As a millennial voter, sometimes it’s nice to just support any candidate who says anything I agree with.
Like some good voters, I don’t agree with everything every politician says. And like some good millennials, I actually give a shit about politics and the future of the country I’m inheriting. So that’s why I’ve only donated to two of the presidential candidates so far: Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Yep, you read that correctly. This is usually the part where baby boomers choke on their social security checks in confusion and left/right politicos stammer, “But… But… Socialists and Libertarians are different!” and their heads explode.
But genuinely concerned millennials like myself don’t think about politics in the same way the old, mainstream politicos do. We care about specific issues because of the post-9/11 world we grew up in, and tend to gravitate towards politicians who present different, radical ideas on how to fix our nation’s problems. This is why the once-progressive-sounding Barack Obama garnered so much millennial support in 2008 (to much disappointment later) and the anti-war, libertarian-leaning Ron Paul received much of the same. This is also why Ron’s son Rand and Bernie Sanders are both finding that millennial support now.
Libertarians and progressives still have so much in common when it comes to foreign policy, civil liberties, drug policy, crony capitalism and fixing our broken federal government -- even if they have different ideas on how to fix it.
At the beginning of 2014 I wrote about how millennials were becoming more progressive on the left and more libertarian on the right. As Sanders and Paul both become more popular with my generation in the early days of the 2016 campaign, it’s clear this trend will only continue. And why not?Libertarians and progressives still have so much in common when it comes to foreign policy, civil liberties, drug policy, crony capitalism and fixing our broken federal government -- even if they have different ideas on how to fix it.Heck, even Rick Santorum said he couldn’t tell if Sanders or Paul said that U.S. military hawks created ISIS (they did abet it) and as we all know, Rick Santorum is the smartest man in politics ever.
I really do respect many things about Rand Paul. I deeply commend him for literally standing for civil liberties when it came to domestic spying and drones, and for fighting his own party on renewing the Patriot Act. I admire his willingness to join Senate Democrats to change our country’s ridiculous drug laws. I like that he’s the only Senator still trying to audit the Federal Reserve, and I definitely used to respect his one-time stance on less military spending and curbing our foreign wars, even if it didn’t go as far as I or his father or other libertarians would have liked. Of course, I don’t like his stances on gay marriage, women’s rights or on how to fight crony capitalism, but there’s not much I can do about that usual Republican bullshit. The fact that I agree with him on anything (as opposed to the lunatics running against him for the GOP nomination) means I gave him $20, no problem.
And then there’s good ol’ Bernie, who has surprised me more and more everyday with how much I agree with him. Not only is he anti-war, anti-domestic spying and for reforming our drug laws, but he actually supported Ron Paul’s partial audit of the Federal Reserve in 2009. His ideas to fight crony capitalism go much further than Paul’s (he doesn’t just blame “big government”) and he challenges Wall Street and unfair campaign finance rules. He’s even stood up for veterans and college students more than any other presidential candidate so far. Oh, and he’s pro-second amendment! Yes, be still libertarian hearts. Besides Bernie’s stances on higher taxes and other economic issues (I still feel raising the minimum wage will only screw over small businesses) there’s no other reason for me not to give Bernie $20, so I did.
Now it’s just time for these two presidential candidates to come together in the Senate and unite their supporters behind the issues they agree on.
Now it’s just time for these two presidential candidates to come together in the Senate and unite their supporters behind the issues they agree on. Paul has already been working with Democrats on a host of issues he cares about -- Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) on civil liberties, Corey Booker (D-NJ) on drug policy reform, etc. -- so he and Bernie could certainly team up on at least one of their common issues. Or I guess they could just keep sparring about healthcare and economics. However, if they did the former, I’m sure the mainstream left/right politicos’ heads would explode and millennial voters like me would take notice. For if we don’t have someone who represents our issues in 2016, we’ll just have to wait until 2020.
In the meantime, if anyone can loan me $40 that’d be great.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.
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