A Letter to Bernie’s Millennials (from a Bernie Boomer)

“I cannot tell you how many times in the last three decades I have heard the Democrats (myself included) lament the absence of the 18-30 year olds. Over and over we said, if they would just show up, we could effect real change. Maybe that was true most of the time back in the day, but there is no denying the fact that you are here now, in formidable numbers, and the Democratic Party has dismissed you entirely.” ~Scout Gerain


I have been considering reaching out to the young people involved in the Bernie campaign for some time.  In light of Hillary’s repeated dismissals of Bernie supporters, combined with President Obama’s impatient demand that BLM activists should “stop yelling and compromise,” I cannot put it off any longer.

I won’t sit idly by without, at the very least, publicly stating how thrilled I am to see you here, on the political stage, making such a tremendous impact, despite the scolding coming from some in my generation.

I am a 50-something white woman and lifelong Democrat, and the condescension from my demographic has been infuriating to me.

I want you to hear a different perspective from an older woman who is not afraid of change and welcomes it with open arms.

I would invite every single one of you over for dinner if I could and listen to your stories and tell you a few of my own.

Over the last few months, I have been so impressed by your presence, your passion and your commitment.

I have been in tears countless times listening to your stories and watching how and why you are so supportive of Senator Sanders and the ideals – indeed, revolution – he represents.


I am not so old and set in my ways that I cannot see, and KNOW, the unique challenges you face coming of age in this country at this time.

I cringe when I consider the crushing debt you are incurring by simply trying to better yourself, the lack of opportunity after you graduate (particularly for people of color), and the lower wages and lack of benefits.

Not to mention the vanishing of any type of real pension, something commonplace to your grandparents.

The difference is so blatantly obvious that it incenses me that anyone would dare blame you for your justified anger. It is far from the same playing field that my peers and I faced, and to belittle you for rising up in protest against it smacks of supreme entitlement.

I cannot tell you how many times in the last three decades I have heard the Democrats (myself included) lament the absence of the 18-30 year olds. Over and over we said, if they would just show up, we could effect real change.

Maybe that was true most of the time back in the day, but there is no denying the fact that you are here now, in formidable numbers, and the Democratic Party has dismissed you entirely.

Well, speaking for those of us Berners who are entering our golden years, I could not be happier to welcome you.  I personally have been so very inspired by your energy and passion.

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 10.13.18 PM

And you know what?  I am learning from you.

I am learning every day of alternative news sources, of how social networking can defeat the bought and sold mainstream media, of how that networking can be done for very little money and of how effective it is.

In that sense, you are the leaders of this movement and I welcome the schooling you offer.

I am sick to death of putting out this fire and then that one, constantly responding to some ridiculous right wing nonsense instead of getting down to the business of unstacking the deck for all of us and targeting the 1%, together with our disenchanted friends across the aisle.

I had mostly given up to the business of politics as usual.  After being forced to settle for the lesser of two evils time after time, I grew weary and cynical; a feeling that no matter what you do, nothing will change.

You have given me hope and brought back to life the desire and commitment I once had to fight tooth and nail for social justice.  I am politically alive again and much of it is due to you.

This election is unlike anything I have ever seen.  Both entrenched parties are on the ropes and never in my lifetime has there been such a push to overthrow the established political machine.

That, my friends, is the power that you bring to the table.  Don’t let ANYONE tell you different.


You are the swing vote, the push, the mechanism by which we can change. You have the power to hold elected officials on every level accountable.

You have changed the platforms and the talking points of this election and forced Hillary to respond, whether she acknowledges it or not.

Anytime you have put a candidate in the defensive position of responding to your agenda instead of pushing their own, you are winning.  Whether you are talking sports or politics, all you have to do to win is keep going.

I am in this with all of you to the end.  I am so grateful for your participation.  I cannot truly express how thrilling it is to see you all here.

So no matter what happens today or next week or in July, I am with you. I know full well how much a defeat or setback can hurt but I also know where to go for the inspiration to keep fighting…right back to each other.

