Presidential Campaign

Why Bernie Sanders excites students and young voters


One of my major observations about the 2016 presidential campaign is that students and young people generally are becoming increasingly engaged politically and bringing their hopes and dreams for themselves and for America to the center of the national political arena through direct action and communication and organizing through the global explosion of social media.

This is great news for America, and no presidential candidate has done more to inspire this outpouring of excitement from young people than the oldest presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). In my recent piece for The Hill, I applauded Sanders’s proposal for free public college education and how he intends to finance his program through a transaction tax on Wall Street trades.

Nothing would do more to empower the American economy and better realize the American Dream than giving every young person the opportunity for greater learning, knowledge and economic opportunity than a college education that does not impose financial hardship on the moms and dads, and sons and daughters, of the nation.

{mosads}And considering that those of us who belong to older generations are leaving our young people with mountains of federal debt, nothing would be more just and fair than financing a free college education by asking older generations who trade on Wall Street to follow President Kennedy’s dictum and ask what they can do for our country.

Similarly, I recently wrote in The New York Observer that I predict that Sanders will shine in the presidential debates, and that when voters compare the debates of both parties, the Democratic candidates will shine in the eyes of voters compared to Republicans!

Sanders excites students and young people not only because he brilliantly calls for a free public college education. He excites students and young people because he is a candidate of values, principles and ideas, which is what politics should be about. I call to your attention the wonderful website, to follow the diversity of issues that these engaged young patriotic Americans believe in and work for.

Sanders offers what young people — and most Americans — want in political leaders. He offers authenticity and ideas; a politics of conviction and values that soars above the petty cash of political propaganda and political spin.

Sanders is not alone. When the summer days begin to end and the back-to-school days begin, there will be passionate discussions and debates throughout the high schools, colleges and universities of the nation.

There will be Sanders students spreading the message and organizing for progress. There will be young people supporting Hillary Clinton, especially young women who dream of electing the first woman president. There will be young libertarians organizing for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who led the fight in the Senate for more privacy and less abusive surveillance under the Patriot Act, a cause Sanders shares. There will be young people supporting many candidates, engaging in exciting debates for the candidate of their choice, organizing to campaign for the candidate they believe in, spreading their competing messages and hopes and dreams that can turn any student with a keyboard and a dream into the equivalent of a nationally syndicated columnist through the wonders of social media.

I think this is wonderful for America, and for those who care about the future of the nation that will be determined in the presidential campaign of 2016, don’t spend all of your time watching pundits dispense insider talk on cable news, or mainstream political media insiders telling the world what political gossip they heard at their latest insider lunch.

Rather, took to the high schools and campuses, look to the idealism of the young people who want to turn their great aspirations into the next American century, and look to the social media that gives them a platform to promote progress that has the power to change the world.

Praise the Lord for Bernie Sanders and all of the young people he and other candidates inspire, who ask what they can do for their country, and do it!

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at

Tags 2016 Democratic primary 2016 presidential election Bernie Sanders free college Hillary Clinton libertarians Patriot Act public college Public university Rand Paul Student loan tuition-free young people Youth

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