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Anthem for Bummed Youth


#1

Anthem for Bummed Youth

Thomas Frank

As the Democratic primary campaign comes to a close, let us recall how strange and improbable it has been all along. Hillary Clinton started out as her party’s hand-picked standard-bearer, the baddest and brightest of the nation’s dominant political faction. No prominent Democrat (save Martin O’Malley) dared stand against her.


#2

The illusion of choice is gone. Toto has done his job.


#3

More likely, choice was always an illusion, and in a year when we really thought we could make choice real, we may be seeing cynicism take hold of a whole generation of young voters just coming into political maturity. I hope I'm very wrong. We desperately need their voices and their hope...


#4

I think he's wrong in the assertion that "nothing will change," and I don't think it's at all a certainty that Trump won't be elected. Nothing will change for the better, true that. But the climate and the decrepit old infrastructure, and the increasing number of medication resistant microbes are heading the list of problems that will reach the tipping point of catastrophe during the next president's term, most likely during those first four years. These crises will need to be managed toward the goal of maximizing human survival and this will, if it's possible at all, require a full skill set of such as communicating with a scared and angry public, evaluating proposed action plans to decide which ones stand the slightest chance, helping the populace get over the idea that economic fairness is possible other than an equality of empty accounts, purses, and pockets. Neither the Trump or the Hill strike me as being anywhere near that messianically gifted. Neither one, if their speechifying is indicative, is on that page or has even opened that book


#5

1988 Bill Clinton addresses DNC >> 1992 Elected President
2004 Barack Obama addresses DNC >> 2008 Elected President

I think you are onto something...


#6

The answer to the question, "Can that many people really be that stupid?", has once again been affirmed.


#8

"responsible status quo?" I believe the phrase you're looking for is "reprehensible status quo." There's nothing "responsible" about neoliberalism.


#10

This is PERFECTLY stated:

"The Democrats, for their part, played it the opposite way. For months they worked to suppress debate on the grounds that criticism would weaken the candidate they had settled on long before. Her inevitability and desirability were assumed from the get-go; the give-and-take of democratic debate was always thought of as a problem to be gamed rather than as a necessary test."

An entity that goes by the name SOTT assembles impressive documentation (on You Tube) of massive earth changes that the MSM doesn't report. Several show cars or trucks driving along when suddenly out of nowhere, a big SINK HOLE swallows them.

That's how permutation works. The nation seems to be just driving along with its businesses of war, ecocide, and lawlessness when a giant sinkhole (symbolic) opens.

I'm stating this because while I can't say which from the trifecta of economic implosion, spreading wars, or major earth changes will prove the kicker, some symbolic sinkhole is apt to swallow this nation (or hopefully, its "political class") before this 8-year stint expires.

Transition is underway and that means the norms of yesterday will cease to apply:

"The policies of the last eight years are to be the policies of the next eight."

The People--which is to say enough that were awake and aware--tried to fix the problem (Sanders) but the FIX was already in.


#11

Once again, I think it's important to point out that a battery of C.D. posters--many of them with new screen names--are pushing this particular Talking Point.

Is it really an honest frame?

Or is it being used to substitute for a true analysis of all of the systemic flaws that pushed Bernie out of the ring when HE, alone, HAD a majority of votes? Certainly if independents were allowed to vote in all state primaries, there would be no doubt that Sanders had the largest mandate.

Between the media giving Trump phenomenal amounts of free (advertising) time.

And the media granting the coronation title to Hillary from day 1...

And then the media preempting the voters' actual choices in states as huge as California...

The blackout was incredible... against Sanders.

In Brooklyn, New York, Arizona, and California either significant numbers of persons were turned away from the voting booths, or there weren't ballots that allowed them to vote for President.

So, the INTELLIGENT person takes these things into account:

  1. Media blackout to Sanders (or at the least, absolutely disproportionate coverage)
  2. The power of the Clinton machine to manage perception via its friends in the MSM
  3. The super-delegate charade making it virtually IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to rival the "pre-selected" corporate candidate
  4. The vote count anomalies
  5. The fact that MILLIONS were not ALLOWED to vote

And then, with the results being either Clinton or Trump... dummies show up in forums like this one to turn all this around onto "voters."

