Seven Halloweens ago, 13-year-old Danny New proudly wore a suit draped in “Yes We Can” buttons to school.
When he arrived, it turned out that every boy sported the same costume. Except for the one kid who had discovered girls – he was smart enough to be Edward Cullen.
But Danny and the others were ecstatic to be Barack Obama for a day. Barack Obama was just the coolest. He was young, confident and knew a lot about the Chicago Bulls. In other words, he didn’t have wrinkles or a belabored war story. He was the presidential candidate who middle schoolers could dig.
Eight years later, those middle-school students are now in college and have traded in their school planners for…more expensive planners from the college bookstore. And once again, they have a candidate who they all seem to support. Although he may seem more like Old Man Jenkins from “SpongeBob,” he is still in an eerily similar situation.
His name is Senator Bernie Sanders and he is becoming the next Barack Obama.
It’s a tricky recipe to become the next Barack Obama. First, you need another candidate who has been the media-proclaimed winner for a year. You see, that won’t work with the hipster generation known as the millennials. They need to feel like they made their own choice, even if there’s only one other alternative. Mainstream just won’t sell at Urban Outfitters.
Also, you have to preach borderline “socialist” values and plans for your presidency.
College students certainly aren’t socialists, but they live in a relatively socialist community. They live on a campus where food, healthcare and even condoms are provided by the people in charge. A utopia, if you will.
So it makes sense that college students would be down for the philosophies that aren’t so far off from the ones outlining the best four years of their lives – not that Bernie Sanders and condoms should ever be in the same thought.
With that said, there also has to be a solid chance that the candidate would legalize marijuana. In this case, Senator Sanders is actually in the demographic that needs it most, battling flamingo-neck posture at a crisp 74 years old.
Regardless, let’s face it: weed is a big deal for college students – their parents told them to eat their vegetables when they were younger, so the hipster in them demanded to smoke it instead.
If Bernie Sanders will deal legal hemp and then provide free healthcare for the crazy post-trip shenanigans, then he is basically offering the circle of life. He’s Rafiki.
So yeah, Senator Sanders has the resume for becoming the next Barack Obama. In fact, in the Iowa Caucus he held 84 percent of the under-30 demographic, which is a solid B.
And if C’s get degrees, then maybe B’s get you … a presidency? Well, as long as your first name starts with it.
Danny New is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. The Maturity Column runs alternate Mondays.