7 Reasons Millennials Are So Done With This Election

7 Reasons Millennials Are So Done With This Election July 26, 2016

6.) We’re So Over Barack Obama, Too

The first vote I ever cast was for Barack Obama, in 2008, when I was only 16. My grandfather sat me down that summer and told me that since I would be around to suffer the consequences of the upcoming election much longer than him, he wanted me to decide who he would vote for. He was a pretty amazing guy.

So I told him Barack Obama, because me and literally everyone else at my high school had fallen madly in love with him (and being from Chicago, we’d known him for a while).

I remember walking to school on Inauguration day and listening to “Long Road to Ruin” by the Foo Fighters, and literally feeling like it was the dawn of a Golden Age. One flag has been taken down, to raise another in its place! After eight disastrous years of Bush, it felt like we’d just defeated the Empire, or Sauron.

How politically naïve I was! Eight years later, student debt has skyrocketed, America’s oppressive foreign policy has continued unabated, racism has gotten worse, our elections are hilariously corrupt, and we as a nation have been tricked into accepting a terrible healthcare overhaul (yes, even though it does have a few good provisions) that will ultimately make moving to a true single-payer system, where every American has access to good healthcare, more difficult. On top of that, Obama has spearheaded the absolutely terrifying Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has been famously called “NAFTA on steroids.”

Sorry Obama. We loved you in 2008. We gave you the benefit of the doubt in 2012. At this point, it’d be better if you just stopped.


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  • AJ

    Sadly, every election boils down to picking whoever you feel is the lesser of two evils.

    • Frank

      Only if we allow it.

    • Lynn

      Ranked Choice voting. Become a delegate and get it on both platforms and hold their feet to the fire. No vote is wasted.

  • I’m in my late 40s and I agree with almost everything in your article. No doubt, this is because your generation is the first one to actually align with my own political sensibilities. My own generation’s politics have been pathetically mediocre at best. As I’ve read editorials chiding younger people for failing to line up behind the political sensibilities of older demographics, I’ve felt insulted and talked down to right along with you. The implication of these articles are clear: young people are too immature to understand how politics and the real world operate… and those who are older and embrace the same politics as younger people have never matured and their input is considered to be equally worthless.

    • Lynn

      I feel that your age and younger are more knowledgeable and wiser than mine. My son talks to people around the world understanding the views and cultures from all over. He does not agree with everything but the communication lines are open and I believe a Peaceful world can come from this generation if they will lead.

  • Dan Li

    As a part of the (tiny, at least according to you) number of millennials who are socially conservative (at least regarding abortion & gay marriage), I can agree that neither party wholly represents your (or our) ideals. However, it remains a de facto two party system. It’s highly unlikely that millennials will be able to push through alternative candidates, and should they get the votes of disaffected liberals in swing states, that may in fact allow a Trump victory.

    Defending democracy is a laudable ideal, but you have to consider the fact that your protest vote may have a tangible impact on both your future and the future of groups who might find themselves imperiled by a Trump presidency (nearly everyone really). I won’t say that whoever reads and agrees with the author must vote for Hillary (yet again, social conservative Catholic writing), but you have to weigh the costs of a tactical vote against an ideal one.

    • Frank

      Hillary is finished. The only hope stop Trump now is third party.

      • Cynthia Britt

        Won’t happen. Too late in the process for this election.

        • Frank

          Not at all. No votes have been cast and won’t be cast until November. There is an excellent chance for a third party win.

          • Christian Chiakulas

            Much as I hate to admit it, Gary Johnson actually has a shot. I wish it were Jill Stein instead, but Johnson is doing phenomenally in some state polls as well as national polls for a 3rd-party candidate.

            I would never vote for him because I detest libertarianism, but I’d take him over Trump or Clinton any day.

          • Pennybird

            If no candidate gets 270 electoral votes, the president is chosen by the sitting congress. Ergo, President Trump

          • Lynn

            State Senates.

          • IconoclastTwo

            Which also detests him, so at that point it might be a bit more up into the air what happens.

            We really need ‘no contest’ or something similar as an option.

          • Frank

            I think we finally kinda agree on something. Though I think libertarianism is misunderstood and hadn’t had very good representation.

          • Lynn

            I have listened to him and he seems a more of a mild libertarian. Plus he or Jill Stein would be alone with little to no support from congress.

          • scott stone

            Just curious, why do you detest libertarianism? Detest is a rather strong word.

          • Pennybird

            No there isn’t.

          • Frank

            Of course there is. The people have yet to speak.

          • Lynn

            Not impossible but highly improbable.

          • Frank

            It’s our only hope to stop Trump.

          • Lynn

            Only if they can get into the televised debates.
            And you can push the polls.

      • liberalinlove

        Statistically also will not happen. I fear America has sown to the wind and is about to reap the whirlwind.

  • scott stone

    Kind of like my generation is so done with millennials

  • Brandon Roberts

    as a millenial i mostly agree.

  • Cynthia Britt

    As much as millennials love to beat up the boomers, we are more alike than you think. You are no more special or idealistic than we were. Some changes we got, some we didn’t, but major change doesn’t happen on demand or overnight. So you can either take your toys and go home (and allow Trump to undo what progress we have made) or you can learn that sometimes we DO have to support the ‘lesser of two evils’ and continue to work to make it better. A third party option would be great but not now, when that 3rd party isn’t even on ballots (or even a viable candidate). There is more to being president than a couple domestic issues, like it or not. Part of growing up is that you cannot willingly ignore the bits you don’t think you care about, because all our lives depend on someone paying attention to the whole picture. No president gets to walk in and demand law changes. Our constitution does not allow kings or queens. If you want change, then stop ignoring the midterms (which have killed Obama’s goals), give the candidate who most closely matches your ideals a Congress they can work with, and we will get more of what we want. That is how it works. Talk is cheap.

    • liberalinlove

      This boomer is also in agreement. The average person does not realize that our President was filibustered and defied on any and every piece of legislation, even when prior administrations had support and the people supported it, solely because of who he was. These are the people who we should be very angry with. Congress has sold this country down the drain for the purpose of pleasing a good old boys way of governing.
      Change it. No president, especially Bernie, who I supported will get any farther than President Obama did without that change.

      • IconoclastTwo

        “The average person does not realize that our President was filibustered and defied on any and every piece of legislation, even when prior administrations had support and the people supported it, solely because of who he was.”

        I absolutely do realize that (then again, you could make the argument that I’m not exactly average…) At the same time where exactly is the filibuster in the Constitution and why is it that the Democrats never show the kind of foresight to get rid of that kind of insanely ridiculous rule whenever they get the chance? In fact, the filibuster is even stronger now than when Johnson had to wait out bigots in the 1960s. Then, it necessarily had to be a physical filibuster. Now, this isn’t even necessarily an obligation but just the threat of it, combined with needing 60 votes(!) to do anything makes the Senate, whether Democrats or Republicans control it, even more dysfunctional.

        Then, there’s also the phenomenon of secret holds on legislation…

    • Christian Chiakulas

      Wait, so, you say “No president gets to walk in and demand law changes”…

      …but I’m supposed to be afraid of Trump walking in and demanding to undo the “progress” you say we’ve made? Like his first day on the job he just gets to remake the country completely?

      Cognitive dissonance.

