Feeling the Bern: How One Man’s Message Is Touching Millions of Americans

February 8, 2016
By Lucas Uhm  Calvary Chapel High  11th grade

By Lucas Uhm
Calvary Chapel High
11th grade

It’s no secret that young people are upset over, frustrated about, and tired of the status quo. So when Bernie Sanders announced his presidential campaign on April 30, 2015, it was no surprise that his progressive message of breaking and fixing the system managed to resonate with the millions of youth around America.

Sanders focuses on the issues that affect the working people of America, such as income inequality, universal healthcare, lessening student debts, to name a few. Not only does he have passion, but he also has the character to back up his statements.

First of all, he has no super PAC, which allows corporations and other organizations to bypass the previous $2,700 donation limit per person. That means that he isn’t influenced by corporations, unlike Hillary Clinton, whose top donators include Citigroup Inc (donated $824,402), Goldman Sachs ($816,402), JPMorgan Chase & Co ($696,456), and Morgan Stanley (636,564), according to various reports.

Compare that to Bernie Sanders’ top donators: 271 individual Americans who have donated the maximum amount of $2,700. Sanders also recently announced that he has received 2.3 million individual contributions, setting the record for most individual donations at this point in a campaign.

The support for Bernie Sanders is staggering, especially online, where he has a strong, loyal, and vocal base of supporters. He was voted first place in Time’s 2015 Person of the Year readers’ poll, receiving almost twice the percentage of votes to the next most-voted-for person.

In December 2015, Sanders has received endorsements from the Working Families Party, with 87.4% of its members voting for Sanders, and from Democracy for America, a grass-roots organization founded by former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, receiving a staggering 88% of the votes from 200,000 Democracy for America members. Sanders has also been lauded for his consistency, never changing his political positions and viewpoints in the face of criticism, and has held his positions for quite some time, even before such positions were “cool.”

For example, he has been a staunch supporter of civil rights for all Americans, participating in the March on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 and is a self-proclaimed socialist, a proclamation that he has been criticized for.

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