You say you want a revolution

Best enjoyed while listening to The Beatles’ “Revolution.”

Last week, I went to the opening of Hillary Clinton’s campaign headquarters in Augusta. I don’t believe she is without her flaws, but I am confident in her unmatched qualification to be the Democratic nominee and ultimately the next president of the United States of America, so I was thoroughly excited to attend an event surrounding her candidacy.

However, in the hour I spent at the modest office space on Water Street, every volunteer and staffer I spoke to seemed pleasantly surprised by the presence of college students in their midst. “Good for you! All that social pressure to feel the Bern…it must be tough to hold your ground!” We heard this numerous times, and we were peppered with questions about our perceptions of Bernie’s lead with the under 25 voting bloc.

In reflecting on the lack of a social niche for supporting Hillary on this campus, and the problematic paradox of millenials who romanticize Bernie Sanders’ candidacy, these thoughts were borne:

There can be no doubt about it – Bernie is trendy. He is fiery, and radical, and says things that young people want to hear – well, you know, we all want to change the world. And I don’t dislike the guy. In fact, I appreciate the influence of his unapologetically socialist rhetoric in this campaign, and I love the small-d democratic spirit he has ignited in many Americans. But I find it extremely ironic that the ideological demographic among which he has been most successful consists of voters who seek a candidate that is “trustworthy and honest.”

Bernie Sanders’ rhetoric around the “need for a political revolution” is not misplaced – equitable access to health care, the stratification of entry to higher education, and the growing gap between the rich and the poor are all issues that our country needs desperately to address. But to perpetuate the misbelief that his extremist policies are achievable is categorically dishonest. You say you got a real solution? We’d all love to see the plan.

Certainly, it’s painfully obvious that every “cool” move Hillary makes is carefully manicured by her campaign strategists, and her unwillingness to promise free college and health care makes her less electrifying than her counterpart on the far left. But she is the only viable candidate in the race, and certainly the only Democrat who can win in November – she has more practical experience than all of her competitors combined, and her legitimacy as a progressive politician is evidenced by her forty years of experience working across the aisle to achieve profound reforms. You tell me it’s the institution, well, you know – you better free your mind instead.

Hillary Clinton might not have the hipster allure of unkempt hair and loose-fitting suits – but she has an unparalleled track record of achievement, compromise, and affecting progressive change, as a non-profit attorney, as First Lady of the United States, as New York senator, as Secretary of State, and as a woman who has broken barrier after barrier, all while never apologizing for fighting for her seat at the head of the table, even in the face of blatant sexism. She is tough, steadfast, and prepared to lead our country in the direction that many of us here at Colby want to see. And she needs our vote this primary season. Cast your absentee ballot for Hillary in the upcoming Maine Democratic caucus, or join us in person to caucus for her on Sunday, March 6 at Thomas College. You say you want a revolution…

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