      • Pennybird

        He couldn’t do it all in one fell swoop, but the president nominates federal and supreme court justices, which have quite a bit of impact on our lives, whether we feel it immediately or not. So yes, he would have an ability to remake the country. Also, take into account that he really doesn’t know what he’s doing and we don’t know who his advisors will be besides his kids, Pence and Putin.

        With Clinton we will get more of the same, but at least we know what we’ll get, pretty much. She’s no worse than any other politician, despite what Fox News will have their viewers believe.

        • Christian Chiakulas

          I’m glad that you’ll continue to do just fine under “more of the same.”

          “More of the same,” however, is absolutely killing tens of thousands of people. People of color, poor people, immigrants…

          If you wanna build something bigger and better than ever before, sometimes you have to completely demolish what was there in the first place.

          • Pennybird

            I get that, but demolition won’t happen this year. Fact is, we have a realistic choice between only 2 candidates, and if we want to fundamentally change that, the process needs to begin long before the election. Once changed, I don’t really see the carnage stopping either. War is big business.

            So back to Hillary Clinton and Donnie Darko, by all means make a statement by voting third party, but who do you think is more likely to support more of your values? Because it will be one or the other, not the candidate of our dreams.

          • Christian Chiakulas

            No, you get me wrong. I think Trump is more likely to lead to fundamental change in the long run, as the backlash he will spark with his policies (not to mention the progressive insurgence that Clinton losing would create) would force this country to make major changes, and quickly.

            With Clinton, we get to just hobble along as we’ve been for at least four more years, and then elect another neocon like George W. Bush for 4-8 years, and so on and so forth.

          • Pennybird

            OK, I didn’t realize that’s what you meant, Christian. Still, when I want to remodel my home, I think I’ll call a decorator and not an arsonist, but you do what you think is best.

          • Lynn

            I considered what George W. Bush did a disaster that could have been worse and we as a country did not change. We did not even vote for leaders who could change. We put in a tea party who stopped all votes.
            Electing Trump would not lead to change but he would try to be a Dictator.
            I also believe Vladimir Putin would love to have a Trump presidency because he knows how to controle personalities like his. Putin did not like Obama because he could not get his way. It made me smile.

          • IconoclastTwo

            “I considered what George W. Bush did a disaster that could have been worse and we as a country did not change.”

            No, it tried to change but the Democrats, as usual, blew it. That’s what people were hoping that they’d get from Obama and we basically didn’t. Do you really think that a half black man with Hussein as a middle name was even remotely electable before the Republicans spent eight years wrecking the world and the best candidates they could put forth during an economic crash were a doddering warmonger who said that “the economy was sound” and Mooselini?

            Face it: Obama was the desperation candidate in 2008 and he repaid us for our hope with bringing back everything that we were voting against by voting for him in the first place-and now the Democrats are back to normalcy, if not even worse.

            “We did not even vote for leaders who could change. We put in a tea party who stopped all votes.”

            What do you mean “We”? Were you in charge of the Democratic Party? Did you select their candidates? Did you decide that it’d be a great idea to run the same candidate who lost against Walker the first time in the recall election, and then not do much about what was most likely election fraud from a corrupt judge? Did you have Steny Hoyer’s ear to hint to him that maybe the Democrats weren’t quite as well prepared for 2014 as he said that they were? Did you tell Rahm Emanuel that maybe calling progressives fucking retards (much less treating us that badly) wasn’t a good idea (and then duck when he started throwing furniture at you…)?

            No, you weren’t responsible for any of that-but it’s a convenient con game of the Democrats to convince that on some level, you are, when the real problem is that *they* won’t change and *they* have no intention of ever changing.

          • Lynn

            We,I mean America. The Democrats or progressives or Obama supporters did not vote. Leaving him with no means to change anything. Wisconsin did their own thing and also got what they paid for.
            p.s. I do not like Rahm Emanuel or Nancy Pelosi.

          • IconoclastTwo

            “p.s. I do not like Rahm Emanuel or Nancy Pelosi.”

            About that we’re in complete agreement. However, that still brings me back to my (almost central) point that these people, and in particular, Democrats with their kind of behavioral patterns, *tend to be recycled by the party no matter how badly they fail their voters*. That’s not something that can necessarily be blamed upon the voters.

            Similarly: “The Democrats or progressives or Obama supporters did not vote.” Why did or does that happen, though? My contention is that it happened not because of the typical voter-blaming theories, but because Obama, himself, made a series of poor choices during the first two years he was in office that demotivated a lot of the people that voted for him in 2008 (myself included).

          • Lynn

            That is a valid point. I think Obama needed to ask for votes in the mid-term and brag on himself for what he did do and what he did ask for.

          • IconoclastTwo

            That would’ve helped. What I think would’ve made even bigger differences would’ve been to concentrate on prosecuting the abusers on Wall Street while everyone really hated them even more than now and fixing the banking system in a much larger way (which would’ve been a high profile achievement that people would’ve been motivated by), not bringing back more Clinton-era people than he absolutely had to (I’m pretty sure his commitment to Hillary Clinton was sealed in), and concentrating in general on other priorities than health care like a much bigger stimulus package when he had the good will for it. If people, including myself, saw a lot more direct benefit from what he did instead of seeing it be often phrased as “what would’ve happened if someone else is there” then it’s easier to make a case both for him and his party.

            If, in comparison, he had made health care his priority during the 2016-2020 term he would’ve had a lot more credibility afterwards if he had done those other things first. Then he might’ve been able to ask for something that would be a lot more lasting, like Medicare For All, and made the case for it successfully. Instead what we got was six years of mostly gridlock in which conservative goals were more effectively advanced anyways.

          • Lynn

            I agree the bankers should have been prosecuted and the people who promoted torture also. It would have been better if the banks were given the mortgage payments the mortgage holders owed on a 6 month basis so that the foreclosures could have been prevented and those who bet on bets would have been the losers and people would not have lost their homes.
            We also need to think of money differently and reorganise the system throughout the world. It will be messy but I think it needs to be done. No more hiding money from taxation anywhere.

          • Pennybird

            Putin is playing Trump like a fiddle. Let’s hope he has no access to the Diebold system. I have enough faith in my countrymen and women to let Trump go down in flames, but not so much faith in Diebold to allow it to happen. There probably assessing their business interest in this election as I write.

            http://columbusfreepress.com/article/diebold-indicted-its-spectre-still-haunts-ohio-elections

          • Lithobolos

            Still waiting for the backlash from Nixon and Reagan getting elected.

          • IconoclastTwo

            It didn’t happen because the Democrats learned entirely the wrong lessons-and to this day we’ve been dominated by essentially the same faction of them so nothing really changes. Except, of course, it gets worse.

          • IconoclastTwo

            “So back to Hillary Clinton and Donnie Darko, by all means make a statement by voting third party, but who do you think is more likely to support more of your values?”

            Neither of them, though (which is why you omitted it as an option). It’s just that the difference between them is that Hillary claims that she shares at least some of them, but then undermines them at every turn and does things that are totally antithetical to them, while at the same time we get blamed as if she was part of some Manchurian Candidate-esque leftist plot when that’s not even remotely true. In comparison, Trump is blatantly hostile.

        • Lynn

          Bernie was a hard push and if she wants 8 years she will have to try to follow through. Millennials have the opportunity to keep the pressure on.
          Do not forget to give her a house, (they hold the purse strings) and a Senate (they approve the Judges). Many seats are empty.
          It is up to us to either elect a working president or a figure head Queen and First Man.

