The Generation of the Self-Entitled (Bernie Sanders Explained)

Supporters of Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders cheer at a campaign rally in San Francisco, California, U.S. June 6, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage - RTSGBGD

Supporters of Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders cheer at a campaign rally in San Francisco, California, U.S. June 6, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage 

I honestly try to not sound like a typical complainer of a previous generation when talking about the young people of today – not least because I am still fairly young myself and experience my own fair share of insufferable whinging from those roughly twenty years my senior and beyond. And yet, I cannot help but notice the validity of some of these complaints when I hear so many of my fellow young people and younger talk about how they never get what they “deserve” from the world.

This position is justified through any number of reasons, but they all more or less seem to arrive at the same point: “I’m super talented and super awesome and therefore I deserve whatever I wish in life.” And when simply being “super awesome” doesn’t cut it, and these young folks fail to be recognized or rewarded with money and success right off the bat, many of them tend to get bitter.

But why? There is no right any of us have to being happy and successful just because some of us might be smarter or more talented than our fellow human beings; only a slight statistical edge toward ultimately becoming so. Ultimately, we still have to make the world respect us, and that still takes real work. Fighting for ourselves and those we care about should be paramount, and good things will ultimately follow from that. But instead of showing the patience and dedication necessary for this to come to pass, more and more I’m seeing my fellow millennials, and even those who came after us, stand still and hold out their hands. And when nothing happens, everyone but themselves are blamed.

Bernie Sanders was so successful among young people because he struck a chord. He basically came along at the right time and said all the right things to validate the aforementioned entitlements and suspicions of this demographic. And he promised the world. For the first time, a politician was kissing the feet of the very group of people who most wanted their feet to be kissed. Bernie’s message was clear: Free college, free healthcare, free everything – you deserve it. Simply because you exist. Now, that was a guy this entitled lot wanted to be their president.

Now of course, the logistics of making Sanderstopia a reality almost guaranteed it would never become a reality, but kids don’t care about reality; only fantasy. And what a fantasy Sanders sold them, indeed. But the reality is much more humbling – good, old-fashioned hard work is what truly commands respect and recognition, and while there are certain demographics of people in the world still being artificially limited in this regard, by and large the people I hear complain the most about life not being fair are middle-class white kids who live quite comfortably with family and haven’t had to want for much. At the risk of sounding too much like a SJW for a brief moment, these kids might just want to consider… Well… Checking their privilege for a moment.

This article was edited for grammar, style, and spelling, but not for content. The views expressed are that of the author, Micah J. Fleck, exclusively, and do not reflect that of BeingLibertarian.com or Being Libertarian LLC

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mjf2184@columbia.edu'/
Micah J. Fleck is a journalist and political writer who has spent the past several years developing his sincere-yet-indecypherable political outlook through independent research. While an enthusiast of both American history and economics, Mr. Fleck typically comes at his topics from a more anthropological perspective. His writings and interviews have been featured in various publications - including The National Review, The Libertarian Republic, The Wall Street Journal, and The College Fix - and he is currently earning a degree in anthropology at Columbia University. To support this author's work, visit his website.

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