"It is no secret that there is massive discontent with politics in America today. In the mid-term election in November, 63% of Americans did not vote, including 80 percent of young people. Poll after poll tells us that our citizens no longer have confidence in our political institutions and, given the power of big money in the political process in general, they understand that their pain is not being heard in Washington."
On Tuesday, May 26, 2015 in Burlington, VT
Sources: USA Today, Sanders campaign website
Note: In late April, Sanders informed his supporters of his intention to run for the presidency. For more information on the timing of his announcement, see CNN.
The Context: Sanders's comment on the trend of decreased political participation sits within an overall theme of his speech, threaded through several of the issues he raises, specifically that "the American political system has been totally corrupted, and the foundations of American democracy are being undermined." He describes this discontent as largely resulting from the relationship between political processes and political and campaign finance and one in which voters have lost confidence in their political institutions and in the power of their vote.
Given the figures cited by Sanders, the discussion surrounding voting rights in recent election cycles, and the importance of state-level voter turnout with our electoral college, we asked