If you went to college anytime in the last ten years, chances are you have student loan problems. There is also a good chance you wanted Bernie Sanders to be the nominee for the Democratic party.
This affliction of yours, this nerve to support a person like Sanders, it is not appreciated in the Establishment.
Some in the Establishment think you don’t understand economics. They think you don’t know about the terrors of socialism. Frankly, they don’t understand why you can’t keep going on paying your student loan instalments until you’re 40. It’s very simple, to be honest.
Then you sit and wonder why your student debt is so high.
You were sold the dream of going to college when you were a child. Your even told your parents to not worry about the tuition. The federal government is giving a loan to help you go to college.
Meanwhile, the colleges of the United States have been jacking up college tuitions at a rate of more than 200% for the last thirty years. Your school counsellors tell you not to worry. They say a big investment would also mean a big reward. There is a good chance you could get a top paying job. You could pay off the loan easily with the great job you will get.
Then you go to college. You slowly realize the level of debt you’re taking on every day isn’t worth the education you’re getting. Your wealthy roommate tells you capitalism is poison and your aspirations of getting a good job and earning money are serving the machine. Looking at your wealthy socialist friend, you wonder if this is what the poets would call an ‘oxymoron’.
You make peace with yourself for coming to college. You start thinking the chasms in society are too wide for someone to not have a college degree.
College ends, but the great job never comes your way. Your rich socialist friend is now working for his father. The father runs a ‘progressive’ think-tank in DC. You go back to your home and take up a small-time job. The student loan repayments start and take away a lot of money from your paycheck.
When you visit home to see your parents, your relatives drop in. They start telling the same old stories. This time you listen closely. They talk about how they bought a car when they were 25 and a house when they were 35. You can’t think of a possibility where either of these two things happen to you. You start wondering how your parents, with a simple college degree like yours could buy all these things.
Before you can think any further, you get a text. It’s from the bank. The instalment is due next Monday.
Then one day, you listen to a bald man screeching on television. His hair is flying all over the place, his cheeks seem red, puffy from all the screeching on the mike. His arms are flailing around. In his speech, this man says he wishes to cancel student debt. Your ears prick up.
You’ve never heard such a thing.
He goes on to say he wants to make healthcare free for all. You don’t understand what he’s saying. Your rich socialist friend said something about public policy, but you didn’t listen at the time. The man’s name is Bernie Sanders and he is running for President. He wants you to come down to the polling booth and vote for him.
Intrigued, you follow this man on Twitter. You like a few tweets of his. Your rich socialist friend notices. He asks you why you support this bald man. You tell him the student loan repayments are taking their toll. You want a candidate who can help solve this problem.
Your friend is horrified. He says you should have taken a STEM course if you’re so worried about earning money. He says you should vote for Hillary Clinton instead.
‘It’s time we had a woman president’ your rich socialist friend says. You later find out he’s not a socialist. He is what the poets would call a ‘hack’.
Bernie Sanders doesn’t get nominated, of course. Your ‘hack’ friend tells you to get in line and vote for Hillary to save the country from Trump. You tell him you have some important things to do at work. In reality, you don’t. You just don’t have any reason to vote for Hillary.
Your friend says nothing. Hillary loses, Trump gets into the White House, but your life is still the same. You keep working quietly. Your rich ‘hack’ friend has a theory on why you didn’t go to work. He thinks you are working for Russia and Putin.
Another election comes four years later. You again diligently vote for Sanders. You don’t need to follow the news or listen to the debates. Only Sanders gets your vote because he will solve your student loan problems.
Of course, Sanders loses again. He drops out and tells you to vote for his friend Joe Biden. He says it will be irresponsible if you don’t vote for Joe. You start thinking if there is something wrong with Bernie too.
Then there’s Joe Biden. He wants you to vote for him in November because Donald Trump is the progeny of Richard Nixon and the Devil. He also says he doesn’t have any empathy for your generation. Here, he is telling you about the great deeds of his generation and the ineptitude of yours.
Joe badly wants young people like you to vote for him. He says he will look into the student loan crisis. Joe is also trying to fight off allegations of sexual assault. Your rich friend tells you the woman accusing him is a liar and a possible Russian asset. He says he’s not sure about the Russian part, but he has a hunch. He says you should watch more Rachel Maddow.
Oh, and Michelle Obama also managed to appear in the news. She was disappointed you didn’t turn up to vote last time. Don’t disappoint her and Joe this time. Vote blue and put an end to Donald Trump. Your student loan problems are not so important.
(Image Credits: Gage Skidmore)