          • IconoclastTwo

            “Bernie was a hard push and if she wants 8 years she will have to try to follow through.”

            So if she returns to form (which is entirely probable) you’d be willing to abandon support for her in 2020? If you’re not then your argument collapses into meaninglessness and the premise of indefinite democratic party voting, no matter what they do.

          • Lynn

            She will not be running against Trump in 2020. If we had ranked choice voting now she would not be my first choice. Bernie did get much of his platform so I will vote for her this time. If she follows through I will vote for her again in 2020.
            I have voted for Green, Independent, Democrats and one republican over the years based on actions. I call and talk to those who would represent me. I even campaign for candidates that have shown real support in the community I lived in.

          • IconoclastTwo

            “She will not be running against Trump in 2020.”

            Alright. Why do you think that’s true? Furthermore, given how far Trump has gone (in terms of coming close to succeeding, not in his views evolving) why wouldn’t his near success encourage the far right even further-and continue the ratchet rightwards?

            Just ten minutes ago the Democrats gave Michael Bloomberg a speaking spot(!) I could barely avoid making retching noises with company around.

            “If we had ranked choice voting now she would not be my first choice.”

            She absolutely wasn’t my first choice. I supported Sanders in the primaries but I won’t support her in the general.

            “Bernie did get much of his platform so I will vote for her this time. If she follows through I will vote for her again in 2020.”

            That’s fair. I do think, however, that she’s even less likely to follow through than Obama did.

          • Pennybird

            “She will not be running against Trump in 2020.”Alright. Why do you think that’s true?

            Having been severely burned, they’ll probably rewrite the rules to disallow someone like Trump from getting the nomination. The Democrats have superdelegates to prevent this sort of thing. I’ll bet the Republican hierarchy wish they had that tool.

          • IconoclastTwo

            “Having been severely burned, they’ll probably rewrite the rules to disallow someone like Trump from getting the nomination.”

            Except that:

            1) Trump is the most successful Republican candidate they’ve had for president since Bush, and I don’t really think he’s going to get burned. Scorched, perhaps, but burned, probably not entirely.

            2) If they pull a stunt like that they *will* fracture the party, and furthermore, if the entire Trump faction goes they don’t have enough people to really elect much of anyone any more. He furthermore won’t just go by himself; if he gets a couple of other billionaires like Thiel to support him then they’ll have sufficient resources to make a far more successful third party bid than Perot. They’ll also have a populace ready to listen to them with a perfect dolchstosslegend (probably spelled incorrectly) about how the Republican Party betrayed them in the end but now they can create the party with perfect loyalty. They’ll totally bolt from the Republicans because unlike Democratic Party voters (really trying hard not to say my actual wording here…) they aren’t exactly convinced by indefinite party loyalty.

            “The Democrats have superdelegates to prevent this sort of thing. I’ll bet the Republican hierarchy wish they had that tool.”

            You mean that the Republicans should have a pool of party elites who as a last resort can put the thumb on results in order to prevent voters from choosing who they actually want, and which allows the media to artificially inflate a party favorite’s delegate total in order to bolster a false myth of their inevitability?

            Can I assume that you’re really not particularly enthused with that entire “party should listen to its voters” concept?

          • Pennybird

            I didn’t say I approved of the super delegate thing, in fact I was pretty pissed off when I learned about it. I’m saying that the Democrats used it to maintain control and the Republicans lost control to Trump and are now in complete chaos. They have shown us that democracy ain’t always pretty.

            Yes, the party should listen to the voters, but and this works best if there is a modicum of understanding on the part of voters, which is really, really difficult when so many people get their “news” in the form of lies, gross exaggerations, pitting Americans against each other, and appeals to people’s basest instincts, i.e. Fox. There is a reason Trump loves the uneducated.

          • IconoclastTwo

            “They have shown us that democracy ain’t always pretty.”

            Not having democracy is even uglier.

            “Yes, the party should listen to the voters, but and this works best if there is a modicum of understanding on the part of voters, which is really, really difficult when so many people get their “news” in the form of lies, gross exaggerations, pitting Americans against each other, and appeals to people’s basest instincts, i.e. Fox. There is a reason Trump loves the uneducated.”

            I can very much so agree with this. However:

            1) It seems like dealing with this would be a much more effective way of preserving democracy than, in a very real sense, preventing it. At the time I also see this as the fight and the arguments that people ought to be having but in many ways really aren’t.

            2) It isn’t exactly conservatives who have a monopoly on ethical problems-especially ones concerned with the willingness to support lesser evilism more or less continuously, or noticing that for much of the world which doesn’t get the chance to have any significant input at all (political or otherwise) all they’re really seeing is *just* evil from us.

      • Lynn

        With the Congress that is in right now, It can happen.

    • IconoclastTwo

      “No president gets to walk in and demand law changes. Our constitution does not allow kings or queens.”

      1) I’ve heard that line a while and while it changes depending on the relative position of the Democrats at any given time it always reinforces both the notion of Democratic powerlessness and liberal learned helplessness. When the Democrats have the presidency, then if Republicans control Congress then they’re suddenly omnipotent and nothing can be done against them. When the Democrats have Congress, then if Republicans control the presidency then suddenly the president is omnipotent and nothing can be done.

      See my point yet? No matter which configuration changes _you don’t do anything for us_.

      2) Furthermore, while the president can’t make law changes officially (although they can request them through congress) if they either selectively choose which laws to enforce, which ones they won’t, and seize upon different types of imperatives in terms of enforcement/spending money they absolutely are making law changes in practice. The real, underlying problem, is that you’re trying to defend a party that in office, has nowhere near the willingness due a lot of factors to commit to us in the same way that the Republican party has committed to bigots, fundamentalists, and the super-wealthy.

  • Pennybird

    To your last point, 1.) We’re More Left-Wing Than Any Previous Generation:

    True enough, and I think it proves that conservative economic ideas are failures. We’ve had them for the entire millennial generation and here we are. Since Reagan, and reinforced by Bill Clinton, we have been moving steadily rightward so that what used to be the center is now left of where the Democrats currently reside. I’m as frustrated as millennials are with this, and am grateful everyday for Bernie Sanders realigning many of our priorities.

    The Republicans have taken full advantage and really overplayed their hand to the point of unrecognizability (Trump? Really, Christian conservatives? America isn’t a cartoon, you know.). The best thing to happen to them, and indeed America, is for the party to dissolve so that a conservative (let’s call them Democrats) and a liberal party rise in place and we can get back to the business of running the country without the distractions, personal attacks, or apoplexy in the face of change. (WHHHAAAA!!!!! Black men can’t be president!!!! We wan’t him to fail!!!!! WHHHAAAA!!!!! Women can’t be president!!!! We wan’t her to fail!!!!!)

    • Lynn

      Well said!

    • scott stone

      What conservative economic ideas were failures?

      • IconoclastTwo

        Massive tax cuts will build the economy for starters. Everywhere they’ve been tried, especially when they’ve been tried to the extremes that conservatives say they should work, they have in fact cratered the states where this has been done. I’m referring very specifically to Kansas and Louisiana.

        • scott stone

          There’s a difference between federal and state policy since states must maimtain a balanced budget. The 1981 ERTA had dramatically positive effects on the economy.

      • Pennybird

        Trickle down economics have been great for the tricklers, not so much for the rest of us. A rising tide lifts all yachts, as they say.

