Sure it's no secret that the hopeful democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has the youth on his side when it comes to the polls, but do you really know why? You may think it's because of his participation in the Civil Rights Movement so let's start there. Bernie has proven that he is and has been for equal rights by marching closely with the great Dr. King Jr but that's not all. He has been an avid speaker when it comes to the brutal treatment of African Americans by law enforcement. This being a huge concern for the entire African American community following the continued deaths of black people while in police custody, Bernie has stated multiple times that something simply has to be done about this. It seems in Bernie's eyes there aren't any questions as to whether the deaths are justified, it's more so a question of what can we do to stop this? The youth of our country may seem distant when speaking about racism but the overall view is that it's obviously wrong and no one wants to make the same mistakes as their predecessors by ignoring the problem.

Not only has Bernie Sanders had a long history of supporting civil right but he's done the very same when it comes to gay rights. He voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which barred federal recognition of gay marriages. A potential candidate like Sanders couldn't have come at a better time as equal marriage has recently become legal in all 50 states as of June 26, 2015. This being another issue important to youth voters since it's a change that has come with a seemingly generational push. While there are certainly other potential candidates who've stated their opposing views on the subject, the youth are looking for people who understand the importance of equality in all aspects.

Sanders has also expressed his plans to end the war on drugs and legalize marijuana. With marijuana being a billion dollar industry in states where its already been legalized, there is still a federal ban on the substance. Although it still remains mostly illegal in the U.S. the popularity of the plants continue to grow especially amongst our youth. Not only is it casually seen in the hands of college students, it's actually everywhere. You just won't find many 18-28 year olds who don't support the legalization of the beloved yet still forbidden plant.

The boost to raise the minimum wage nationwide is additionally one of the things on Bernie's to-do list. Of course this is monumental for the youth voters as most are either looking for work or currently working for somewhere around $7.25/hour. It's no secret that no matter how you flip the numbers, minimum wage doesn't add up to a livable wage any longer. We must also take into consideration the fact that some of these same people are attending school as well. These two issues go hand-in-hand because of the fact that Sanders has proposed his plan to implement free tuition. This would largely effect those students who are trying to balance both. By increasing income and assuring free college our youth would benefit substantially.

You can bet there are numerous other reasons our youth would be following a candidate as open-minded as Bernie Sanders. One thing is for sure though, it doesn't matter if it's because he seems to be the only candidate being genuine or if it actually is his stance on the legalization of marijuana it's clear to see that  the youth voters of America are definitely "Feeling the Bern."

Published by T. Todd