the wayside, what will his zealous young supporters do?  One of them told me in no uncertain terms, "Anyone but Hillary!"  But there are no absolutes in politics, and the scramble for the all-important millennial vote will remain a top priority.