Millenial Outreach, How Can We Improve It?
As this election has unfolded, one development that has me baffled is the persistent idea that both sides are “the same”.
I’ve been really concerned about how the millennials have been essentially telling us (Dems) that our arguments are incredibly unconvincing for them to buy into our reasons to voting for Clinton this year, as what many of us see as a moral imperative. So, I guess I wanted to get down some thoughts on what I am reading out there on other sites and the book of faces and the arguments that are being made.
Most of the complaints that I am seeing fall into the following categories:
1) They haven’t seen enough from when the Democrats have been in office and in charge in regards to progressive politics
2) Debt – too much mind numbing debt associated with getting an education for them to earn a viable living
3) Opportunity – They don’t see it, while unemployment is down, there aren’t the types of jobs that young people are seeking, i.e. applying those pricey degrees in their desired field
4) Income Inequality
5) Racial intolerance
6) The killing of people with drones
The focus that many of us are using to make our arguments do not seem real to them and as such, they (millennials) don’t believe in their veracity. They are under the impression that the rights that exist now, will ALWAYS exist. As such, scary stories about the Supreme Court balance do not resonate with them. They do not take seriously the idea that if Christian Conservatives manage to elect Trump, that the rights that they enjoy in regards to health care, birth control, and quite possibly those of their gay and trans friends might be in jeopardy. THEY DO NOT SEE IT AS A POSSIBILITY.
So, lets break this down shall we, and you folks can add on where I’ve screwed up or pile on where we need to because it is on us to articulate to them some quality responses for our support of HRC, because what is being said is still being ignored by a large number of folks…
1) Where is my pony? – They are under the impression that Obama has been in office for nearly 8 years, so where are their fucking ponies? Why are we STILL bombing people? Why are we still murdering innocents abroad?
Now before we get mad, for a large number of these folks, we’re now 15 years past 9/11. So… many of them were say 3 years old, or even 8, or 10. How many of you were politically aware at that age? They haven’t lived thru THAT specific tragedy in regards to truly understanding it unfold real time like so many of us. So for a good many of them, it doesn’t have the same effect that it does on older generations.
Also, context is important… Obama had a Dem House and Senate for two years… not 8. Do they even know this? Plus, in the 2 years there was control in both chambers, it really even wasn’t 2 years. It was… wait for it.. 2 months. Yup, two fucking months was it. Why? Because the GOP prevented Al Franken from being seated in the Senate until June. In August, Ted Kennedy died, followed quickly by Robert Byrd. This was because of the GOP abuse of the filibuster and how McConnell held everything up procedurally as much as he could, playing on the health issues of Kennedy and Byrd. Classy guy that his is.
In the interim, Obama and Nancy Smash and Harry Reid were kind of busy saving the country (and the world as we understand it) from economic collapse and in trying to get healthcare to millions of uninsured people. They do not remember/care/understand the GOP pattern of obstruction that permeated all of the DEM legislative initiatives. Then, even the latter was hamstrung by the SCOTUS (that supposedly doesn’t really matter) giving GOP governors the opportunity to opt out and refuse matching federal funds to help even more people… like young struggling millennials in their first jobs who never get sick and are now having to see more of their paychecks go to healthcare that they never think they will need (on top of that student loan debt)
What strangely reinforces their disdain is that via Executive order, Obama did get shit done, despite the Congress, but the types of things that he got done were on the fringes (not insignificant but not as much as we would have liked), but hey, that’s not their problem, its our problem because half of America is fucking stupid and racist and keeps putting GOP tools in office because Dems can’t be arsed to vote or stay informed or appreciate context.
Also, they don’t seem to understand that when Bill Clinton was in office that we had these things called Blue Dogs, that were essentially GOP lite, yet they see the crappy after effects of the mixed results of the Crime Bill and NAFTA and gee, the DEMS were just as bad because we helped out in Bosnia and got our hands slapped in Ethiopia (both sides are just as evil and war mongery as the other… see). Now, nearly every Dem still in office is actually a damn Democrat but they saw the D and think progressive when back in the 1990, that wasn’t exactly true.