        • scott stone

          No such thing as trickle down. It was an off handed comment by Stockman to describe supply side economics. The term actually originated from humorist Will Rogers. It is actually used, the term that is, more by democrats to criticize any conservative tax policy. They use the term because they know most people are incredibly ignorant and just lap up the red meat that is thrown out. It was mostly used to describe the 1981 ERTA put in place by the Reagan administration. What that did was cut rates across all 5 quintiles, the lowest quintile getting the largest percentage of the cuts. Not to be rude but you should do your homework and not just throw out rhetorical left wing talking points.

          • Those tax cuts created huge deficits. Every president from Reagan on has cut taxes and increased spending with the predictable result of deficits. When Bill Clinton raised taxes and cut spending the opposite happened. So why is Trump running on tax cuts and spending increases (add up what all his proposals would cost) while claiming he would balance the budget? It’s the same old nonsense. If you are for tax cuts, then you aren’t for deficit reduction. At least be honest like Cheney was when he said “Deficits don’t matter.” I disagree but at least he wasn’t lying about what he meant.

            There may have been a time when cutting taxes on the top quintile stimulated the economy. The early 60s for example. (Note: Republicans like to note that Kennedy was for tax cuts but he cut the top rate down to 52% which is far higher than the top rate is today.) But these days such a tax cut means money stashed in offshore accounts not invested in new business ventures that create jobs and grow the economy. The only people who benefit from those cuts today are Caribbean bankers who store that money.

          • scott stone

            That the tax cut caused great deficits is a hard argument to make. In 1980 revenues were $517B. Reagan’s last year was 1988 and revenues were $909B. You may want to look at the spending side of the equation.

          • Conservatives love to start all comparisons of the 80s with 79/80 which was a recession so of course federal revenues were lower.

            Yes, it was the increase of spending, much of it on a huge military build-up. You can argue that the spending was necessary but if we needed that much new spending then obviously we needed to pay for it as well. Democrats do love spending but Democratic proposals almost always come with a revenue source to pay for them. Republicans like to slash taxes and increase spending. All of the deficits during the Obama administration are from Bush’s tax cut and the Iraq War. If you take those out we’d have had balanced budgets all 8 years. In fact, if we’d stayed on the trajectory Bill Clinton had us on in 2000 there’d be no deficit at all.

          • scott stone

            Actually you are mistaken. In 1976 revenues were $298B and increased every year that Carter was President. So the $830B stimulus during Obama’s first year didn’t add to the deficit?

          • Of course it did. But 2009 was a unique case. It was like 1930-31. There was no spending (on the large scale). No one was lending. The economy was dead and needed a jump-start. Go back and read what economists were writing. People I worked for in banking back then were horrified at how bad things had gotten.

            yes, sometimes the government needs to spend to get the economy going again. That money moves around the economy. It creates jobs and those with jobs buy things and that money circulates through the economy multiple times. That’s basic economics.

            I have read quite a bit of Austrian School (supply side) and Keynesian and frankly neither has a monopoly in the field. Sometimes one approach is better. Sometimes another.

          • Pennybird

            Your argument is a semantic one. Economics since the Reagan administration is what has gotten us where we are today, and while it has been fabulous for those at the top of the heap, the middle class is now a fraction of its former self and too many Americans see no improvements coming down the pike. If our generation cannot be counted on to do at least as well as our parents’ then we are not in good shape.

            But Trickle Down was the gist of the whole plan. Give the upper echelon a lot of tax gimmes and they’ll turn that found money into jobs for the rest of us. * waiting….waiting…* Nothing required them to do so, and what we have are a lot of rich guys stuffing their mattresses at the same time they’re busting what is left of the unions. Look at what has happened to the gap between rich and poor since Reaganomics. I stand by my original comment.

          • scott stone

            I feel bad for you because you believe something that just isn’t true. That’s a horrible way to live your life. Reaganomics, or supply side, did not just cut the rates for the top income earners, hoping it would trickle down. They cut rates across all 5 quintiles. Everyone got a tax cut so they could have more money in their pocket and hopefully spend it to stimulate economic growth. We can argue the merits of supply side vs the Keynesian model but the one thing we can’t do is ignore facts. At least in the early 1980’s supply side economic was very helpful in lifting the country out of one it’s worse recessions.

          • scott stone

            You do know that the democrats have held the presidency more than the republicans since Reagan.

          • Pennybird

            And you know that the Democrats have been tacking right since Bill Clinton. And you can watch Hillary Clinton wooing Republicans now – yes, taking advantage of the intellectual vacuum over there right now, but also because she knows they know their fortunes will be safe with her.

            Meanwhile the income gap widens and the bridges crumble.

            No need to feel bad for me. I know where my next raise is coming from, unlike too many of my neighbors. I also know that I have profited handsomely since the 80s with my 401Ks. Don’t say I worked hard for the money – I could have been in a coma all that time and still made the same amount. But what about the kids coming up who don’t know if they’ll ever move out of their parents’ homes? What about the people whose salaries aren’t enough to secure for their own futures? We have implemented conservative economic policies for an entire generation now and we are a mess. Ask your neighbors.

      • Sven2547

        * Supply-side economics
        * A low (or worse, eliminated) minimum wage
        * Added restrictions against migrant workers

        • scott stone

          You do realize that the Obama stimulus is supply side economics?

          • Sven2547

            The Obama stimulus acted very differently than conservative approaches to supply-side economics. For conservative supply-side economics in action, look at the fiscal disasters that are Kansas and Louisiana these days.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAVDu8Os0JE

          • scott stone

            Yep, Bill Maher the economist. Supply side economics in the right environment, and implemented properly work wonderfully. It is the investment in capital (supply side) that can help stimulate economic growth. Once again, the ERTA of 1981 had an extremely positive impact on economic growth.

          • Sven2547

            Yep, Bill Maher the economist.

            Couldn’t be bothered by watching the video and hearing facts, huh?

            The gross federal debt as a percentage of GDP increased from 32.5% in 1981 to 53.1% in 1989. In relative terms, this constituted the largest growth of federal government debt since World War 2, and the second-largest peacetime increase ever, a close second to the years of the Great Depression.

          • scott stone

            What’s your point? We are over 100% now.

          • Sven2547

            What’s your point?

            That deficits are a constant outcome of right-wing supply-side economics. It is a failed conservative economic idea. It’s impossible to balance a budget using that approach.

            We are over 100% now.

            Thanks to another supply-sider, Bush.

          • scott stone

            So Obama, who has been in office for 8 years, shoulders no blame?

          • Sven2547

            I note that:
            * the deficit has been going steadily DOWN during the Obama administration.
            * the primary drivers of the debt continue to be Bush-era stuff: the Bush wars, the Second Bush Recession, and the Bush tax cuts.
            * this is nothing but petty deflection. You asked for examples of failed conservative economic ideas. I gave you three. Now you’re just trying to change the subject away from your abject failure to support your own position.

          • scott stone

            Yes, you gave me 3. So let’s start there. You chose to list Supply side as a failure. I replied with the 1981 ERTA which was quite successful. I also mentioned that in the right environment and implemented properly supply side is very beneficial. You then started on the debt argument and basically blamed Reagan and Bush for all of our ills. You used the debt/gdp ratio as an example so I trumped that (not the Donald, he’s a toolbag) with where we are today with over 100% debt/gdp, asking if Obama shoulders any blame, which you didn’t answer. Then you mentioned how the deficit has been going down. Who’s deflecting?

