Why The Country Is In Trouble If Young Voters Don't Reconsider Hillary Clinton

by John Haltiwanger
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It's no secret Millennials are really feeling the Bern.

When Sanders defeated Clinton in the Michigan primary, for example, he went home with 81 percent of the 18-29 year old demographic.

Overall, Sanders is ahead of Clinton with Millennials 54 percent to 37 percent, according to a recent poll from USA Today/Rock the Vote.

Indeed, a lot of young voters really don't like Hillary Clinton.

They see her as a representative of the establishment and a step in the wrong direction.

In spite of her attempts to link herself to President Barack Obama, a leader with a strong connection to Millennials, young voters just aren't buying what she's selling.

This is very troublesome given the current direction of this presidential race.

It's looking more and more like Donald Trump is going to receive the Republican party's nomination for president. Anything could happen, of course, but the GOP alternatives to Trump (like Senator Ted Cruz) aren't much better.

At this point, it does not seem likely Senator Bernie Sanders will become the Democratic candidate for president. He didn't perform very well in the March 15 primaries and Clinton has a significant lead in terms of delegates. Losing Ohio, in particular, really dealt a harsh blow to his campaign moving forward.

Millennials need to come to terms with the fact the candidate they prefer has a tough road ahead and it will be very difficult for him to secure the Democratic nomination.

This generation also needs to recognize the profound differences between its own values and those of the Republican candidates.

Hillary Clinton might not be the ideal candidate for young voters; her stances on issues such as the death penalty, foreign policy and marijuana, for example, are perhaps not progressive enough for many Millennials.

But young voters must realize if Bernie does not become the Democratic party's nominee for president, Hillary is not the terrible alternative many of them seemingly believe.

Her viewpoints are actually far more similar to those of Sanders than people often acknowledge.

In Democratic presidential debates, Clinton and Sanders have primarily argued over small details surrounding major issues they largely agree on. The passion of these discussions have clouded the fact they actually see eye-to-eye on many different matters.

Correspondingly, during the two years they were in the senate together, Clinton and Sanders voted the same way 93 percent of the time.

Hillary Clinton has had a remarkable career and is extremely qualified for the presidency. As a female politician in a patriarchal world, she's had to overcome numerous obstacles to achieve everything she's accomplished.

Most importantly, she's a far better candidate than anyone from the Republican party -- especially Trump and Cruz.

We need Millennials to vote in the general election, even if Bernie Sanders is not on the ticket.

Millennials make up the largest voting demographic in the country, and our country's future rides on whether or not they participate.

If Millennials choose not to vote in the general election because of their disdain toward Hillary (if she's nominated), they should realize they're essentially casting a vote for whoever ends up on the Republican ticket.

These are disturbing times. The country is more divided politically than it's been since perhaps the American Civil War.

Donald Trump is dominating the race for the Republican nomination even though he's openly condoned bigotry, xenophobia, misogyny and violence. His leading opponent, Ted Cruz, is even more dangerous in many ways. The most reasonable Republican candidate for president who remains, John Kasich, doesn't have a realistic chance of winning at this point.

Simply put, Millennials cannot afford to not participate in this election. If they don't vote but don't like who ends up in the White House, they have no right to complain.

Young voters need to recognize it's not the end of the world if Hillary Clinton ultimately defeats Bernie Sanders. After all, he's already succeeded in pushing her campaign more to the left -- this is a victory in and of itself. It's apparent Clinton sees how powerful Sanders' message and perspectives are, which is why she's begun to adopt his tone in many ways.

Clinton might not be as radical and idealistic as Sanders, but she's hardly a regressive figure and all of the evidence suggests she'd make a good president.

Vote for whomever you prefer in the primaries, but don't give up on the process if your candidate doesn't make it to the general election.

The country is already suffering from a deep and pervasive schism, we don't need the supporters of Sanders and Clinton to encourage yet another painful fracture.