The Bell Curve is almost a law of human gravity. It means there are some very smart and aware people on one end and some not very smart people on the other.

That same curve could also be used to graph the range of people who go from extremely conservative, authoritarian views (Trump supporters) to those who really believe in this thing called Democracy (Sanders' supporters).

But the outcome of the fixed system is NOT a true portrait of voters' wishes, and I outlined (above) WHY that is so.

Nonetheless, to push the LIE that it is--all over message threads paid posters push the MEME that it's the voters who are stupid.

Now do those who have chastised me for pointing out how this works... recognize the operation and WHY people are paid to "manufacture consent" through managing perception?

Snowden explained that THOUSANDS work for the surveillance state... and since its job is BOTH to observe (listen in and record) peoples' conversations AND INFLUENCE what they think (and talk about), you can be 100% certain that Sock Puppets are placed in any significant Left-leaning media to manage perception.

If enough people are satisfied that "stupid people" ruined this pre-election... then the Powers that have distorted the system get to remain in operation... always operating FROM the shadows where their brokers in media form a chorus that chants "Conspiracy Theorist!" at anyone who DARES to connect the dots and expose the Truth.


#12

I'm ashamed of myself for taking so long to figure out that Democrats are just about as bad as Republicans when it comes to promoting a just society.


#13

Your message seems to be one of hope; I like it.


#15

Well I certainly do not qualify as a bummed youth but I sure as hell share the being bummed out part. But I think the article's premise doesn't speak to a particularly important issue to the young. The young are becoming hyperaware of the environment that their elders are avoiding dealing with. The young are also concerned about their future, their jobs and their standard of living and that they are feeling bummed about nothing changing with a Hillary presidency. There won't be enough change but there will be changes. Hillary's incrementalism about the environment will not sit well with the young.

How much is enough? Raising the min wage to $12 is a change for the better but it is less change than were it to be raised to $15. Hillary seems rightfully focused on creating a historical legacy which Obama should have done as a 'firster' - the first black president - the first female president. History is in Hlillary's eyes and we are lucky that it will be because otherwise there would be even less change. Hillary as first female wants to make a big name in history. So she will make change happen. Will it be enough for the young? Is $12 better than nothing. Sure. How much will get changed by Hillary's incredible incrementalism perspective remains to be seen. Hopefully she will move further left and better address the concerns of the young.

But this article leaves out what will be the most critical issue during Hillary's term (barring World War III) which will be the environment. Assuming America avoids complete disaster by not electing a climate change denier, Trump, who has some deep racial issues, then Hillary will be our first climate change president. By that I mean the first president where climate change will become a serious priority for the first time. In that light will Hillarys incrementalism be enough? Not hardly but sure she will be better than Trump which is not much of a standard of comparison.

Will Hillary make enough change about the environment for the young? The young are feeling bummed out but underlying those standard economic worries is a simmering desperation about the kind of environment that they will have to live in in a couple of decades which status quo politicians like Obama and a hypocritical media are failing to notice. The status quo is always about economic issues and sees things in those terms as if everybody is only concerned about making a living. We always are too, since we are in a capitalist society rife with inequality. But there are two kinds of desperation. Being low income creates desperation as does finding a job for the unemployed and foreclosure creates desperation for the middle class and so on. That kind of desperation is selective. It affects only some people directly. Being desperate to find employment before losing your house ends when you find that good job but our long term economy is secondary to environmental concerns. These days are the last of the familiar - the last years of an economy where everything still looks familiar and seems to work the same as it always had, including the weather, the expectation of only normal storm damage and so forth. There is little chance that twenty years from now that things will look the same! It is almost a certainty that they won't. The environment is changing things now with huge floods and droughts and wild fires and the tornadoes, storms and hurricanes haven't started yet this year! Ten years seems an eternity these days in terms of environmental change.

The days of catastrophic environmental change are upon us (though they are only just getting started actually) and no president can avoid changing things when so much is changing beyond their control anyway. Will we have some dire and dreadful giant storm which hits hurricane alley hard like storms have done in the past during Hillary's term? That super sized type of storm like Sandy was but one this time with huge winds and their accompanying destruction that we escaped with the comparatively mild winds of Sandy? Huge flooding plus 200mph winds? That would make some changes if such a storm hit Miami for example. Some changes Hillary will have to work on that she won't have been expecting needing to like getting the Gov. of Florida to allow the words global warming to be mentioned by the state government.