          • Sven2547

            I replied with the 1981 ERTA which was quite successful.

            You keep saying it was “successful”. By what measure? I’d think that exploding the deficit is not the definition of a successful economic plan.

            asking if Obama shoulders any blame, which you didn’t answer

            I thought I did answer, but I’ll phrase it more directly: NO. The economy has improved under the Obama administration by every measure, and he does not have a share of the blame for failed right-wing economic ideas.

          • scott stone

            By every measure, like real wages?

          • Lynn

            I lived though the 1981 era. Our beloved Regan stopped funding for schools so I could not finish my degree. I could not get work for a long time. Then only got a low wage job.
            I could not afford to go back to school because it was not a living wage and too much and would count against me for financial aid including loans.
            My family were farmers. We barely kept the farm and had to accept welfare to survive. I Iron mine workers were laid off and needed the commodities to eat.
            Regan was a disaster that helped excellerate the crumbling economy of today. H.W. Bush did do the right thing and we had a bump durring the Clinton administration but W did a double flush. Margret Thatcher did no one any favors either.

          • scott stone

            Interesting. I graduated High School in 1981 so I lived through the Reagan era also. I took a job at a fabrication company working as a welder and grinder for $5.50/hr. I worked second shift from 3:30 in the afternoon until 2AM and went to university during the day. I graduated in 4 years with 2 degrees. Reagan had nothing to do with my success and he had nothing to do with your inability to finish school. Everyone wants to blame the other guy, it makes them feel better about themselves.

          • Lynn

            I am a woman. I was offered less money for the same jobs.
            I applied at over 80 jobs over heard one employer say I was not the right kind of pretty. Went to another City got a job but it wasn’t enough to save for school or get my car fixed.
            I have always been a hard worker and paid less then my male counterparts and some of them told me I deserved more than they did. The bosses often told them not to reveal what they were making. Some jobs I taught my fellow workers how to do and sometimes the boss also.
            I did my best but the night courses never got me a raise.
            I was not the only one I knew who was forced to leave school because of Reaganomics.

          • scott stone

            Reaganomics had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry things didn’t work the way you wanted but you were given bad info or just didn’t know where to look for help. The GSL. the Guaranteed Student Loan program, had a federal budget of $5.1B in 1980. The Reagan administration, along with congress, increased it to $6.6B by 1982. These are just cold hard facts. Reagan hasn’t been president for 28 years and people still can’t get over it. I sure hope I don’t hold any bitterness that long. It’s a really crappy way to live ones life.

          • Lynn

            His changes in the system had everything to do with it. It effected the rest of my life and many of my family members.
            When his actions stop affecting us I will only then stop dwelling on it.
            Great it worked out for you.

          • Lynn

            Correct, he shoulders no blame and could have done more without the congress we the people stuck him with.

          • scott stone

            Well he had control of the house and senate his first two years in office and the senate his second two. To use your logic, since George Bush had a democrat house and senate his last two years he shouldn’t be blamed for the things that occurred. You can’t have it both ways.

          • Lynn

            The debt was caused largely by tax cuts on the wealthy.

          • Those cuts also created deficits. But yes, they do create economic growth IF that money is invested back into the US economy. That hasn’t been happening so much lately which is why a tax cut for the rich would probably not have that effect today. Instead why not give the tax cut to those who invested in American businesses?

          • scott stone

            Most people don’t want to have a serious tax discussion. They like arguing ignorant talking points. The truth of the matter is that the number one funding source to the federal treasury is personal income taxes. 44 cents out of every dollar collected comes from personal income taxes. When 47% do not contribute to our primary source of revenue, well we’ve got a problem.

          • Sven2547

            Those 47% pay plenty of other taxes. Our problem is NOT that the working class isn’t being taxed enough. Talk about ignorant talking-points.

          • scott stone

            It’s not a talking point! It’s a freaking fact. Our largest revenue source is funded by only half of the country. That’s a problem. How do you not see that?

          • Sven2547

            It’s not a talking point! It’s a freaking fact.

            Saying it’s a “problem” that the poor don’t pay enough taxes is not a “fact”, it’s an opinion. It’s a talking-point.

          • scott stone

            Blinded by ideology.

          • Sven2547

            Out of arguments, you have predictably shifted to name-calling.

            Modern conservative economics is a proven failure. It is guaranteed to lead to ever-higher deficits, disintegration of infrastructure, stagnation of wages, and the erosion of the American middle-class. It happens every time it’s tried. People are waking up to the fact that the economy does better under progressive governance.

          • scott stone

            What name did I call you?

          • Sven2547

            “Blinded by ideology” is an insult, nothing more. It certainly doesn’t add to the conversation in any meaningful way.

          • scott stone

            So I insulted you but didn’t call you a name? I think we have agreement.
            Back to my point about taxation in relation to ideology. Here is where it’s going to take courage on your part to admit you were wrong. The fact that half of the people in the US do not contribute to the nations number one funding source is a real issue. We have a nation of haves and have nots. Half of the country can not be expected to carry the financial burden for the other half. We need to create an environment where social and financial mobility is possible. When I stated a fact, that half of the country does not contribute to our major revenue stream, you immediately assumed that I meant poor people weren’t paying enough taxes. That is a response that comes from being blinded by ideology. Too many people in this country have stuck a stake in the ground so deep (on both sides) that they have become immovable objects. It’s not healthy for us as a nation.

          • Sven2547

            We have a nation of haves and have nots. Half of the country can not be expected to carry the financial burden for the other half. We need to create an environment where social and financial mobility is possible.

            Which is exactly why I support progressive economic policies. Conservative economic policies widen the gap between the haves and have-nots, and discourage social and financial mobility.

          • scott stone

            See, I just can’t be that arrogant and say my side has it all figured out. I think certitude is rather destructive. No room for growth when you know you are right. Never a need to listen to opposing view points.

          • Sven2547

            My position is based on looking at actual results. I did listen and did investigate “the other side” and found it lacking.

            You really should watch the Maher video, by the way, before getting preachy about listening to opposing view points.

          • scott stone

            I did listen to Maher, not that I needed to. I’m an economist by training and education. I have a Masters in economics and am pretty sure I may know just a touch more than he does. Federal and State policies differ tremendously. Illinois has been run by democrats for generations and is a mess but I would never extrapolate that situation and say, “See, liberal policy doesn’t work.” I could explain in great detail the faults of various liberal economic policy but what is the point? Stakes are in the ground and that’s why we have Trump and Clinton. The fault of both sides. One other thing. I wouldn’t call Bush policy ‘conservative economic policy’, I’d call it plain old stupid policy.

          • Lynn

            When you state it in the manner you do you force up a wall.

          • All you have to do is look at states like Kansas to see how disastrous those policies would be on a national scale.

            We need schools. We need police and firemen. We need good roads (businesses especially need those). We need safe, modern bridges and other infrastructure. We have to pay for those so we have taxes. Taxes are the price for living in a first world country. If you don’t like paying them, then go live somewhere without those things so those of us who aren’t insane can live decent lives.

