Sunday evening, my daughter and I joined the 16,000 people inside and outside Seattle’s KeyArena who had come to hear presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
I wanted to be sure my 11-year-old daughter, Danni, got to see this man who, I believe, has started the beginning of a peaceful American revolution. His progressive platform is built on what constitutes representative government, more economic and income equity, the right to health care, fair trade, greater access to education, racial and gender equality, environmental consciousness and respect for all people — all long overdue in America.
His support is strong among people under 45, and especially under 35. It is these millennials who are most attracted to his message, and that was patently obvious at the Sunday evening rally. How exciting to see so many young people so engaged in politics — something that is a prerequisite to changing the mess we older Americans have left these young people.
Personally, I have been waiting a long time for even a hint of the positive change and idealism I felt with John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern in the 1960s and early 1970s. I see Sanders in the same light as these men. In fact, he carries the promise and prospects for positive change even further. He speaks of a political revolution. But what I think this modest man is calling for is nothing less than a cultural revolution that extends far beyond the world of politics and economics.
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The more recent roots of some of this revolution are in Occupy Wall Street, which the big banks and establishment politicians relatively quickly snubbed out as a loud and national movement. Sanders has taken that spark and is in the process of building that into a bonfire. Keeping this fire going will fall largely on the millennials. As Sanders has cautioned his supporters, be suspicious of the establishment and most corporate media (The Seattle Times supports Sanders!). The Democrats’ super (read establishment) delegates will smother and disenfranchise primary voters and the corporate media will distort news and fail to provide coverage.
The battle has just begun and it never is an easy one whenever those who run the show are challenged. Tag, you’re it millennials.
John Alwin, Bellevue