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Bernie Sanders might not need mainstream media coverage to win

It is the youth's duty to take control of this country's political direction


There’s roiling unrest in America, in case you’ve been living under a rock. Dissatisfaction with our government and society has hit an all time high, yet the existing power structures seem intent on perpetuating the status quo. Enter the two wild cards: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. While the former has become a media darling thanks to his sound-bitable rhetoric and aggressive nature, the same media shuns Sanders to a profound level. 

Bernie Sanders may not need the mainstream media to upset the Democratic Party and herald something new, but apathy will be his worst enemy.

The lack of media coverage hardly seems surprising in light of Sander’s radical nature. He has trumpeted a lack of a Super PAC as proof that corporate money doesn’t control him and his proposed measures would limit campaign funding for future elections. While America seems to be sick of a Congress purchased by the wealthy, the media – as a corporate machine – understandably doesn’t want to help a candidate strip power away from them.

Yet Sanders has been succeeding. Somehow, despite the odds, his rallies have become massive events drawing tens of thousands of people. While most attendees are young and white, he has worked to expand his platform to incorporate racial issues. Days after “Black Lives Matter” activists disrupted a rally in Seattle, Sanders released a sweeping racial equality platform and hired Symone Sanders – a racial justice activist of no relation – to be his national press secretary.

Imagine, a politician paying attention to his constituents and not the companies that funded his campaign.

It is worth noting the incident with the “Black Lives Matter” activists is indicative of Sanders’ nature. He allowed them to hold the podium, say what they wanted, and – after waiting 15 minutes – shook a few hands and left for the next scheduled rally. This comes in marked contrast to Trump’s behavior in regard to race. During one of his press conferences, an Univision reporter, Jorge Ramos, was physically removed from the conference for asking pointed questions about Trump’s plans for immigration.

Sanders has also been sweepingly successful on social media. This success has led to the mainstream media gently reassuring us that social media represents an isolated pocket of the world, filled with a small number of people who can easily share stories that can skew perception. Don’t fear, his idealism doesn’t stand a chance. He can’t win. It would splinter the Democratic Party. Even if he were elected, it wouldn’t change anything – so the corporate media would have us believe.

The last two years of Congress has seen bafflingly low approval ratings. Fourteen percent has been the average yearly approval rating according to the Gallup Poll. In November 2013, the approval rating hit nine percent.

Nine percent. Let that number sink in. As a democratically elected body, only nine percent of Americans felt that Congress was competently doing its job. Do we want to let this continue? Do you want to continue to expect the government to use and abuse the majority of the population for the benefit of major corporations and our elected officials?

As the youth, as educated college students, we have to be active. You should want to determine your fate. You should want this country to be the best it can possibly for the highest possible amount of people. We need to take control of the political direction of this country in a concerted and sustained manner.

Bernie Sanders might not win. As it stands now, he probably won’t win. But maybe he will. The naysayers say that even if he were to be elected, he might not be able to accomplish anything he aims to accomplish. Others point to Obama’s lack of domestic accomplishment as proof of the break between electoral hopes and presidential reality. Yet much of this failure –notably the forced dilution of Obamacare into the ineffective machinery it is today – can be laid directly at the feet of an intransigent Congress, notably the Republican Party.

The art of political compromise seems to be dead. The Republican Party has been caught off guard by the insurgent Trump, who has harnessed the usually aimless racist undertones of many of the party’s policies to whip up a populist frenzy. Clinton is a weak candidate, running a tired establishment campaign. The time for sweeping change is now.

The editorial board can be reached at editorial@ubspectrum.com.


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