2) Debt – many of the kids when they get out of school have loans that are simply crushing them . They don’t see what the Dems are proposing. They heard Bernie talk about it, but for whatever reason, they haven’t heard Hillary. Here’s the link on her webpage that discusses what she wants to do: Education policy I have no idea why people don’t like this or why they think that the GOP or the LIB party would even come close to this. Even the Green Party does talk about expansion of education but nothing on how they would do it, but they do touch on how much they would like to relieve the debt of those going to college and those that still have it. There’s really not a lot of difference here in policy here between the Greens and the Dems, just that the Dems have more specifics and harder numbers.
3) Opportunity – They’re coming out of school and they don’t see the jobs that pay 35-50k a year in their chosen field. Who is to blame for that? Part of it could be the schools turning out graduates in fields for which there are no jobs (a time honored American tradition) and part of this could be that businesses are slow to take on additional labor, despite the slow and steady growth of the economy because of.. well Greed. Why should I hire two more fresh faces when I can set up that money as a personal honorarium for the board and we can all go to Cancun and applaud ourselves for making a profit. To be fair… I don’t know how to fix this. Part of the solution is shutting down the diploma mills. Part of it is actually rebuilding the country so that there will be jobs in engineering, landscape design, waste water treatment, chemical engineering etc. I’ve looked at the Greens plans for economic diversity and expansion and they want to promote additional workplace diversity and employee ownership and employee democracy. That’s all well and good, but how is that going to happen?
Small town USA is dying, how do we make it viable once again? Treat internet access as if it is a utility, like water and energy and sewage? What else can be done to make small town America a viable concern again?
4) Income Inequality – In this regard, the Greens and Dems are incredibly similar. Hillary is proposing raising the tax rates on the wealthy. Closing down additional income loopholes that allow profits to be untaxed. The Greens are even more aggressive in doing so but without the specifics that are provided on Hillary’s website. The LIB and GOP position is essentially, FU, we’re not sharing with ANYONE.
5) Racial Intolerance – The folks that are questioning voting for a Dem because of this issue cite that the DEMS aren’t doing enough. For some reason Obama giving speeches with expressions of outrage and Congressional sit ins aren’t cutting it. Nor are the DOJ investigations, but until people get fired and arrested, it all still seems too slow and too little. The Greens state that racial intolerance shouldn’t be tolerated and believes that there should be more community involvement (no real difference from the Dems) but when you have a GOP majority in the house, nothing is going to happen since they believe that Obama is the REAL racist. The millennials state that Obama was able to executive order gay and transgender rights, why not this?
I tend to point to guns as an example.. we have somewhere between 80-92% of the country that want updated gun control and yet we can’t get that done, do they know why? Or understand how its being blocked?
6) The remote death squads – There are a LOT of youngsters that feel that the drone campaign is ugly, sinister and unethical.
You know what… they’re absolutely correct. It is all of those things. The part that seems to trip them up however is that there is no other solution that they offer. They seem to feel if we stop that, then things will get better, somehow, magically, as if we suddenly clean up our act and behave as better citizens then there won’t be any cause for there to be additional terrorists. This strikes me as a real tough issue to argue about. For a number of reasons:
a) what is the alternative… boots or humint on the ground to handle this conflict on a more “personal” basis. Would they prefer that? Do we/can we simply stop and wait and see… at what potential cost? They want to feel good about not having collateral damage (and I agree) but what is a better solution?
b) The green Party has no foreign policy statement… at all … on their web page. With the monetary backing of their party from Russian nationalists, it tends to make one dubious about how they would handle this issue
c) The Libertarian candidate doesn’t even know where the fuck Aleppo is… enough said.. no, not really. Because who are the LIBs? Why they are essentially GOP folks that enjoy the personal freedom and belief that pot is okay. Fine, what were they before, they were republicans. So how could we believe that their policy would significantly vary from that of the GOP… I’ll wait for any arguments.
d) the GOP position is currently covered by the following synopsis… we go in and we take the oil… if its too much hassle, we’ll nuke them or at least consider it.
To be fair, I can understand their points and I have some worries on how do we address them…
Part of me wants to explore, how we can reach them and try to understand their issues and how they are also our issues too… and this is part of where I am going but its not complete
Okay, how do we game this out…
Say… we look at the vote for Stein…who do they vote for down ballot? Dem or GOP? A vote for Stein is likely taking away a potential vote for Clinton… so say on the off chance that Stein gets elected… what is she left to deal with… a GOP House? a GOP Senate? A split chamber? Dem Majorities in each? If you’re voting Stein as a protest vote are you not casting any down ballot votes for DEMS? If they’re equally evil, then the status quo is more likely, that means GOP control of the house and senate….
