Why youngsters love #FeelTheBern grandfather Sanders?

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. © Mark Kauzlarich
US youth see Bernie Sanders as a grandfather, someone who you can look up to, to certain extent. This isn’t about age: he is articulating issues and ideas that are interesting to young people, says political cartoonist and author Ted Rall.

Fans of Bernie Sanders have used the Tinder app to get people hooked on the man they would love to see lead America. The company banned them for violating its terms of use.

RT: The girls behind this stunt were basically using the app to campaign for Sanders to would-be suitors. Was Tinder right to ban them?

Ted Rall:  You know, I am sympathetic to Bernie Sanders but I am also sympathetic to the horny single guys. If I were a horny single guy I would be very sad to find out that the hot chick, who has just sent me a message, was really just bait trying to get me to vote for Bernie Sanders. So, I think they were right.

RT: Tinder has a so-called strategic partnership with FOX News. Has the app perhaps revealed its political bias with the decision to ban the pro-Sanders camp?

TR: I don’t know about that. We’d have to see if they are behaving similarly if other people are doing this, to campaign, for example, for Ted Cruz, for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.  I don’t know if it is really a political issue but it is definitely kind of amusing. There used to be a term for this back in the 1960s and 70s – it was called ‘campaigning on your back’. At that time you would have very attractive members of one gender try to seduce people into a political organization, especially a radical left organization to join them. Groups like “The weather underground” used that technique. You know, at least people got laid that way. This seems kind of depressing, typical of the internet, nothing is as it seems.

Girls supporting U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders cheer for Bernie during snowfall outside a campaign event in Exeter, New Hampshire February 5, 2016. © Rick Wilking

RT: Sanders appears to have more support in social media like Facebook and Twitter than his only real democratic rival with the hashtag #FeelTheBern particularly popular. Why is that?

TR: Social media is, of course, dominated by young people and Bernie Sanders has overwhelming support among Americans under the age of 45…The support for Hillary Clinton even in the over 45 group seems to be more dutiful than enthusiastic. Bernie Sanders supporters are extremely excited. And now they can smell not just the viability, they can almost taste feasibility. It is actually possible now to imagine that Bernie Sanders could be the Democratic nominee or even become president of the US in January [2017]. People are going to be more excited, and we are going to see more and more of this sort of thing.

RT: He is 74. Why do young people love him?

TR: One of the things that is interesting about ageism is that it tends to apply over a narrower bandwidth than you would think. For example, if you are 25 and you think older people don’t know anything, by older people you think of people who are probably 50. People who are older than that are sort of an entirely different category: they are older, wiser… they might as well be from a different planet. I think they look at Bernie and they see a grandfather, someone who they could look up to to certain extent. This isn’t about age, this is about ideas. Bernie Sanders is articulating issues and ideas that are interesting to young people. And Hillary Clinton and Republican candidates have not been doing that. No one else has talked about the possibility of free college tuition.  Nobody else has talked about things that would alleviate student loan debt and go directly towards helping young people. Really, it does come down to just policy, I think.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.