          • Lynn

            It seems to me Corporations and other businesses want high quality workers but want them to pay for their education and then not pay them enough to pay the debt and have a family. They want to get out of providing health care(I don’t believe a business should have to. I would rather have single payer.) They do not want to have sick leave accumulation.
            When people get vacation time ( some businesses do not offer this either) a person can not go anywhere because they do not have the money or their spouse can not get the same vacation days.
            Most businesses do not promote from within or send their employees to school for training except very limited. Many ship in employees so they can pay lower wages to a foreigner.
            Many use the welfare system to subidise wages giving the taxpayer more to pay for.
            Less regulation makes us sicker.
            Do you really think most people can get a fair shake without union negotiation.
            I also think union leadership has abandoned their membership for their own benefit. Unions need to be run by the membership to work.
            OSHA has been a paper tiger since the 80’s.

          • I pretty much agree with all of that. (And disagree with so little that it’s not worth the time to split hairs.) That’s why I’m a Democrat.

          • It’s funny to me when someone is spouting right-wing talking points and gets mad because you are using liberal ones.

          • Sven2547

            I love how he now claims to have a Masters in economics, despite seeming to have a below-average grasp of the subject matter (like comparing Obama’s stimulus to right-wing supply-side economics). And then he does the same thing every internet self-described expert does:

            I could explain in great detail the faults of various liberal economic policy but what is the point?

            “I could start sounding like I know what I’m talking about… but I choose not to.”

          • I’m going to give my own point of view. People who know about these things are free to attack me.

            IMHO both Keynesians and Supply Siders have their points. What it seems like to me now that I’m older is that if you do one too long it stops working. That’s where we were in the 70s. Government spending to stimulate the economy wasn’t working any more. So we tried it the other way and that worked. It created huge deficits but it did create growth and jobs. And so we’ve been doing that and doing that and then by 2000s that wasn’t working any more and now it’s time to do the other thing again. Attack away.

            Also, it’s also time to be honest with the American people. If you want a tax cut and no cuts to any spending you like but complain about the deficits, you’re full of crap. We’re in a hole now and if you aren’t willing to take some of the pain of getting out then you are the problem, not the solution. In 1993 Clinton passed a budget deal with tax increases and spending cuts and it created the longest peacetime economic growth in our country’s history. We could do that again but it was hard enough getting that through Congress in 1993 (not a single Republican voted for it). I don’t think it would be possible now.

          • Okay, so are you suggesting that people who make so little money they don’t have to pay income tax need to pay MORE taxes? What are they going to pay those taxes WITH? You may have noticed the explosion of payday lenders and car title loan places all over the country. People are working full time and having to head to places like that to cover bills sometimes. How are they going to pay more in taxes?

          • scott stone

            No. What I’m saying is we have an economy where not enough people are participating. I’, not saying poor people should pay more. I’m just pointing out the fact that half of the population carries the freight for the other half. That is a problem

          • What do you propose we do about that?

            Also, what percentage of that 47% are children and retirees? (Personally I plan to work until I physically can’t any more, but not everyone has work that allows for that. Those doing physical labor are not going to be able to work into their 70s.)

          • scott stone

            That’s the million dollar question isn’t it, what to do. There are so many things we could be doing but never will. Let’s start with a more educated population and to do that we need to have equality in our education system. Primary and secondary education should not be funded based upon property tax revenues. If you live in a poor community chances are your school will be shitty. On to college, we need to find a way to get control of that beast. I’m sorry but here I’ll lean a bit conservative. Liberals have been running this area for generations and it is a white hot mess. No, we aren’t going to give everyone free tuition but we need to figure out how to lower and contain costs.
            From a business stand point we need to lower corporate taxes to a reasonable rate. We are out of line with many other developed countries. Let’s give a one time incentive to corporations to bring back money they are holding over seas. That would be a boost. I’ve probably got 4 or 5 more common sense ideas but I think you get my point.

          • Well we do agree on a few things.

            Yes, about elementary schools and funding. the current system is idiotic and no one likes it anyway. (BTW, the best funded schools are the ones with the most COMMERCIAL property which means at least in Texas there are some schools in not very well off areas that are very well funded, but that’s a rarity.) We need smaller class sizes more than anythings else, especially in the lower grades. We also need to break up the day more so that there are short recesses during the day. They did that when I was a kid and it worked well. I don’t know who the moron was who decided kids don’t need those 15-20 breaks to run and play several times per day, but everyone knows kids just can’t sit still that long. Duh.

            As for college, no, that’s not really how it works. yes, the people who run the English and History departments are often liberals. (I know a lot of conservatives in academia, but then I live in Texas.) But the administrators are not all that liberal. they are appointed by boards filled with business people who are not usually all that liberal. The problem in many cases is professional administrators who aren’t and never have been in the classroom. Too much money is being spent on new facilities and then they just pass the cost off to the students who are borrowing the money. It’s ridiculous. And there are way too many administrators vs faculty. That’s where the money is going. That academia is run by liberals is a right wing myth. Yes, the person who decides which books will be read for the English Lit class are probably going to be pretty far to the left politically, at least compared to you, but the university president hardly ever is.

            Yes, our corporate rates are a bit higher than most countries but our personal income rates are MUCH lower. so if you are going to cite one, you need to cite the other. if we cut taxes, where is the money going to come from to pay for everything else? I’d love to pay lower taxes, but I don’t want to run up deficits to get them. We can all point to this or that line of spending we think is silly (and some of it is) but none of that adds up to anywhere near enough to balance the budget. We’re going to have to increase federal revenue. so if you are going to compare one kind of tax to the European countries at least be honest and propose adopting their entire tax system. I don’t think you’d like that much, but at least it’s honest. They’re all running deficits too, btw.

            And none of that addresses that fact that wages have been flat for years now. And those rich people? They’ve never done better. The Koch Brothers had their best eight years ever. They should be sending Obama a dozen roses every day. Instead they want to undermine him because they want NO regulations, no minimum wage and less in taxes. Great. Read some Upton Sinclair to learn about what things were like before we had all those pesky regulations. We didn’t create those because people like big government. We created them because businesses were selling food that wasn’t fit to eat, had work sites that got people killed (widows just had to fend for themselves after that happened) and other horrors. If the free market would have fixed all that, it would have back then. It’s a fantasy that people would all be better off without any regulations. That’s nonsense that can only be believed by people who spent too much time beating off to Atlas Shrugged and not enough reading actual history.

          • Lynn

            I mostly agreed with you except I think Scott Stone is not extreme either way and is sticking around to listen. Also Government regulator organizations are top heavy with not enough on the ground workers. The paperwork is too thick and the action is too slow. It needs to be revamped but an administrator with a good paying job is not going to tell you her job is worthless and can be eliminated instead she is going to say I need more management to help me with my overburdened work load and more hands on workers jobs will not be filled.
            I have worked in government for years and I know the drill.

          • I will always favor efficiency and effectiveness in anything. There are probably few areas of government that couldn’t use an overhaul. If I were president I’d like to hear (or at least have someone listen to) people who work in various departments recommend what they need. I’m sure that’s who could tell us what fat to cut. For example, there is still a backlog in filing for veterans’ benefits. That’s disgraceful. We should do whatever we have to do to get caught up. The only reason for that of course is that we have too many in Congress who’d rather burn the whole country to the ground than act in the interest of Americans.

          • Lynn

            I have written much of the same thing you have said to my representatives but the letters obviously land in file 13.