Are the young bummed? Sure they are. Are they worried and starting to feel desperate about more than just finding a decent job is the question. Maybe Hillary can escape the worst case climate change event (that is surely coming) during her first term. One thing for sure is that incrementalism as an environmental concept is bumming out the young and just maybe the young's simmering desperation will communicate itself to her in time.


#16

She's a politician. Hand-jobbing voters is what they do. I think she's a loyal capitalist who really detests what the financier class is doing to her beloved model of industrial growth and consumption, but a radical she will never be. So she's literally good on only one issue--and largely for different reasons than many of her most ardent supporters. But image is everything. And hers has been carefully cultivated.

Warren is likely angling for 2024. Which would give us yet 8 more years of this.


#17

We know we can't work with Hillary. But can we work with Trump? He says The Art of the Deal is one where both parties come out ahead.


#18

Thank you for bringing up the environment. I, too, when I read the article, could not believe the author was saying there was only one issue and it is the economy. That is the way old people think. Young people are realizing that without a healthy environment you cannot have a healthy economy. And you can't have either if your main national priority is continuing to feed the majority of the national treasure into the maw of the military industrial complex, staffing bases and wars all over the world. Beyond the economic stupidity of this, I think young people also are starting to care about the dreadful moral implications of drone bombing poor brown people around the world who have done nothing to us and who could not hurt us even if they wanted to.


#19

In today's world where everything has become financialiized , the economic system dictates what happens to the environment.

Until New Deal financial industry regulations are restored, too-big-to-fail banks are broken up and regulatory capture disguised as trade deals are prohibited, environmentalists will have no chance of saving what is left let alone improving any environmental regulations.

Its all triage in this era where "money doesn't talk, it swears".


#20

Hi, Lucky.

I've been listening to more music AND working on editing several comedic movie scripts that I wrote some time ago. These, along with swimming in the Florida spring waters (it's been over 90-degrees for days now) keep my spirits intact... for as another poster posted today, "These are times that test men's and women's souls."

For years I've argued against those who roundly condemn all human beings as if the problems in the world are the product of universal consent or conduct.

The Piketty Study shows the ridiculous concentration of wealth.

That wealth buys media ownership (and outright political power).

Media ownership controls The Story and ALL Official Narratives.

But so many ARE awake or waking up.

All over the world, from the courageous protectors of the Amazon rain forest to the Kayactivists in Australia and the Pacific U.S., to the rise of so many movements... the consciousness is in place. People WANT a chance at that pursuit of happiness. They want to live in peaceful nations.

The corruption comes from the HEAD: the heads of corporations that do phenomenal harm. The heads of governments that are in bed with those same corporate behemoths who authorize the harm and then use the gigantic muscle of a horrific military machine to ENFORCE harm by bending laws when not stomping all over them.

Might Makes Right... style.

In Spain, it's the Indignados.
In Canada, the rising movement of the Indigenous.
In the U.S., the Stein and Sanders' camps of supporters.
In Greece, an attempt at breaking away from the E.U. central bankers' tyranny.
In Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela... the drop in oil prices is threatening the Left-leaning leadership that had lifted the lives of the poorest for several decades.

It's a big mistake to buy into the simplistic platitudes that insist that U.S. citizens are ALL sheeple, or that ALL voters are stupid, or that it's "human nature" to destroy this planet.

The dark mechanisms of POWER are behind most of the great ills.

Yes, we humans have our flaws, but most of us want to live in a peaceful world that doesn't take the fruit of our labor and convert it into weapons used to murder and terrorize others on a DAILY basis.

Sanders didn't speak out against the horrors enough... but there's no doubt he would roll back the MIC. If he could.

As a threat to the MIC and corporate hegemonic controls and the big banks... the Powers have thwarted Sanders. THAT is NOT the will of The People and I will contest any sold-out peon who pushes that LIE!

If that makes you optimistic (or anything that I've pointed out), great.

If we give up now... (the new poster "unreel" came to rain on the forum's parade... so get out your umbrellas!), the bastards continue their agenda which will either kill us all, murder this beloved Green Earth, or destine us and our families to servitude.


