More than 8,000 people showed up to a freezing cold outdoor rally on Jan. 15 in support of a nationwide grassroots movement for health care programs. Senator Bernie Sanders headlined the event along with Charles E. Schumer, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters.
The rallies showcased the opposition to the plans of forcing 30 million Americans off health insurance with massive budget cuts in Medicaid. It also showcased the threatening of nursing home care for seniors and looking to the high prices of prescription drugs.
“On behalf of the children of this country, on behalf of the working people of this country, on behalf of middle class families who pay for their parents in nursing homes through Medicaid, what we are are saying to Republicans is if you want to improve the Affordable Care Act, let’s do it together,” Sanders said to the crowd at Macomb County Community College. “But if you think you’re simply going to throw millions off of health insurance, you’ve got another thing coming.”
Sanders was the popular choice for many millennials during the presidential race. He touched on topics that the younger crowd found to be important, including income and wealth equality, free college tuition and the creation of livable-wage jobs.
After losing to Hillary Clinton for the democratic presidential candidacy, Sanders did not give up. Instead, he rallied for his democratic party along with Clinton and spoke against Donald Trump and the Republican party.
Now, with Trump as president, Sanders is still not backing down. He is continuing on his political tour, going to rallies from coast to coast. In the beginning of the year, Sanders has already scheduled more than a dozen rallies, many packed with his previous supporters.
Sanders continues to speak about the importance of health care; he has even called the GOP “out of touch” with the public on health care. He cited the opposition to the Obamacare repeal and replace efforts as a driving factor behind the Republicans’ inability to push against the American Health Care Act.
Sanders continues to use his appeal to the younger crowd by keeping in touch with relevant, popular trends. In February, Sanders tweeted that he would be hosting a Facebook Live event with millennial favorite, Bill Nye (the science guy) on the subject of climate change. Sanders has always been an outspoken advocate of fighting climate change, as it was a major part of his campaign in 2016.
From this, the question arises: How is Sanders staying relevant in today’s media? In the age of skyrocketing student-loan debt, high unemployment and lack of affordable housing, many people have a hard time imagining anything different.
Democratic socialism touches on a much better alternative than what is happening now, which brings in Sanders and his statements against America’s rigged-for-the-rich society.
He speaks on how continuous warfare is not the answer and how people of color should not be fighting for their lives against the police. These strong issues bring in crowds that are going through the same issues and are willing to help start a revolution with him.
Actor Mark Ruffalo used his Twitter to share his political stance and opinion on why millennials love Sanders this year, saying, “@BernieSanders is preferred 2-1 by young people because they know he means what he says.”
Millennials tend to show a progressive attitude, which is seen in Sanders’s way of protesting and campaigning. People stick with him because of his transparency about the tough issues that other candidates have trouble talking about.
“Bernie takes no money from corporations. Nada. Which means he’s not on the tape. And when Bernie gets into the White House, he will do the right thing,” Spike Lee, the “Chi-Raq” director, said in a radio ad endorsing Sanders.
Staying on the millennial agenda gives Sanders a boost staying relevant. He’s still on the social radar because of his usage of Facebook Live, Twitter and other social platforms in order to push his own agenda.
Sanders doesn’t make it very hard to stay up to date. Just a few clicks will keep a person educated on everything Bernie Sanders.