Former Vice President Joe Biden swept Super Tuesday this week to vault past Senator Bernie Sanders to become the front runner for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.
Let’s just say that I’m surprised, but not surprised.
I’m surprised because I thought millennials would turnout in droves to support Sanders.
I’m not surprised that the expected turnout didn’t materialize when it truly counted.
Decades of political science analysis on American voting patterns once again proves true…
Oldsters vote. Youngsters do not.
Additionally, the better educated and more affluent also turnout in higher numbers to vote than the less educated and less affluent.
This is vitally important for Sanders and his rabid supporters to understand because the lack of understanding surrounding these electoral tendencies is why Sanders is no longer the Democratic Party presidential front runner and likely will not win the nomination.
Because Americans (the ones who are more likely to turnout to vote anyway) are not fans of what they perceive to be “hard socialism”.
As I mentioned in previous posts, “free college” and “free healthcare” are not free. Oldsters and the more affluent understand this fact far more than youngsters do. “Free stuff” translates into “higher taxes” or reduced entitlements to things that are embraced by many Americans, such as Medicare and Social Security.
I’m frankly surprised that millennials didn’t turnout to essentially hand the Democratic presidential nomination to Bernie Sanders on Tuesday because many of the millennials that I know personally were quite high on Sanders’ policy positions.
However, I do have a theory that might explain the lack of support…
Anyone who wants free stuff isn’t likely to put in real work to obtain free stuff.
Wanting free stuff is not usually the desire or thinking of motivated people who have goals.
I understand (and on some levels agree with) the notion of our tax dollars being used to provide healthcare with little or no out-of-pocket costs or free or low-cost post-secondary education to everyone. However, in a country of over 300 million people, that is a very expensive undertaking that unfortunately many people do not want the government to provide. Education and healthcare is largely viewed as an individual responsibility in this country, not a matter of public policy.
The other reason I think Sanders will never be elected president is that he is cut from the same populist cloth that President Donald Trump is cut from. Sanders plays upon the same base emotions that Trump plays upon. The only difference is that Sanders’ rhetoric leans hard left instead of hard right.
Sanders energizes many youngsters, but he turns off just about everyone else, including most minorities.
Black and Latino voters simply do not trust Sanders and Tuesday’s election results prove this fact.
Sanders’ message resonates best in communities that are largely considered white spaces like Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire. This fact explains his early primary success.
However, in the states he needs to win a general election as well as among the demographics that he needs to win over to win in a general election, Sanders is not seen as authentic.
His surprising, but unsuccessful run in 2016 does not do him any favors in 2020. Many voters have seen and heard his schtick before and the audience for it in 2020 is far narrower than even he realizes and this time, they have a more appealing electoral choice in Joe Biden.
For all of his faults, no one views President Trump’s general demeanor as inauthentic, and that includes many who oppose the president.
Joe Biden, for all of his faults, is largely viewed as a more honest, affable, and competent politician who remind people of former President Obama. Many Obama supporters are asking the question:
Who can best build upon the Obama legacy than his former Vice President?
Biden also has appeal amongst disaffected Republican voters who are turned off by the Trump administration. Sanders turns off voters outside of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and that is why Biden is the best candidate left in the Democratic field and the candidate with the best chance to defeat President Trump in November. It’s time millennials woke up to these facts en masse.
I might add that a large number of millennials don’t subscribe to socialism either.
This November, millennials have a choice:
Vote against the current administration or stay home and sulk.
It’s really that simple.
-The Rational Ram