And then, together with Bernie, we are going to go to that convention in Philidelphia, just as our forefathers did over 200 years ago, to declare our independence from tyranny and oligarchy!

By Scout Gerain


About the writer: Scout Gerain is a boomer with a masters degree in Environmental Science currently working in a blue collar industry and is a long time member of her union.  An avid angler, foodie, and tinkerer, she believes wholeheartedly in the Bernie Sanders movement.  She currently lives with her partner in Syracuse, New York.


Related:  Paradigms are Made for Shifting *  * Perpetual Curse of the Warrior Mindset *  * The Hour’s Getting Late: Time for Humanity to Wake Up *  * Beyond Capitalism – Albert Einstein, 1949  *  *

About Christopher Chase

Co-creator and Admin of the Facebook pages "Tao & Zen" "Art of Learning" & "Creative Systems Thinking." Majored in Studio Art at SUNY, Oneonta. Graduated in 1993 from the Child & Adolescent Development program at Stanford University's School of Education. Since 1994, have been teaching at Seinan Gakuin University, in Fukuoka, Japan.
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59 Responses to A Letter to Bernie’s Millennials (from a Bernie Boomer)

  1. I am so happy to hear another Syracuse native praising Bernie Sanders and all the young people who are standing up for their future. I have raised my children to stand up for what they believe in even if they are standing alone. My fahter used to tell me my mouth would get me in trouble because I have stood alone many times over the years and it is a breathe of fresh air to see so may that feel my setiments. Thank you all for Feeling the Bern! We are going to change the World.

    • Abe Martin says:

      Cheers Donna, thank you for your sacrifice and human beingness standing for what is ‘right’ while not having someone like Bernie at the helm. It is those of us populists in the shadows of everyday life under the occupation of the 1% with their neo-liberal and right wing extremists who have kept a dim flame lit out here in the general population. We were not employed to do so and in fact at the expense of career and economic gains I and am sure yourself sacrificed.

    • This is a great article. But as a 50 something, I am so sick of hearing boomers do not support bernie…where the hell are you getting that from? Must be an east coast thing. On the west coast here; alls I see are boomers for Bernie! Sick of people lumping all boomers together….maybe say that eadt coast boomers do not support; but please do not lump us all together…geez, i’m sick of that!!!! #feelthebern! Bernie Sanders will be the 45th POTUS, Karma will see to it!

  2. Patrick Hono says:

    This is great. Thanks.

  3. Beth Jones says:

    Another 50-something female Boomer for Bernie here. I have two millenial daughters and yes, the deck is stacked against them.Bernie is the only poloitician who sees the need to change that. Who sees the urgent need to address climate change while we still can. To believe that all people have a right to healthcare and fight Big Pharma. And to fight for peace, not endless war. He is fighting for the American people, not power or profit. For Democracy, not Oligarchy. I am proud to be a part of this movement, and proud to support Bernie Sanders for President.

  4. A 67-year-old Bernie boomer here. Thank you for this letter…it expresses what I have been feeling, too. Many times, I have felt tears come to my eyes as I see and read online the photos and posts the younger folks are sharing…their idealism and passion inspires me and gives me hope that the world will be in good hands and hearts for many years to come. Thank you all, of every generation, for joining together in this movement…it must continue.

  5. I just made being a “boomer” by 2 months (born fall of 1963) But I could have written that. Good job!

  6. Greco Daryl says:

    I sincerely believe this movement will grow by necessity and the inevitable overeach of the establishment. I refuse to get caught up in the two party dynamic as the evidence is clear, the corporations running these parties do not care about the will of the people. Whether it is bloated military spending, universal health care or climate change, the majority of the American people have consensus, and yet we hear from our politicians it isn’t politically possible. How can that be? The answer is obvious. Don’t let them dupe you into playing their game. Reject the two partiies. Support only candidates who the interest of the masses at heart, not the multi national criminal class. Bernie Sanders is an example of someone who fights for us. Choose who you will, but don’t playtheir game.

