For more than a year, my pragmatist friends and colleagues have under-estimated the appeal of Bernie Sanders. As a big Sanders win approaches in the New Hampshire primary, they insist that this will be Sanders' last hurrah and urge his supporters to get real and get with the program -- which is to unite behind Hillary Clinton as the Democrat best positioned to be nominated and to win in November.
Many of my political friends are simply missing the import of the Sanders campaign. Much of his appeal is a blend of generational and economic.
The millennial generation has gotten the worst economic screwing since the generation that came of age in the Great Depression. In some ways, their plight is worse, since in the Depression generation there was broad understanding that an economic catastrophe had occurred and it was correctly understood as political.
Until very recently, the plight of the millennials was seen as merely personal. Questions that should be, and are, deeply political have been taken as private problems -- how to best cope with a bad economic environment; how to pick a shrewd career path given lousy choices. But it was only a matter of time before self-awareness of this reality finally took political form.More ...