          • Pennybird

            I would expect the “government is the enemy” people to refuse to fix the regulatory agencies. If they don’t want regulation, they sure as hell won’t want an efficient administration.

          • Pennybird

            Colleges have become more expensive, in part, because a lot of state subsidies have evaporated because the revenue has dried up as well. Thus, leaving college more realistic for people of means. Not a good way to try to achieve equality.

          • Two Americas

            That makes no sense. “Half of the country” make less in aggregate than a handful of people at the top. How can you not see that?

          • scott stone

            See what? 47% of the country does not pay federal income taxes. That is an indisputable fact. What’s your point?

          • Two Americas

            It is a right wing talking point. It is also false.

          • scott stone

            My error. It went from 47 in 2010 to 43 in 2013 but is now back to 45%. Not a talking point. You need to take your head out of your ideological hole.

          • Two Americas

            The irony here is that you are berating others for supposedly using talking points and having their heads buried in an ideological hole, while that is so clearly true about you. Yes, it is a right wing talking point and a particularly absurd one. Even the libertarian Mises Institute says that you are full of crap with this one.

            We will leave aside for the moment that it is you making the ridiculous assertions, so therefore the burden of proof rests with you and not with those doubting your claims.

            First of all, the implication that half of the public is getting a free ride is obviously nonsense. As others have pointed out, there are many other taxes that are being paid by the half with the lowest incomes. Those households, at $35,000 or less annual income, are under a horrendous tax burden.

            But even then, your talking point falls apart. Of those working 76% pay federal tax, and of those in their peak earning years over 90% pay federal tax. Many of those counted as “not paying income tax” either have in the past, or will in the future.

            Almost everyone who is working pays the payroll tax. That is a federal tax assessed on income.

          • scott stone

            Sorry, I am correct. According tho the Tax Policy Center, which is a joint venture between Brookings and the Urban Institute, both of which are liberal think tanks, in an article from the Washington Post, 46.4% of households do not pay federal income taxes. You are correct that they pay portion of the payroll tax but that is not my argument. My argument is that the number one funding source to the federal government is individual income taxes, 44 cents of every dollar collected comes from this source, and half of the people contribute nothing to it. The reason they don’t is because we have an economy that has not allowed people to move up the ladder financially. The education system sucks and if you are stuck in a low property tax zone your schools suck. Couple that with the outrageous cost of college and it’s no wonder half of the people can’t pay income taxes, there is no opportunity for social mobility.

          • Two Americas

            Understood. You should have been more clear from the beginning.

            By the way, federal spending is not dependent upon revenue.

            And, “half the people don’t pay taxes” was a Romney line, and is a right wing talking point. (Splitting hairs over which taxes is another right wing trick. Why exclude payroll taxes? Why exclude tax burdens that have devolved down onto the states and that are made up in fees and the like?) Instead of saying that half the people don’t pay taxes, why not say half of the people don’t make a living income?

          • scott stone

            I was very clear when I stated half of the country doesn’t pay federal income taxes. I was very clear when I pointed out, numerous times, that our countries largest source of funding was coming from only half of its citizens. That’s when everyone jumped on me. It’s amazing how political ideology is so personal. People freak the hell out if something they perceive goes against their belief systems. For the record I’m not a right wing guy. I believe in universal health care, the abolishment of the death penalty, publicly funded elections, much stronger gun control. I just present from positions that cause people to respond with emotion instead of thought and intellect. People really need to expand heir world view and develop some critical thinking skills. That’s why we have Hillary and Trump. They are a product of our ignorance. And I’m no different. I need to catch myself when I start to dig in without looking at alternative points of view. It’s become so tiresome the “one side good the other side bad” mentality of Americans. You should really get past your knee jerk responses that what I’m saying are right wing talking points. It’s making you appear obtuse. Facts are simply facts.

          • Lynn

            I admire the people who responded to you for standing up for what they perceived as an attach. I admire you for trying to get people to think more broadly but just like saying “Your mother is so… ______!” it puts up an immediate defensive wall.

          • Lynn

            The top should at least pay the same percent as the middle income people do. They do not they pay less.
            The story of the widows mite scolded the wealthy for only paying ten percent when she paid 100 percent for the cause.

          • Yes, that is indeed a problem. 47% of Americans don’t make enough money to have to pay income tax. (As Sven notes they do pay other taxes but many of those are local and state taxes.) This is what happens when wages are stagnant for so long. If their incomes were higher they’d be paying more in taxes. Although I have to wonder how many of those 47% are retirees.

          • Lynn

            You do not have to be a licensed economist to open your eyes and see what is actually happening to the people around you. Bill Maher is right and is telling you the evidence to back it.

          • Government spending as stimulus is not supply side. I didn’t realize we were debating someone so ignorant.

      • Sven2547

        It’s not a coincidence that Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are financial failures while California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut have proper state budgets and lower poverty rates.

        • Pennybird

          And better education.

      • Lynn

        Trickle down is a plugged sink.

  • BrambleTree

    Many of these things are the same things people of all ages feel. My mother, as a senior citizen, hates the sort of things aimed at her generation, like all she cares about is social security and Medicare. It’s not.
    Secret- most people aren’t totally crazy about a candidate in any election. It’s called compromise, something I think we are all losing the art of. You have to choose what’s the most right for you. I don’t think some people want to do to that- and again, that’s not just millenials.
    And I was right behind the hippies of the 70’s. Not sure you’re the most left ever, kids. They were far out. 😉

  • Animal

    I’m a Gen-Xer and a Bernie fan who is also disenfranchised with what we have been left with. And, it is for the very same issues that you mention that I lean left of center too (i.e. equality, social justice, climate change, etc). Not so sure about the Communist promo though. Nevertheless, you’re spot on why many millennials are feeling left out (or, put off) by this election.

    We Gen-Xers are a product of the Baby Boomers before us, and they are the ones who are primarily voting for Trump. So, you know what we are left dealing with.

    Just to let you know there are plenty of Gen-Xers grieving with you too. I’m tired of this two party system and it is past time we diversify our system with more choices. Maybe a parliament is what we need. Though, I’m not convinced that will work too. Just look at England (can you say “Brexit”).

    • Anne Fenwick

      The UK parliament is fundamentally structured around a two-party system (even if currently, it’s more like a one party system).

      I can give you a tip for millenials based on the Brexit fiasco, but I’m afraid you won’t like it: don’t hope to challenge the senior citizens in the ballot box until or unless you’re the demographic majority – in western countries this is proving to be a long-term problem as we’re held hostage by conservative older generations.

    • Lynn

      Remember the Brexit was voted on by a lot of people who did not bother finding out exactly what they were voting for, before they voted.
      In America a lot of voters only do what the mainstream media tells them. They believe the commercials and do not look farther. The Baby Boomers and the lag generation rested on the laurels of what the generation before us did. The “Greatest Generation” laid infrastructure built interstate highways, New buildings, factories, warehouses, schools. They gave women the vote and many woman now do not vote.
      Before we could vote we were property. Do women want to be property again.
      Your generation is our Obi-Wan Kenobi (you are our only hope and the hope of your children).
      In the 70’s both the republicans and the democrats believed in and supported schools.
      Run for office, get your friends to run with and for you. Change the laws yourself so it can be done right.
      My generation will not and sometimes can not help you.
      I will pray, and write and door knock when you run.
      Good luck.