  7. Gen-Xer here (b.1968 ) but also feeling the love for our millenials. It’s not just one demographic in this revolution and that the beautiful thing. We’re all
    coming together for true change. Excellent article!

  8. Thanks everyone, for your wonderful comments and for sharing Scout’s amazing essay. She’s really expressed beautifully how so many of us feel.

  9. meg scata says:

    At 67 I am not giving up and I am so inspired from the young people who are awakened to a cause! It is because it is their lives that will the most affected! I have worked in the anti war movement during my college years and I have seen too many of us think what little we achieved was enough! After Vietnam, things went back to the status quo qith a few minor changes! Then it all went to “hell in a hand basket, ” Watergate, cronyism, war, oh endless war, Reagan, Iran Contra, Bush 1 , Clinton and Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. Big Bank Debacle and recession!
    I worked to stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan! It was college kids and younger parents who came out to protest, start demonstrations, stand on the street corners with some of us from the 60’s! The antiwar movement never grew like it is today! Young people, more educated, see the inequity! No jobs, low paying jobs, still living with mom and dad, saddled in debt, and a future less bright than before has caused the stir?
    OBama promised Hope and he almost delivered! Bernie is the rightful heir to the Obama legacy?
    He will,lead all of us young and old to a new future!

    • Eugenia Anderson says:

      I love this letter which said exactly how I feel, but so much more articulation. This generation is very tired of the old status quo and I applaud them for seeing a future as they do. I feel that Bernie Sanders is the one who can possibly bring government back to the people instead of the 1% who can purchase any law that they’d like to see enact, go BERNIE

  10. C Berrie says:

    I would also point out that millions of people of all generations have emerged from political apathy to power a new movement for social, economic and civil justice. Boomers and Millenials have so much in common, and Bernie has been the catalyst to bring us together.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    AMEN, to the letter and to all the comments. As a 61 year old Berner I haven’t been this politically engaged in a long long time, a gargantuan Thank You to all the younger generations!

  12. Megan says:

    Bravo! I love this. I run the blog for Women for Bernie and I would be thrilled if I could reproduce this piece there (with credit, of course). Please let me know if that would be okay! I can be reached at Megan@women4bernie.us

  13. Antonia A Jones says:

    I am so impressed. I’m in my fifty’s working as a care provider 24/7 .I am in this like you oll the way. Was throw under the BUS. Lost oll ,but HOPE this BernieOrBust Revulsion is personal. You Millennias don’t give up there is more supporters out there like me .I have two grankids, love you oll

  14. I’ll take work, life, liberty, faith, and the pursuit of happiness over revolution. So thank you for the offer, but this “Millennial” is going to say “No”.

    • Nancy H says:

      Lucky for you, you don’t live in Iraq, Haiti, Libya, Honduras, etc. etc. etc. I imagine your “faith” will get you through the coming years of more war, more greed, more pursuit of your own happiness at the expense of thousands of others. It will help if you have a ton of money, but you probably do.

    • How well does Correct The Record pay for your apathy and willingness to shill?

  15. Kris Fanelli says:

    Thank you! Thank you! This is EXACTLY how I feel. I too, a 50 year old woman! I feel and express these things to all my young employees. Thank you for writing such a eloquently written piece that truly resonates with so many of us. Moving forward, Feeling the BERN!

  16. Linda Loretz says:

    Our citizens are beginning to rise up against the oligarchy they have just come to realize has taken over the United States. It has only taken 30+ years for an uprising. Bernie is the truth speaker. Donald Trump is a reality show. Hillary will be our President. President Obama had an opportunity to punish Wall Street but passed on this opportunity. We may Hope the millennials are the ones to step up but they are still too young to realize how screwed they are.
    So I guess those of us who see clearly what is going on in our country will need to be very vocal in observing how Hillary takes on Wall Street in the future. 🔥🔥Feel the Bern🔥🔥

  17. Martin Poles says:

    Well a 55 year old boomer here. This may well be the last election that i will get a chamce to vote in , due to cancer.

