Hey, kids! Are you worried about how to convince your parents that Bernie Sanders is the candidate to vote for in 2020? There’s a guide for that.
As families and friends planned to come together for Thanksgiving dinner, the Sanders campaign mailed out nearly 3,000 “Students for Bernie: Family Persuasion Guide” to help younger supporters through the holiday. In case socialist indoctrination in the classroom hasn’t completely provided college students with solid arguments in favor of a candidate like Bernie Sanders, his campaign provided a guide for them. The campaign is working on outreach to older voters as the calendar shows early primary and caucus votes on the horizon.
A repeat is expected for the Christmas holiday break, too. Democrat voters over the age of 50 are not exactly singing the praises of Bernie. While younger people are excited about any candidate promising free everything, Bernie captured their support in 2016 and has done it again in the 2020 election cycle. Their parents, however, are grounded in reality. Socialist policies are not embraced by people who have paid taxes and worked in the real world for decades. The funding for government programs comes from taxpayers, not fantasy money trees in Washington, D.C. The Sanders campaign plays to the fact that their parents will die off and leave the nation’s problems to them. When all else fails, go the doom and gloom route.
“It’s up to us as students and young people to make the moral appeal to our older relatives to join us in voting for Bernie, because let’s face it: they won’t be around for as long to deal with the consequences of this election, but we will be,” reads a document titled “Students for Bernie: Family Persuasion Guide” that was sent out to nearly 3,000 students ahead of Thanksgiving. The campaign plans to do another push before the holidays later this month.
That reasoning ought to bring parents to the dark side of the Sanders’ campaign, right? Older voters have a limited time to vote due to their advancing age so just do as the kids say. It reminds me of the rubes like Caroline Kennedy and Maria Shriver who justified support for Barack Obama instead of Hillary Clinton in 2008 because their kids told them to support him.
Bernie’s campaign has relied heavily on courting young people and working-class people who don’t normally turn out to vote in primaries. That’s fine but the most reliable voters in primaries are older voters, particularly senior citizens. A recent Quinnipiac poll pointed to the contrast between Joe Biden’s support from older voters and Bernie’s. Biden easily wins that comparison.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday showed Mr. Sanders with 52% of support among Democratic primary voters under age 35, but just 2% with those over 65. By contrast, former Vice President Joe Biden won the backing of 47% of voters over 65 in that poll. Wall Street Journal/NBC News polling shows a similar trend.
Mr. Sanders’s campaign manager Faiz Shakir said in an interview that the campaign has made more of an effort to focus on seniors in the past three months and hopes to peel off some voters who have been supporting other candidates.
The Sanders campaign is releasing ads targeting older voters. This one, for example, shows Bernie at a town hall in Des Moines speaking to older voters about increasing Social Security benefits and limiting prescription drug costs:
Sanders’ staff point to the fact that he speaks about Medicare for All, his pet issue, and how it would cover home health care, hearing aids and eyeglasses. In the early primary and caucus states of Iowa and New Hampshire, the support of older voters is crucial for victory. In 2016, sixty-four percent of Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa were over age 45. In New Hampshire, that number was fifty-nine percent.
Bernie doesn’t just have his Utopian dreams of a socialist America working against him. His age plays a factor, too. Older voters worry about older candidates, especially after Bernie’s recent heart attack on the campaign trail. Some Democrat voters may be open to voting for Sanders and his ideas but his health is now a concern.
John Jaszewski, 71, a member of the city council in Mason City, Iowa, said he had caucused for Mr. Sanders in 2016. He hasn’t picked a candidate for 2020, but he said he wasn’t considering the Vermont senator.
“I still like him, but unfortunately his age and his health have worked against him. That heart attack scared some people, and I don’t think he’s electable,” Mr. Jaszewski said.
So, for those young people who were not successful in convincing mom and dad, and even grandma and grandpa, over the Thanksgiving holiday, there is still Christmas break to get the job done. Nothing says warm and fuzzy family holidays together like Junior reciting socialist propaganda around the Christmas tree, nagging mom and dad to vote for Bernie. The “Family Persuasion Guide” is in the mail. It sounds like a trip to a re-education camp, doesn’t it?