Political Participation: Bernie Sanders And The Political Youth Movement

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From sexual assault scandals, leaked state emails, and incivility, the American population has been kept on its toes during what some call the most outrageous presidential election to date. While there are some notable differences in the 2016 election in comparison to previous races, the election is not entirely unique. By analyzing youth political participation, media bias, trends of popular opinion, and electorate expansion, we can observe what’s new and what’s old in the 2016 election and explain some of the occurrences of this presidential race.

Political Participation: Bernie Sanders and the Political Youth Movement
Videos of protesters outside the Democratic National Convention generalized Bernie Sanders’s supporters
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This includes both conventional activities such as voting and unconventional forms of participation including discussing politics and donating to campaigns (Abramowitz). While there are several indicators that appear to hint the Sanders’s campaign ignited a revolution, they can be explained by characteristics of campaigners, activists acutely involved in politics and campaign activities (Wilson). Primarily, some reference Bernie Sanders’s consistently bursting rallies with students as an indicator of increased political participation by young adults. However, rally attendants tend to be to the far ends of the ideological spectrum (Street et al.). The overwhelming support in campaign events is a result of the attendant’s ideologies and not age. The same can be said about his record-setting fundraising. Though he received extensive grassroots support, majority of donors were above the age of 40 (“Powering Bernie’s Political Revolution”). This is consistent with the fact that most activists tend to be middle age (Wilson). Though he did receive significant support by young adults in numerous states, overall rates of voter registration and voter turnout seem to be minimally affected by his candidacy, resulting in an insignificant increase. While he was considerably more popular than Hillary Clinton with young voters, it would be an …show more content…
Though most Americans consume information that is bias free, the 2016 election appears to be an exception (Wilson). News outlets are reporting negative news on Donald Trump in disproportionate rates in comparison to Clinton. In doing so, the media is acting as a political watchdog, moderating Trump’s actions and admonishing distasteful actions. While this serves a crucial function, it also results in adverse effects in the long run by deteriorating an already low public confidence in news sources and furthering Trump’s argument that media outlets are conspiring against him, granting him a limited form of leverage

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