If elected. who is she going to build consensus with? How will she govern? Okay, she has SCOTUS nominees, how will she get them through to confirmation? How will she find common ground since she has zero relationships in the House and the Senate? So does the Senate ignore her? Do they see Paul Ryan as being willing to work with her or will she be treated as a figurehead? How will she handle the budget? The unspoken part of the Green platform has nothing indicated towards the Military or foreign policy, how does she get the money moved from that area to the other areas that the Greens say that they want to fund? Do we get to watch additional gridlock in place until the next Presidential election?
Okay, lets ignore the idea that Stein gets the Presidency.. so you voted for her to express your issues with how it stands today.. now you get an outcome of Hillary in the White House… and if she gets a Dem House and Senate or close to a split in either chamber, then what we’re likely to see is some incremental progress and implementation of her agenda (and if you look, there’s a fair bit in there to like that covers, debt and opportunity and income inequality). Maybe not all, but some. If she gets both chambers, then more of her agenda gets pushed (By the effective Ms. Pelosi). So you get a modest win and still get to bitch.. yay you. If that happens but then again, you’re sniping a possible DEM vote away (in theory). If we get an HRC presidency and GOP control of either of the chambers (House much more likely) then she has to work the system and try and get the best that she can. Which you get to bitch about (most likely) again yay you, and the rest of us, not so much.
If Trump gets elected, what will you likely see…
– drones and more boots.. most likely.. instead of measured support roles in the fight against ISIS, probably redeployment wholesale into IRAQ, possibly IRAN. Instead of the gradual draw down in Afghanistan… who knows.
– Probably more Russian expansionism, more bites out of Ukraine, the Baltic states will be twitchy considering his NATO remarks
– Instead of trying to house and home refugees, that will stop.
– Dreamers will be deported, possible family members as well. If you didn’t like Arizona SB1070, I would expect to see more of the same, except nationwide. The immigration process gets “fixed”, namely we won’t really have one.
– Wouldn’t expect any debt forgiveness, not in the GOP platform.
– No spending on infrastructure, so unsure where jobs are coming from but business would be allowed to be unconcerned about the handling of the waste products without an EPA.
– so you could probably expect there to be more environmental disasters, and that would apply to our national parks being reduced or sold off to private businesses for development.
– Plus that the SCOTUS (and all of those other court vacancies that the Senate has been sitting on) now go to conservatives instead, who will be pro business and much more conservative christian inclined. So chances are good that your right to birth control could be limited. Plus gays and women and minorities can probably be safely discriminated against on “religious” grounds. Also, any of those civil servants that were appointed during the Obama years will probably be outed, per the statements of the GOP campaign.
– the dismantling of the ACA and have it replaced with… nothing. Youngsters can go back to being uninsured, and everyone else gets to watch their health care costs spiral upward because there’s no oversight on the insurance industry to limit profits and allocate resources to payment of policies.
– zero gun reform, everyone gets a semi automatic weapon, if you buy two, you get a bazooka. I’m sure that this will continue to allow race relations to improve.
In short, what does a protest vote really buy the outraged Millennial? Can anyone see a real advantage here?
I understand being angry with the status quo and in believing that Dems are potentially or possibly just as crappy as the GOP.
Yet, if you want to effect change, then you have to build your 3rd party from the ground up to do so. You have to have legislators in place to help drive the necessary change, and if you can do that by co-opting the Greens and Libertarians, well good on you. Let’s see you do that. Get organized, bring some definition to the process and put yourselves out there. You have to do work.
My biggest issue with the “protest vote” is if Trump is elected, under what environment do you think such an effort to build a viable 3rd party can thrive? Which party is into restricting voter rights? Which party is moving the goal posts?
Anything else that anyone can add, how can we reach them? Or is the game so hopelessly rigged (in their mind) that it simply doesn’t matter? How do we convince them otherwise?
Or have they even noticed that the GOP isn’t even bothering to reach out to them at all in any meaningful fashion?
thanks for reading