    I think Senator Sanders could do so much and you younger folks are the ticket.

    Get out and vote and make that difference

  18. chipswun29 says:

    #StillSanders #NeverHillary …Nice tribute to the millennials..I agree with you, I am 57.

  19. and these children that you spit on, while they try to change their world, are immune to your consultations, they’re quite aware of what they’re going through..

  20. Bob Ford says:

    I knew young folks were active in movements. Just not active in politics. Who could blame them? Then along comes Bernie Sanders, who I had known of for years, daring to go against the Clinton political machine. Just a protest candidate, but I figured at least he would steer the debates to issues that needed to be talked about. Lo and behold, a gazillion young people heard what this cranky old guy from Brooklyn had to say and his message caught fire. This has been amazing to watch, amazing to be a part of, and it’s not over. Now…maybe they will help us take over the Democratic Party…or maybe we will help them take it over.

  21. sheilaruth1 says:

    Thank you for this beautiful essay. I’m 52 and this expresses so well my feelings about the millennials who have inspired me and taught me so much.

  22. catstandish says:

    I have been angry about hearing how the Millenials are being dismissed, treated as if they don’t understand, don’t know anything, that they are idiots.

    They are not idiots. The problem is that they DO understand., and the DNC doesn’t like it.

    • Jeff Doody says:

      We need a full blown response, we need to light up the internet to let the DNC know, that we aren’t going to lend our support to HRC, nor should we. The 2 party system is on it’s way out. The days of media selling you a president are over. If they nominate HRC, Trump will beat her, and that is okay, as it will effectively speed the demise of the “Status Quo” and inspire resolve in the movement that Bernie is spear headingThis absurd sentiment thats it’s Over, is just that, absurd!
      We have just begun to fight, and NOTHING is over ’till we say it’s over!

  23. bhalsop says:

    Thank you. You say exactly what I’ve been saying to the interns in Bernie’s HQ where I volunteer regularly. I tell them that we’ve been waiting for them to take up our mantle from when we were young. They will carry the dream forward and make the changes we’ve always wanted, and we will be their support. This is an amazing and transformational experience for them, as the assassinations of the ’60s and Nixon were for us. Many of us stayed the course, but not enough. I’m delighted to see all the Boomer Berners here, and i think we have a role to play in this too, encouraging them not to give up, not to get sour with despair, and to continue to nurture their better natures. A new kind of revolution indeed!

  24. Nancy Oneal says:


  25. Maureen A. Zarrella says:

    I a 69 year old Boomer heartily concur, I am active in Bernie’s political revolution and enjoy working with all the young people who have stepped up in his campaign and in the efforts of BLM. Keep fighting the good fight. Millions at present with you.🙌

  26. Natalie says:

    Excellent letter. I am also in my 50s, and I love the excitement of the millennials. I have to say though, I know a ton of excited people! Lots of people my age, and even some older. I think we are getting more of the up to 65 crowd every day!

  27. Jack H says:

    Yes, nicely done. The young people are leading the political revolution and it is on their elders to pay attention.

    The old ones, members of the OLB club are an interesting group. What does it stand for?

    Older Than Bernie.

    People who can remember the day FDR died and can sense the loss their parents felt when it happened. That us, really old people. We support Bernie with the welcoming anticipation for the return of the progressive era and with gratitude in our hearts for those who brought Bernie to the center.

    Thank you, young people!

  28. ashland fadeley says:

    I think you have overlooked a small point. where is the money coming from for all of the free bees coming from?

    • Senator Sanders is the only candidate with a comprehensive tax plan explaining how he pays for all of his proposals available for MONTHS now. Clinton and Trump both have nothing to show us, while Bernie gives us his whole platform on his website.

      These aren’t “freebies”. These are social programs like schools and roads, that we already pay for with taxes, these are programs that allow us to not go bankrupt from getting sick, that let us get an education, paid for by the rich paying their fair share of taxes. This isn’t magical thinking, it’s the way the government is supposed to function.

