Tonight is the New Hampshire presidential primary, and Hillary Clinton is trailing Bernie Sanders by double digits leading up to tonight’s vote.
Establishment Democrats are certainly feeling the Bern as their plan for an inevitable Clinton coronation has been derailed by the Sanders phenomenon. Most vexing to the punditocracy is Bernie’s overwhelming support among young people, AKA Millennials.
Baby Boomer and Clinton SuperPAC coordinator David Brock thinks Millennials dislike Clinton because of mean Internet trolls.
“[Y]ou wonder why there’s such a gap in the millennial preference for Sanders over Hillary," he said. "I think if people took a look at what they’re seeing, that would account for some of [the deficit] — the fact that they have a misimpression of her.”
Octogenarian feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem went on Bill Maher’s show to explain why female Millennials are flocking to Bernie, saying, “When you’re young, you’re thinking: ‘Where are the boys?' The boys are with Bernie.” Even politically incorrect Maher responded with “if I said that… you’d swat me.”
Septuagenarian first female Secretary of State Madeleine Albright also scolded the young women who think the struggle for women’s equality is over and aren't standing by Clinton, saying, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”
Even Baby Boomer President Bill Clinton got in on the youth-bashing, saying, “[P]eople who have gone online to defend Hillary, to explain why they supported her, have been subject to vicious trolling and attacks that are literally too profane often, not to mention sexist, to repeat.”
What all these pundits seem to be missing when examining Bernie Sanders’ winning the Iowa Millennial vote by a whopping 84 to 14 percent win is that Bernie, not Hillary, best represents the views of young people—especially on the issue of marijuana legalization.
In the 2015 Gallup Poll, 71 percent of people 18- to 34-years-old support marijuana legalization.
Hillary Clinton said, “I think we need to be very clear about the benefits of marijuana use for medicinal purposes. I don’t think we’ve done enough research yet.”
Once she has enough research—since 29,000 published studies—don’t seem to be enough, she’ll consider moving cannabis from Schedule I (like heroin, LSD and peyote) to Schedule II (like cocaine, meth, and oxy).
Hillary supports the smallest incremental change on medical marijuana and maintaining the Obama Administration’s sit-back-and-watch approach to legalization on an issues page dedicated to broader criminal justice reform. Bernie, by contrast, has an issues page dedicated specifically to Drug Policy, where he supports “legalized [marijuana] for medicinal use” and “ending the federal prohibition on marijuana.”
Bernie even speaks directly to the young people affected by the War on Drugs, saying, “If you do not believe that there is a correlation between high youth unemployment and the fact that this country has more people in jail than any other country on Earth, you would be wrong.”
Bernie also calls for states’ rights to tax and regulate cannabis, saying, “In my view, states should have the right to regulate marijuana the same way that state and local laws now govern the sale of alcohol and tobacco.”
Marijuana is just one issue near and dear to Millennials on which Bernie Sanders is speaking with them and representing their views, while Hillary Clinton is speaking at them and reacting to marijuana polling in the slightest of degrees. But you could also add:
* Military - Millennials are the ones whose friends come home missing limbs from the Middle East. Bernie Sanders wants to end our wars; Hillary Clinton’s never met a Mid-East hostility she wouldn’t engage.
* College - Millennials are the first generation to start their lives with crushing loads of student debt. Bernie Sanders wants to make public college free, period; Hillary Clinton only wants to make it “debt free,” where students would be forced to work 10 hours per week and families would still have to pay “what they can” for college.
* Banking - Millennials recognize their future was compromised by letting the big banks wreck the economy. Bernie Sanders wants to break up “too big to fail” banks and hold swindlers accountable; Hillary Clinton’s top five lifetime campaign donors are big banks.
* Gay Rights - Millennials grew up with “Will & Grace” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”—they don’t have hang-ups about gay people. Bernie Sanders has been a stalwart supporter of gay rights for decades; Hillary Clinton just came around to supporting gay marriage in 2013, long after it became politically safe to do so.
The Baby Boomers and Silent Generation can pretend Millennials like Bernie Sanders because “the boys are with Bernie” and that Millennials hate Hillary Clinton because of “vicious trolling and attacks.” The truth is the Millennials have the Internet and can look up Bernie’s and Hillary’s positions and clearly see who best represents their interests.
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