By S.A. Prince
My phone rang at about midnight this morning. My good friend was on the other line seething. “I can’t believe you were right about Hilary Clinton,” he snorted. He like many other Bernie Sander supporters were astonished that Hillary Clinton won last night’s New York State Democratic primary election.
I can get how Bernie Sanders’ supporters would be appalled. Sanders is a king, and doggone near a demi-god on social media. It’s impossible to scroll through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and not see vitriolic posts from Sanders’ supporters condemning Clinton and hailing Sanders.
From that perspective, the perspective of a social media generation, it’s not the least bit surprising for them to have imagined the results be skewed toward Sanders. Social media is a good judgement of popularity, but it’s not the only one. The most voracious users of social media are Sanders supporters, but that does not account for the entire base of Democratic support.
The objective political thinker when looking at both Sanders and Clinton didn’t get caught up in the hype, realizing that social media is a mouthpiece primarily used by Millennials. Businesses and middle-aged women are a lot less likely to be politically vocal on social media, and they are Clinton’s base.
Clinton is seen as a figure of strength, not only because she was the First Lady, but also due to the way she handled the Monica Lewinski scandal. Hillary Clinton laid the groundwork for this run back in the 90s well before social media existed. Since the 90s, Hillary Clinton has been a name that American women could trust, a name that they could be comfortable with and relate to. Those women who watched Clinton in the 90s now have families and businesses they influence.
Now, Millennials aren’t as infatuated with Clinton as our parents and grandparents. We are the “information generation,” and we have access to information about issues involving Hillary Clinton that our parents and grandparents don’t even think to look for. That information made us overwhelmingly choose to support Bernie Sanders.
And, let’s face it. Politics is a lot like March Madness.
- Carson, Kasich, O’Malley, and Cristie are like 15 and 16 seeds. They have no chance at ever winning the championship, and we don’t even know why they’re here.
- Trump, Cruz, and Sander are like 12 and 13 seeds. They may get a few upsets, but as a Cinderella it’s only a matter of time before they lose. Cinderella’s hardly ever win. They’re just there to give you false hope.
- And then you have Hillary Clinton who represents Duke, Louisville, and North Carolina. Bush, Clinton, Kennedy, those families have the name, the pedigree, the money, and history. Those are the people who win elections, and those are the teams who win the NCAA tournament with regularity. Sure, every once in a while a Jimmy Carter will slip through the cracks, but history is not in their favor.
All hope is not lost for Sanders though. The Fat Lady has not sung yet…