April 28, 2016 by David K. Sutton
Will The Sanders ‘Revolution’ Fuel Voter Turnout This Fall?
During this primary season, Democratic turnout has been stagnant at best, often underperforming the 2012 cycle. If Bernie Sanders is leading a revolution, it’s not at the polls. There’s no question Senator Bernie Sanders has led a “campaign revolution” that has energized millions of young Americans. Unfortunately this revolution has not translated into real votes, at least not enough to swing the delegate count in favor of Sanders. Now that it has become increasingly clear Sanders will not win the Democratic nomination, we have to ask, what’s next? Bernie Sanders has every right to keep his campaign going. He has the money and he is not yet mathematically eliminated. But it is now time to assess the fall Democratic strategy.
The young liberal idealistic constituency fueling the Bernie revolution is ready for something different. They have grown up during a period of war, fear, and economic distress. They are ready to try something new. They do not fear labels like “socialist,” and they are more likely than not to be against the supply-side, capitalist paradigm for which older generations call status quo. And who will these young romantics get to choose this November? — Trump? – Clinton? – Are you f’n kidding me?
Considering lackluster Democratic turnout this primary season, it remains a huge question whether these young Americans can maintain their enthusiasm for an incrementalist establishment figure like Hillary Clinton. Yes I know I’m not exactly doing a great sell job, but I’m not here to sell anybody on Clinton. I’ve got a Bernie bumper sticker on the back of my car, and I’ll be damned if a Hillary bumper sticker is going to replace it.
But these young idealistic Americans must remain engaged in the political process. If I might be so bold, this Gen-Xer suggests these young Bernie supporters should show up at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, PA, the cradle of liberty. And if they can’t get into the convention (highly unlikely), they should push their agenda in protest outside it’s doors.
The Democratic elite should be forced to confront their corporatist ties. They should hear from the people. Shit, they should fear the people. They should know young liberals will not roll over and capitulate. They should know the next generation of politically engaged Americans will demand economic equality.
As this next generation gains political power, the establishment oligarchic forces pulling the strings of American power will be increasingly marginalized, swept under the rug of a doomed supply-side free-market experiment consigned textbook history.