Uniting Democrats Across Generations / by marilyn salenger

                                                                                                                                 Photo by Gage Skidmore

                                                                                                                                 Photo by Gage Skidmore

                                                                                                                                 Photo by Gage Skidmore

                                                                                                                                 Photo by Gage Skidmore

Each candidate in this year's Democratic presidential campaign has become known as much for the demographics of their supporters as for all else. Bernie's Millennials and Hillary's Boomers+ hold important significance. The age divide among these 2015-2016 voters has created a party split as unique as the election itself. Sander's so-called revolution wowed Millennials repeatedly in each primary race. Hillary impressively provided strength for those over 45 years old, and even more to those over 65. Now that Bernie Sanders has formally endorsed Hillary Clinton, his supporters and her supporters need to get about the co-mingling process passionately and quickly if they want to win. 

We're not talking about an automatic flick of the loyalty switch, but a grounded desire for an election victory. It requires a thought adjustment by both groups. In the 2008 presidential election, 61% of Democrats over the age of 45 voted. Young voters have not shown strength of turn out on Election Day when it can be critical. Given the size of the Millennial demographic, a key question is whether this year's group will break rank with voter their tradition and come out in the large numbers they did during the primaries.

While each campaign has to work through the unification process, national events can change the dialogue in a minute, as is happening now. Born out of the horrifying tragedies of the last few weeks and more, the shooting deaths of black men by white police officers and white police officers by a black man, the issue of race has yet again reared its ugly head. The Democratic Party has a strong history of fighting for Civil Rights over the past 50 years. They once again have a major opportunity to take a leadership role in working to change the racial dialogue in our country from the worst of negative to the best of positive. It will not only take a truly motivated President, but a passionate and committed group of supporters to help build a solid base upon which racism can become history and stay there.     

For Democrats, race relations has the potential to become an overarching and unifying force for all ages within the party. Both Sanders and Clinton supporters have the power to come together and work on the unfinished business of eliminating social injustice. The Millennial generation did not live through the racial turmoil of the '60's. They are seeing its next generation now. The seeds of positive activism have been planted by young Democrats during this past political season. Let them grow and flourish and help unite us.