Politicians are always trying to do all they can to engage the youth in politics more than just every four years, even with Clinton’s cringe-inducing and totally grandma attempts to “relate.” Turnout was high in the primary season, just short of the 2016 record, and part of that has to do with Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders ran a campaign appealing to many people, but especially to people that were struggling with debt in or after college, or new adults crushed by the demands of life vs. the unaffordability of healthcare.

This boom of younger voters led to a problem.

As respectfully as I can say - a lot of them didn’t understand how government functioned. This came in the form of frothing at the mouth over the use of superdelegates, easily mistranslating a bid for empathy by Hillary Clinton until it metastasized into #BasementDwellers, and saying that the DNC “cheated” Bernie Sanders out of the primary.

Getting involved

I have a ton of respect for people just getting involved in the political process for the first time, and there are legitimate arguments surrounding changes regarding superdelegates, campaign finance, and the Democratic National Committee. But you can’t come in at halftime and argue that all these rules should be different.

What I’m arguing is that it’s incumbent upon the youth of this generation (of which I am a part) to understand how something functions regularly first. We can’t properly assess that a Senate is broken if we don’t know how a Senate usually behaves. We can’t claim the primary process is broken if we don’t know how one works.

Two things to keep in mind here: Firstly, I’m not calling the youth stupid.

But, I’m making the case that they are, in many cases, uninformed, or worse, misinformed. I think it’s up to us to more robustly understand why things are the way they are, and then we will be more precise in our assessments of what constitutes an aberration or a defect in our democracy. secondly, “This is how it’s always been” is not a good argument, you’re right! But to understand how to make it what we wish it to be, we have to understand first what it is.