Bye bye Bernie
“WHAT?!” Bernie supporters would scream in moral high dudgeon.
“You say Bernie can’t win the White House? He killed in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and a lot on Super Tuesday! The Bernie Surge is here, it’s real, get used to it!”
Nope. Hate to pop such an exciting dream bubble, but America at large isn’t feeling the Bern.
We have a tinier chance of catching or dying from Covid-19 than seeing the 46th President of the United States Bernard Sanders to do his hilarious Larry David impression on the National Mall in his Inauguration Address.
You know, yelling and waving his arms and asking Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, while being administered the oath of office, “why am I swearing on the King James Bible? It’s from the 1700s! Even before I was born! Besides, King James was from Scotland, which is ehhh, you know, kinda WASP-y! I’m pretty, pretty, pretty sure he was anti-Semitic!
“And what about the brunch afterwards? Will there be whitefish? How’s the whitefish in the White House anyway?
“Once in a deli I received whitefish salad that was inedible and the owner confessed that all the old dried ends of whitefish are saved for the whitefish salad. I prefer my smoked fish salad to be made with meaty mildly smoked moist fish that is lightly dressed and without so much unhealthy added fat. Low-fat mayonnaise runs about 40 calories a tablespoon but only contains 4 grams of fat.
“Somehow the blend of fat-free cream cheese, low-fat mayonnaise and non-fat Greek yogurt tastes amazing for this salad.”*
I don’t mean to stereotype, or badly parody a parody, and I thank everyone in advance for forgiving any unintended offense.
Also, since Bernie can’t win, don’t expect Phish, “the most important band of the ‘90s,” or Dead & Company, the remnants of the Grateful Dead, to rock the People’s Revolutionary Ball.
Too bad, Gen B.
You’re loud, proud, energetic, activist, inspired and inspiring, entitled to entitlements, angry at anyone who dares to question your righteous power, and understandably mad as hell.
You’re like Trump MAGAs, but a lot less proud — indeed, a lot more ashamed — of being white, while also feeling victimized.
No wonder. Gen B is America’s future yet frustrated to have to live in today’s terrible #NotDenmark #NotFidel America.
Especially without good jobs guaranteed for all — jobs that not only pay well, but also provide a healthy work-life balance AND celebrate their special talents and value, which their parents and teachers were taught to cheer by child development experts and lawyers who sue schools.
Gen B was raised to understand that being bad at everything doesn’t necessarily make you bad at everything. It’s the employer’s job to discover and nurture your hidden talents or put another headache on HR’s plate.
OK, yes, sorry, I’m sounding like a typical “OK Boomer,” as the amazing Gen B kids say.
Feel free to victimize me because of my age, even though it’s ageist, and as I’ve learned from Gen B, saying anything -ist is incredibly painfully -ist.
But before we victimize Gen B, let’s all walk a mile in their Tevas.
Bernie youth are rising up because they’re being denied affordable housing that’s better than living for free with parents or cheap with terrible roommates. They’re struggling with college loans that cost almost half as much per month as a payment on lightly used Prius. They suffer guilt from parents who put off retirement to pay off their adult kids’ student loans — see New York Times “Americans over 60 are the fastest growing group of student loan debtors” — and fund their grocery needs.
Adding insult to injury, hateful authoritarian police curb Gen B’s right to slalom their scooters on city sidewalks, frightening pedestrians, and discard them for elders to trip and break a hip and die from.
Life in America shouldn’t be this hard. Not with a $250,000 private college degree in race, gender, cisgender, non-gender and indigenous peoples studies, with a triple minor in protest, cancel culture and peace studies.
No question, Gen B is preternaturally gifted in data wrangling, coding, AI and machine learning.
They work wonders helping Facebook, Google, Amazon and other Silicon Valley 1% billionaire capitalist greed-heads control the internet and proletariat. Also thinning their own herd by mesmerizing young people to obliviously step into heavy traffic hunched over their phones while deafened by AirPods.
Yet Gen B doesn’t have the numbers or math for Bernie to win and beat Trump. Two reasons:
1. The youth don’t vote so much.
Sorry kids. In spite of your beautiful sound and fury, the vast majority of young people sit out Election Day, when activism literally counts. (And now Gen B threatens to not vote even more if Bernie’s not on the ballot.)
Even in the Blue Wave 2018 midterms — amid the historic, celebrated turnout for every cohort — voters 18–29 cast a mere 4% of all ballots, per Pew Research Center.
While youth turnout surged from 20% in 2014 to an historic 35.6% in 2018, they were still trounced by every older cohort:
· 30–44: 48.8%
· 45–64: 59.5%
· 65+: 66.1%
As for 2020? On Super Tuesday, before the results were in, NPR reported:
“In Texas, 228 delegates are up for grabs, the second-largest Super Tuesday haul after California. Texas is one of the youngest states in the country. Forty percent of the population is under the age of 30, and demographers project that 1 in 3 voters in Texas will be under 30 by 2022.
Yet “Dozens of students here [at University of Texas, Austin] said they didn’t know the Texas primary was this week or didn’t know who was running. Many said they weren’t planning to vote. They said they don’t have time or don’t know where or how to register. Others said they just aren’t following the race closely.”
That’s right: College students are consuming a fortune in parental and maybe free Bernie money learning from brilliant professors to “interrogate gender” and “argue for the adoption of feminist epistemologies to unpack the role, nature and effects of gender (in)equality.”
Yet somehow they can’t search online for “where do I vote” and find simple instructions from VoteTexas.gov/voting/where.
2. The youth Bernie vote doesn’t matter so much.
While 39% of the 18–34 set favored Bernie, per Quinnipiac polls in January, they were trounced by every older cohort:
· 35–49: 19%
· 50–64: 9%
· 65+: 7%
The 50–64 set preferred Biden over Bernie by 25 points. As for which Democrat could beat Trump, 44% picked Biden and just 19% said Bernie.
All to say, Gen B: We love and respect your passion and progressiveness.
Bless your hearts, as they say in Texas.
But unless you want to reelect Trump, please give it up to any Democratic ticket — Biden/Harris? Biden/Warren? Biden/Buttigieg? Biden/Klobuchar? — that could win the vast majority of Americans who are dying to send Trump back up his golden escalator and stop making America worse.
Bernie can’t do it. Be for who can.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.
*Thanks to https://theforkingtruth.com/?p=20304