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Millennial Apathy and a Possible President Trump


#1

Millennial Apathy and a Possible President Trump

Stephen Zunes

Despite the widely recognized shellacking of Donald Trump by Hillary Clinton in Monday night’s debate, polls show that the presidential race remains surprisingly and disturbingly close.


#2

Utter disgust is not really the same thing as apathy.


#3

Zunes concludes with, "Clinton needs to let millennials—who will be disproportionately impacted by the policies of the next president—know why it is very much in their interest to elect her in November."

The problem with that deals with how to negate or somehow undo her record over the past three decades; from her sitting on the WalMart Board, through her 'co-presidency'--as they liked to describe it at the time, to her time in the senate, to that at state where she advocated TPP, Keystone, and various 'liberal interventions'.
This millennial generation gives me hope, especially as they seem smart enough not to buy into the snake oil Hils is selling.
If correct, that 40% leaning outside the duopoly is encouraging news and we need to do everything possible not to quell this generation's enthusiasm for breaking free of the two party constraints.
Here, here for real change, and real hope!


#5

And would it really matter what Hillary says at this point? Who could ever believe that she would actually follow through on any of her promises to millennials knowing full well that she has also made a boat load of promises to her Wall Street benefactors and other corporate sponsors? Has anyone heard a word from her about getting the money out of politics or getting rid of Citizens United?


#6

Stephen Zunes, when you mentioned millennials having to stand in line, in the rain for hours at polling places to vote, so passe! Mr. Zunes here in rainy Washington State, we vote by mail (Postal-Voting), no lines, no vote-flipping voting machines, no fraud ever reported, layers of anti-fraud safeguards, days of time to make the choice. Washington, Oregon, Colorado all Postal-Voting! So while your students, and others struggle in rain, and snow in hours long lines to vote, us in Washington, Oregon, Colorado are kicking back eating snacks, listening to music, etc. taking our time and voting, so peaceful Postal-Voting. Point is; voting does not have to be misery, harshness, etc. anymore. Tell you friends, and of course your family, and students!


#7

WTF is a "millennial" anyway? People's lives and attitudes are shaped by many other things than their date of birth. Compare a young person born to the 1% to one born in poverty -- both may be "millennials" but I would expect their life experiences and expectations to be very different. I was born in 1962, so am considered a "boomer" but I certainly didn't get any of the perks that are supposed to go with that title.


#8

Exactly! I am just a little older, but I know what you mean. When I first heard Generation X I said WTF, what is that. Maybe one day we will just put the human back into beings and live happily ever-after. Keeping hope alive!


#9

As mentioned, it's not what Clinton says that matters, it's believing it, given her long track record in politics. Obama managed to swindle voters because he was relatively unknown. NOT the case with Clinton. The Democratic party leadership knew full well she had a serious trust issue and that she was a weak candidate. They knew, before the convention, that she would be running against Trump, but they crowned her, anyway, because of her ability to raise money via her ties to the 1%. Now they're paying the price and establishment Demos like Zunes are worried. Rather than admit they made the wrong choice in Clinton, they desperately hope for a more progressive makeover and enlist Bernie Sanders to help, even as Hillary continues to play up to rich and influential Republicans for support. And then they wonder why she has a trust issue. Worse yet, they pass the blame to third party voters who refuse to be swindled, yet again, by their corrupt party and candidates.

Can two party politics in this country get any lower? I doubt it.

Go Green.


#10

Trumps support will neither increase or decrease regardless of how the debates unfold. Trump supporters are die hard even though they represent only about one third of Americans. Therefore it is Clinton who will decide who the next president is. The problem with Clinton's campaign is that most Americans know her to be a corporate tool. Her anti-democratic foreign policy stance from supporting fascist coups in Honduras and The Ukraine, to her endless support for the military makes her indistinguishable from republicans. Her domestic policies are just as bad. The mass incarceration ushered in by her husband of "people of color", her rejection of single-payer healthcare, her refusal to overturn Citizens United, her support for the TPP and other corporate friendly trade policies and her refusal to even come out in favor of a $15 an hour minimum wage are all examples of her pandering to moneyed interests.
The result is the U.S. will probably experience their lowest turnout in a long time as most people will simply stay at home instead of voting for one of the two corporate candidates. Jill Stein could have easily beaten either candidate if it were not for two key factors. A) Corporate America has worked hard to denying her existence on the ballot in most States and more importantly B) the corporate Media has refused to introduce her to the electorate. Therefore on election day in November, most Americans will still have no idea that a viable alternative exists to the current slate of imbeciles vying for the most powerful role in the world.
In more developed countries, even minor fourth and fifth party candidates get media coverage, their names on ballots and public financing to help them get their message out. This hasn't happened in the U.S. for over a century as the current system has proven so profitable to the 1%. While some people will argue that considerable differences still exist between the Republicans and Democrats, I would argue that the differences are minor as related to the most important issues that most Americans want addressed. For example both parties support expanding the U.S. military, continuing or even lowering the corporate tax rate, supporting Big Pharma and the corrupt healthcare system, continuing the mass incarceration of our most vulnerable citizens, perpetuating the "global war on terror" myth and lauding the benefits of various trade deals that will only serve to impoverish the 99% further.
Voter apathy may indeed contribute to a Trump presidency, but the question is whether that will aid the Democratic party (in its current form) to win in the next election or whether it will result in a complete over haul of the corporate domination of the Party while replacing it with a progressive platform that will finally reject the 1% out right. In either case it is corporate America (yet again!) that will win this November regardless of whether Trump or HRC finds their way to the White House.


