The final section of Jaffe’s Necessary Trouble focuses on events that have happened much more recently, ones that I can (mostly) really remember details of. Specifically, towards the end of Chapter Seven, called “Red Scares and Radical Imagination,” Jaffe writes about one of America’s favorite grandpas: Bernie Sanders.
Just look at that grin!!
I did know that Bernie was popular among many people my age, but I was surprised to read about just how popular he was, even among older young people. Jaffe states that “by mid-March 2016, more voters under the age of thirty had chosen Sanders than both Clinton and Republican front-runner Donald Trump combined” (211). Despite the stereotype of Bernie supports as being entitled millennials that just want free college, those that aren’t considered millennials and are most likely out of college were feeling the Bern as well. From what I saw, Bernie and his presence in the election encouraged young people, “some even too young to vote in the 2016 election” (211), to become politically engaged, which I think sets the stage for political and social movements to come.
As Jaffe puts it in her book, Bernie “entered the Democratic primary calling for a ‘political revolution'” (210). Even though Bernie lost the primaries, I do believe that his campaign helped spark somewhat of a political revolution. In the aftermath of his loss, we are seeing many people speak up and are seeing movements that are making history. Obviously this cannot attributed only to the running of Bernie for president, but I think it does have something to do with how many young people are deciding to get involved with movements like the Women’s March, voicing their educated opinions on social media, and starting conversations about topics and issues that they are passionate about.
Jaffe quotes Brett Banditelli, an organizer of People for Bernie: “We wanted to inspire people not to support Bernie Sanders, but to use his platform as a way to support themselves. It had less to do with electoral politics and more to do with community organizing” (211). I think that’s exactly what we needed, especially considering the outcome of the election; communities are organizing like never before.