  29. Dan Aronson says:

    So well said. So much in fact that this one point is worthy of drumming into our candidate’s head in hopes that he will pursue such a path to victory: “Anytime you have put a candidate in the defensive position of responding to your agenda instead of pushing their own, you are winning. Whether you are talking sports or politics, all you have to do to win is keep going.”

    This is the one thing that I see Bernie failing at. I’m not advocating disrespect, nor am I advocating the use of baseless hyperbolic rhetoric. I am simply asking that the Sanders campaign pose and continue to pose fact-based, issues-based questions until Hillary answers. She is the queen of “evade, avoid, dodge, and dash”. And no, I’m not talking about “release the transcripts” (although that would be nice). I’m talking about, “Secretary, do you plan on withdrawing our troops from their many engagement s in the Middle East or continuing to pursue a foreign policy of regime change?”

    “Secretary, You said you were sorry for casting a vote to allow President Bush to invade Iraq. Did you vote that way because you believed Iraq had stockpiled WMDs, as you said during your speech on the floor of the Senate floor, or was it because, as you told Chris Matthews, President Bush had secured $20 Billion for rebuilding NYC after 9-11?”

    You said that vote on Iraq was a huge mistake. Yet your actions concerning Libya and Syria seem to run counter to that apology. Are you now saying that your counsel to assassinate Qaddafi and engage in Syria were sound decisions that you’d make again if you had to?

    Again, these are only a small sampling of tough questions that Hillary should have her feet held to the flame to answer. When will Camp Bernie insist on these answers? At convention? Ever? If we want to deliver the death blow to the Democratic Party cabal, this is how you do it. Respectfully, there is a point where being too nice is counterproductive.

  30. Justin says:

    Beautiful piece. Thank you for writing these thoughts. I’ve found then very inspirational.

  31. Thank you for unselfishly supporting the young and the people who DESERVE BETTER. We deserve healthcare, family leave, college, and a time of peace. It’s our country and it’s time to fight for it. So many are too afraid of change, but we need to lead the way. Beautifully written.

  32. Chuck says:

    X-er here to say thank you. I am also encouraged by the surge in active participation by this generation and have often wished to thank them and let them know that some of us old folk have been fighting for environmental sanity, social justice, and peace for a long time so don’t hate us all!

  33. I am a 52 year old woman who embraces and stands with this beautiful political movement. It is amazing to see/hear/feel the love and passion of all the people who are standing up and making themselves heard. This is what the world needs!

  34. Lauren Steiner says:

    I appreciate your praise of the young people. But as a 58 year old boomer, whose life was changed by the Occupy movement, who has been fighting fracking, the TPP, and other corporate evils ever since, including organizing 14 protests in 2014 alone, I feel I have been leading the younger people not the other way around. I organized a Not Ready for Hillary protest in October 2014 before a single young person in LA ever heard of Bernie Sanders. And then I started LA for Bernie last June, the oldest and largest Bernie group in LA. In other words, don’t think that baby boomers were all shaken out of retirement by young people. Some of us never retired.

  35. Mike Harrison says:

    Well said, and I echo each and every word. I’m 63 and it angers me greatly to see that there hasn’t been a whole lot of improvement in so many areas; especially in civil rights. I’m all-out rooting for our millennial friends to bring about the much-needed change for which Bernie Sanders has been fighting since his college days decades ago. We knew the Establishment was up to no good during the 1960s. Our political revolution is long overdue. Let’s do this.

  36. Reblogged this on Maureen French and commented:
    Agreed. #FeelTheBern #Bernie2016 #BernieOrBust

  37. John Ehret says:

    I’m older than the author, I was there in the middle of all those demonstrations back in the 60’s and fought hard to stop the war and get the 18 year old vote. I have been waiting for someone like Bernie to run since then and seeing the way those in power try to dismiss him is criminal. we need to ask for more and get more from our media sources, not just the truth, but show us the lies and the liars who try to hide the truth and take away our rights.

