What are Sanders Voters Going to Do?

Although unforeseen events can turn the most probably forecasts into a lie, it seems almost certain that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination as the party’s presidential candidate. It has been reported that 25 percent of Bernie Sanders supporters claim that they would not vote for Hillary Clinton under any condition. I have no idea where this figure came from or how accurate it is, but supposing there are Sanders supporters who will refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election, the question arises: For whom are they going to vote? For Trump? For Cruz? It’s had for me to suppose that anyone who supports Bernie Sanders, the champion of the under classes, would vote for one of these members (Trump) or flunkies (Cruz) of the undeservedly rich and powerful.

I suspect that most of those people will change their minds when they are in the voting booth and vote for Hillary Clinton after all. What other choice will they have? Of course, they could just stay home on election day. Bernie Sanders has a large part of his support among younger people, who tend to vote in small numbers at any rate. I would like to see some figures on how many Sanders supporters are registered to vote. I suspect many of them are not registered and would not be able to vote no matter who was the Democratic nominee.

It’s not only in the United States that political participation has fallen off among the young. I spend a lot of time in Europe and speak four languages, so I am exposed to the political views of Europeans. I regret to report that many young people, especially in the United Kingdom and Germany, seem to have no political views at all. (French youth, on the other hand, tend to be somewhat better informed.)

A democracy depends upon citizen participation. When many young people don’t care who is governing them, the political ideologues tend to gain outsize influence, as is the case in the United States and several Western European countries today. We need intelligent young people to be politically informed and to take an interest in who is governing them to counteract the outsized influence of the poorly informed dogmatic people who vote in large numbers.

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