Howard Dean: This election may be young people's Kent State or Edmund Pettus Bridge

Story highlights

  • "This young generation, which I think is absolutely great, is used to doing everything on the Internet," Dean said Wednesday.
  • "[T]his may be their Kent State or their Edmund Pettus Bridge," Dean added.

(CNN)Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean says he views this election as call to action for young people similar to the Kent State shootings and the 1965 Bloody Sunday confrontation between civil rights demonstrators and Alabama State troopers and local police.

Dean is making a play for his old job as chair of the Democratic National Committee, which he previously held from 2005 to 2009.
    "This young generation, which I think is absolutely great, is used to doing everything on the Internet," Dean said Wednesday on the SiriusXM radio channel Urban View with host Joe Madison. "They don't really like institutions, they don't need institutions. If they want change, they go on the Internet, find a half million people who agree with them, and insist on the change and they usually get it."
    Dean said people are disheartened by this election in a way to could lead them to get more involved in politics.
    "So I really think this election, they're so disheartened, so down and so tired and discouraged, this may be their Kent State or their Edmund Pettus Bridge," he said. "Where you finally realize that you've got to do something, that you can't — the path as Martin Luther King said, 'the arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.' Well it only bends toward justice if you make it bend toward justice."
    "We've got to reach out to these folks," added Dean, noting that young people voted for Democrats three elections in row. "They don't consider themselves Democrats, because after all, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are institutions, and they don't particularly have an interest in institutions. Well, now they've learned the hard way that institutions matter and I'm hoping that will be the call that gets this generation into politics and change everything."