  38. Sydney H says:

    This made me tear up. Thank you for being a supporter yourself; the media mentions too often how Bernie has nothing but the millenial vote. When in fact, I’m 24 years old, and my 45 year old mother was the one to introduce me to Bernie and took me to his Tampa rally last month.

    If Hillary buys out this nomination, I want to say to everyone supporting Bernie, in the words of Charlie Chaplin: Do not despair. It is but the passing of greed. Bernie wanted to start a political revolution first and foremost, and my goodness has he succeeded.

    To ALL of the world, especially non supporters: Bernie Sanders isn’t going anywhere, whether win or lose. This movement? Honey, this is just the beginning.

  39. Mr. Bacon says:

    1989 millennial here. As a group the more political of us were concerned for our generation around 2008 when we had ourselves and our parents suddenly get foreclosed on, jobless, or begin our journey into college debt. Around 2010 the anti-boomer mentality began, essentially claiming that boomers had reaped all the wealth from the 1970’s and squandered it for itself. Around 2014 a majority of us were disappointed unilaterally with our government and the dislike of the boomer generation evolved into a hatred. Thankfully (for boomers and millennials) Bernie came along to give us all hope and unify us around a platform we already believed in before the Vermont senator took the stage.

    Now hopefully Bernie wins the nomination, otherwise we’ll form the progressive party within the democratic party and tear it apart from the inside like the Tea Party has done with the GOP. The alternative to that democratic action is a much uglier, “The ends justify the means”, type revolution. We grew up surviving 9/11, Iraq war, 2008 financial crisis, globalization/trade deals, fracking, climate change, systemic racism, war on crime, and now voter suppression. We are a tougher generation than people think and we have been angry for a long time.

  40. David says:

    My 17 year old grandson is all in for Bernie –

    My 47 year old daughter still on the fence –

    I’m 71 and am campaigning for Bernie –

    My 93 year old sharp-as-a-tack mom big Bernie backer

  41. Nila says:

    I can not believe all of you wish this on the America! Please read your history. This is the path to tyranny and oligarchy! You have been fooled by the best, as were the Jews and others, by leader like Hillary and Bernie. I am a 62 year old woman that loves the freedoms of this country. If you want this life style go spend a year in Cuba, Venezuela, Russia etc.

    As for the economic pattern, Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is socialism which combines public ownership and marked economy.
    Socialism with Chinese characteristics;

    Marx believed that those structural contradictions within capitalism necessitate its end, giving way to socialism, or a post-capitalistic, communist society
    : Karl Marx

    . . . Lenin argued that the Bolsheviks should not rest content, like almost all other Russian socialists, with the “bourgeois” February Revolution. Vladimir Lenin

  42. Pingback: 7 Reasons Bernie is Stronger Than Hillary Against Trump | Creative by Nature

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  44. Jim kolarich says:

    Wow,Scout that was great.I too, am boomer and this is by far the most invigorated I ever felt about a presidential candidate in my life.I done things I never done before,…register voter,phone bank,canvas etc….just felt compelled .
    God bless you,

  45. David Greene says:

    Ditto, ditto, ditto from a Berner in his 70s.

  46. Bonnie White says:

    Thank you for putting our appreciation to words, from a boomer in her 60s who has lived in the rural pacific northwest all of her life. Boomers, the truly ignored in this election….supporting Bernie in record numbers and they pretend we don’t exist.

  47. James W. Powell says:

    I am not a woman but a 60 something Baby Boomer . Born and raised in cotton and tobacco eastern SC .Republican till eight years ago ( Church and old south culture , in the blood you know . ) I am now a Bernie now and was a year before he said he was running . Two years ago they would let him talk on TV and cable news from time to time . That was enough time for me to pray that he would run . Just me again and old Bernie Boomer .

  48. Reblogged this on WebWeaverBlog and commented:
    I couldn’t have said it better! I am so proud of the young people who are getting involved and phone banking. You will change the world!…

  49. As a 70+ woman, I so appreciate this letter. It completely reflects my thoughts and feelings as I watch the involvement of young people who see the truth of the establishment and demanding change. You will be the change we have been waiting for.

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