#21

I was looking for that sentence...lol.

Yes to all you have said. I tried to convey the disconnect they feel by using the term simmering desperation. The older generation of political leaders just can't seem to grasp how immediate the danger is when it concerns the environment. They are used to procrastination on the environment and they have been getting away with it. Their problem is that their denial has skewed their scientific common sense. The young are geared towards learning and not just facts but the systems that those facts exist in. The old see the North Pole melting away and after years of denialism and babble about cycles and crap, the old got used to the idea that the pole is melting. The old also got used to the droughts, the floods, the huge storms, the steadily increasing heat year by year and sea level rise and ocean acidification. The old got used to their getting used to climate change.

The young cannot get used to climate change. The old will die (see ya around kid) and the young will be left with the effects of that 'climate change is a hoax' of Trump's or that incremental change and corporate compromise of Hillary's. The young know that the old don't get it about how serious climate change is.

I also agree with your last statement about drones. It is real and hopefully the young won't have to exist in a world with that exceptionalism about remote controlled murder continuing. I am an American and will always believe that every human being deserves a trial. But that is still part of the usual economics, the economics of oil and the Middle East. If we get off oil then the Middle East becomes just another place and not the focus of wars and destabilization. Similarly with the MIC and other issues too. Pretty soon the many issues all blend together and it is same old same old economics and war and people tune out the news.

I wanted to point out the one thing which is inescapable and will affect all the other issues - the rapidly advancing rate of catastrophic climate change. The young sense that if the worst happens it stays from then on. If it gets 1.5C hotter that it will stay that hot for the whole of their lives and likely keep getting hotter! All climate change becomes permanent for them in their life spans, in effect.

The old can't focus on how bad climate change is becoming while the young can't avoid focusing on it.

How do you plan for your retirement in a catastrophically changing environment? Should you plan on moving in twenty or thirty years if you live in Miami?

The young sense with increasing desperation that the old don't really grasp just how much is changing and how fast it is changing. You have to expect that there will be a sense of desperation underlying the joy of being young these days. The young have no choice but to feel that way when they see how slowly we move on climate change (Hillary's incrementalism compromising) and Trump's denialism.


#22

Coupla' things there, pal.

First of all, if a swimming pool has a hole in it, it doesn't matter how much water you pour in.

Since you are probably incapable of understanding the analogy to the political matter, I guess I'll have to spell it out.

It doesn't matter HOW MANY vote, dingdong, if those controlling the metrics are committed to deception.

No one knows what the counts really are.

Primaries determined by a coin toss? And 6 of 6 go to Clinton?

Even if more people voted for Sanders (presuming they were ALLOWED to vote for him), there is no guarantee the numbers would be honestly tallied up.

When Power works this hard to achieve its desired result, even if more people voted for Sanders, it would NOT alter the outcome.

What's more interesting to me is how hard some of YOU work to push the "Blame Voters" meme. It's ridiculous in the FACE of this much corruption.

Furthermore, no one gave you the right, you pompous paternalistic nitwit, to call me Susan; and secondly, I am one of a minority who posts here who can hardly be accused of thinking in black or white.

I am a COSMIC analyst. I factor in things you haven't ever considered.

To the contrary, it's you (under a long line of screen names) who incessantly argues in a manner intended to shift blame to those with the least amount of power, access, or agency. THAT is the "black or white" linear frame.

Also, the emphasis on trying to make me "wrong" is pathetic.

What arrogant throne do you occupy that gives you the capacity to determine that? And you pretend to be a Progressive? You're another mediocre clone who can't think outside of the box; and/or your daily Talking Points (and this is true of several here) direct you to push the ole "Blame the People" meme.

Fool!

BTW: Since truth has a lot to do with how people think, it doesn't seem to bother you that lies were told to tarnish Sanders' positions when these were mentioned at all.

It doesn't seem to bother you that the Press tied up the coronation before California had a chance to weigh in.

There are so many insults to truth that were promulgated by the corporate media, that THAT alone should be the target of anyone's umbrage IF not "enough people" voted for the preferred candidate.

Sanders has a majority, goon. It's just not allowed to be tallied! (Which takes us back to the hole in the swimming pool.)


#25

Speaking of B.S., you're a real gem... you right wing trojan horse!