#11

It is a little hard to explain why millennials are not more enthusiastic about Clinton. Obama receives as much money for campagins from corporations as Clinton,. Also, Clinton has a an agenda that is more progressive than was Obama's and the Democratic platform is much more progressive than the platforms when Obama ran. Clinton also has much more experience in the government at the federal level than Obama had, which was only two years in the Senate. I think there are two main factors. One is that millennials have shifted much further left, particularly because of the occupy movement and Bernie Sander's campaign. The other factor is that for years the millennials have beard lies about Clinton from both the right and the left. In addition, the millennials are too young to remember the years Reagan was in office and how Bill Clinton had to shift the Democratic Party more toward the center to be elected president. Nevertheless, I think as the we get close to election day more millennials will understand what is at stake and how important it is to vote for Hillary Clinton.


#13

Blame everyone but the candidate! It has nothing to do with when you were born or how old you are. When you put a neoliberal candidate with Republican views on trade, financial deregulation and military expansion on the Democratic ticket you should expect a lack of enthusiasm and support. There are plenty of older voters voting third party or not at all.
Maybe younger people have the courage to speak up more about the multigenerational refusal to elect a candidate who does not represent them.


#14

Trump hysteria indeed keeps older voters from even mentioning Clinton and the Democratic Party establishment let alone criticizing them.

In addition to supporting expensive wars, Clinton and the Democratic Party continue to support expensive bank bailouts. in the tens of trillions to date, with more to come when you consider the five too-big-to-fail banks controlled 25% of US bank assets when they were bailed out after they crashed the economy in 2008 now control nearly 50% of assets with no end in sight to their rush to monopolize.

The Democratic Party establishment's Dodd/Frank legislation continues to enhance the fortunes of Wall Street at the expense of smaller banks.


#15

headline: "apathy" it's not apathy, they don't like her, for good reason. 1st sentence: "widely recognized shellacking" should have stopped right there, but kept reading. Obomber 2008: did you ask your daughter how it felt to be betrayed by Obomber?


#17

"Also, Clinton has a much more progressive agenda than the Obama platform" You can't get the bar much lower than Obama's performance in office. Agendas, platforms, campaign rhetoric. Have you payed any attention to politics in the last couple of decades? Alas.


#18

This is directed to you Common Dreams. Just like you, it appears, can't be bothered to write an article for Vice-President Ajamu Baraka. You can't be bothered to write an article about Postal-Voting, during an almost two year election cycle. I know this is off topic, but I am going to keep pounding the point until you wake-up. Postal-Voting is not outer-space, it is working like a charm in my state of Washington, it is also done in Oregon, and Colorado. People are sick, and tired of the old crappy way of waiting in long lines in snow, and rain just to meet a vote-flipping machine. Stop it already Common Dreams, and listen to us the people. The journey always begins with the first step, so lets take that step!


#20

Obama squandered their trust. Maybe they just don't want to be fooled again. They don't trust her. It seems almost nobody does, really. Most of her support is from people afraid of Trump.


#21

Mr. Zunes is 100% correct about the empathy thing.
Millennial's must vote in this election.
And do it in overwhelming numbers.
If they do vote the plutocrats and the oligarchy will begin to take them seriously.
Those who hold and yield power do not concern themselves with silence.
They do respond to angry mobs ready to move them out of the way.

Vote for Jill Stein in massive numbers and the Revolution will have been joined.


#29

The last chance for Hillary to embrace Bernie's policies & win the millennial vote was the night she accepted the nomination. She should have said something like, "And this is what we learned from the Sanders campaign", then ticked off Bernie's talking points, one by one, saying, "Yes! We are going to do that!"

Instead, what she said was, "I've heard you", and little more. Hearing is not the same as doing. Hearing is what happens right before ignoring, And ignoring is exactly what she did to Bernie's speech from the night before. Bernie very explicitly mentioned passage of a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act and opposing the TPP, calling those two issues in particular, "strong provisions" in the platform. Hillary didn't mention either one of them in her speech.

Hillary didn't say anything to strongly contradict Bernie, but neither did she say anything to enthusiastically embrace him.

And so, two months later, she has a problem with millennials. Big surprise.


#30

We are all so full of advice for Hillary on how to win the election. She ought to embrace Progressive issues, campaign on them, make us believe that she holds them. We want her to focus less on Donald Trump and more on how she intends to change the direction of the money in this country, how to stop wars, feed the poor, make it the right of every American to have a job, health care and an education. And we want her to be able to convince us that she means what she is saying even though she has not said it up until now. An impossible task, no?


#31

Only if you haven't been following her over the years, Perhaps you missied that gloating after killing Qaddafi; maybe that turned them off even as it turned their stomachs.