In attempting to explain the enthusiasm of so many young voters for Bernie Sanders’ presidential candidacy, conventional commentary suggests that the 74-year-old Senator appeals powerfully to their “youthful idealism.” But what’s so idealistic about embracing Democrat Sanders’ promises of lavish, youth-targeted, government give-aways? Why wouldn’t young people like the idea of “free” college tuition, free medical insurance, and a big boost in the minimum wage?
Sanders says these generous programs will cost ordinary people nothing, and will be financed through big tax hikes on billionaires – very few of whom are under thirty, of course. Young voters struggling with tuition payments or student loans, and looking for well-paying work as they begin their careers, inevitably warm to pie-in-the-sky promises of free goodies from Uncle Bernie – discarding all logic to take his socialist platform seriously.
The Senator’s popularity among young people has nothing to do with unselfish idealism; it’s all about naked self-interest.