Bernie Sanders has had a tough road to the Democratic nomination all along, but he has been keeping hope alive by winning 8 out of the last 9 contests. Sanders’s insurgent campaign enters a tough stretch that includes #PrimaryDay today in New York and five other northeastern states in one week. The political revolution that Sanders is leading depends upon independents, first-time voters and young voters calling for change and these upcoming northeastern primaries are mostly closed to independents. New York has the most restrictive primary voting laws as registered voters had to have registered with the party last OCTOBER to vote for a primary on April 19th, leaving many independents disenfranchised. (Personally, I have a problem with closed primaries as candidates are ultimately running to represent everyone and all taxpayers are footing the bill.)
Regardless of what happens today in New York, or really the rest of the nominating process, Bernie Sanders has already accomplished so much more than anyone really thought that he would. More importantly, the movement that Sanders is leading is bigger than any one person and folks across the nation will continue building upon this momentum.
The revolution of young voters, online community and small donors that support Sanders is much greater than the insurgent movement of Howard Dean in 2004, another Vermont politician that railed against the establishment. While he hasn’t built the same coalition as then-Senator Barack Obama did in 2008 when he defeated front-runner Hillary Clinton, Sanders’ army of small donors has surpassed that of the Obama campaign.
This political revolution, that includes ending federal marijuana prohibition and the greater Drug War, will only grow as the millennials overwhelmingly supporting Bernie Sanders move up into the next age bracket over the next years and are replaced by a new wave of young voters. Young voters fuel the fights for civil liberties and equality. Young voters are those that are sent to war abroad and feel the brunt of a war waged upon our own citizens at home, so it makes sense that they lead the anti-war movement as well. So members of this political revolution, vote this #PrimaryDay and in every election. We may not win every election, but we are winning the war.