    • IconoclastTwo

      This is an issue that I’ve sort of read a bit about, and my understanding of the UK system is that they actually have a lot of similarities with the US which causes results like this (although my views on Brexit are kind of…complicated) in that they are bicameral, have a lot of social stratification that is unaddressed, first past the post voting, et cetera.

      I definitely agree with you that the US needs something more like a parliamentary system with proportional representation and a limiting or elimination of a lot of various powers in the government that have been grievously abused. I’m in no way a libertarian so what I’m referring to specifically are phenomena like police abuses, reactionary supreme courts, an invasive foreign policy and anti-left/anti-minority spying here, et cetera.

  • Anne Fenwick

    The thing is that an election is just a job application process, for a role with very specific, limited responsibilities, which can nevertheless have an impact on everyone’s life, often indirectly. Some of the hopes, desires and concerns of the electorate can be vested in this role, others not so much. Whatever it is you want, one of the most important things you have to consider is how the choice of the next supreme court judge will impact that (if the Senate is such that the President can get the judge they want). There are a lot of things we all want which fall outside the President’s scope and power (but look down ticket, it’s important).

    As part of the recruitment for all these roles, voters have very limited choices, (shortlisted volunteers) but, and this is the important point, the roles MUST be filled. There can be no postponing of recruitment until someone more suitable comes along, as there might be in business.

    Whatever it is anyone thinks or feels or wants, they should take these basic structures of the Presidency into account. Then of course, they can vote or not as they please. If they vote for someone they know can’t win, however, or refrain from voting altogether, what they’re really voting for is not the candidate of their dreams, but the most likely outcome and consequences of that choice.

  • Earl Tower

    As middle age progressive conservative (and yeah we still exist, we did not all go extinct when Ike left office), I tend to find the whole system just rigged. I find in conversations that many citizens have a vast nuance of views. My own fiscal conservative, literal constitutionalism, and social progressive mix is one I have encountered in many people. But I know I am like a lot of other Americans who just don’t really feel represented by almost anyone in the political leadership these days.

    The best you can do is keep trying to get other people to listen, and maybe with enough voices things will be pulled in one direction or another. Anything would be better than the status quo that produced Clinton and Trump as the prime candidates in this election.

  • Lynn

    Although your points are valid and should be recognized I am not letting you off the hook.
    No president can succeed without a Congress who will work with Him/Her. During the midterm elections President Obama was given a congress of open obstructionism even when he offered to work with them on what they had said they wanted for legislation.
    We put up a figurehead and did not have his back.
    The same will happen if we only vote for a First Woman President.
    I would like Gary Johnson myself but we need to pass ranked choice voting first.
    The young also have a control and potential control of the internet.
    Set up a party. Design it like Wikipedia. Write a platform, discuss it among yourselves and set up a write in voting campaign after making certain on how to do it in every district from city councils to county commissioners to state governors and congress and to the presidency.
    You have the smarts and ability.
    Go through the back door before the door is shut.
    I have called my congress people and signed petitions to keep the internet open.
    You have the smarts about technology. You grew up with it. I did not.
    I am trying to get people to vote against politicians who put up bathroom laws and other laws designed for just hate. Help us old people work with you.
    Show grandma how to use the internet.

  • IconoclastTwo

    This is easily one of the best posts I’ve read about this awful election. Thank you for writing it.

  • Two Americas

    Excellent essay. Well done. Thank you for this.

  • Edward Silha

    http://warontherocks.com/2016/03/open-letter-on-donald-trump-from-gop-national-security-leaders/
    Mr. Trump’s own statements lead us to conclude that as president, he would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world. Furthermore, his expansive view of how presidential power should be wielded against his detractors poses a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States. Therefore, as committed and loyal Republicans, we are unable to support a Party ticket with Mr. Trump at its head. We commit ourselves to working energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office.
    121 signers including
    Kenneth Lee Adelman, Assistant to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
    Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush
    Michael B. Mukasey, Attorney General of the United States under George Bush
    Ken Adelman, U.S. arms control director under Reagan
    Philip Levy, member of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s policy planning staff

    • IconoclastTwo

      But out of that list, the three names that are the most recognizable to me are honestly awful people. That doesn’t make me more inclined to like Trump because I detest him already but when you consider that these people’s ideas of maintaining (or increasing) “America’s standing in the world” included an insanely unaccountable no fly list that is security/humiliation theater, advocating (and abetting) the transfer of military gear to civilian police which is invariably used to kill Americans and suppress protests, and mass spying, I don’t believe a single thing they have to say.

      • Edward Silha

        My post listed only a few of the 121 experts that signed the letter. I am far from an expert on security and would not be concerned if a few experts signed the letter. However, given the number of people that signed the letter and the list of reasons explaining their motivation I find it hard to dismiss.
        Did you bother to read the letter and look through the complete list?

        • IconoclastTwo

          Yes, I did, and yes, I did look through the entire list in fairness to you. The problem I still have with it is that the people on this list that I do recognize are horrifyingly and blatantly imperialist and I can’t take their objections particularly seriously when so many of the same practices that they’re objecting to now with Trump they either supported or turned a blind eye to when Bush did them.

          The underlying problem is that they still support American pre-eminence through force at the expense of everyone who gets in the way and for that matter the welfare of most Americans here. It’s just that they want to do it more ‘subtly’.

      • Lynn

        So even bad people think Trump is DANGEROUSLY BAD.

    • Lynn

      It is clear. Our votes matter.

    • Kudos to those individuals for showing integrity and morals.

      • IconoclastTwo

        They didn’t when they were in charge during the Bush administration.

        • Yes, that is a fundamental issue. Just looking at Mukasey in particular, it’s disturbing the things that he said and did during the Bush Jr. administration. Being unwilling to understand that waterboarding is torture… that’s disgusting.

          However, a spark of conscience is far better than nothing. And it’s certainly true that, of what they said, they’re correct. Trump “poses a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States.” That’s a fact.

          • IconoclastTwo

            But that’s the entire problem with this election in summary and lesser evilism in general. You’ve decided that it’s alright if they have a spark of conscience about it, but you’re not alright with the kind of politics that it takes to ultimately reject false choices between people with a spark of conscience (and does that really mean all that much if you’re just as dead or the same crappy neoliberal policies continue?) and no conscience whatsoever.

            Furthermore, this neglects that in her own way, Hillary Clinton is also not exactly a friend to civil liberties either. During the Obama administration absolutely ludicrous amounts of military gear was transferred to civilian police organizations. Do you think that Hillary Clinton is in any way inclined to stop that if _he_ wasn’t? Were you aware of the fact that Hillary Clinton informed sponsor Haim Saban that she was willing to ‘take action’ against BDS, which is a peaceful movement against Israeli apartheid? What exactly do you think that she means by that in the context of similarly reactionary misdeeds including Dianne Feinstein (D) using her position as a regent of the UC system to try and get BDS misclassified as hate speech or Andrew Cuomo (D) using an executive order to say that the state of New York won’t do business with any organization that concedes to BDS pressure?

            Do you think that any of them, whether Hillary Clinton or the people on that list, are in the slightest bit willing to shut down the NSA even though it’s grotesquely anticonstitutional?

          • Clinton is a statist. Trump is an authoritarian. That I’m not an idiot and recognize one of them being worse than the other doesn’t make the other one acceptable, or even ‘good’ by whatever judgement. The country will be worse off with more taxes, more gun control measures, more business regulations, and the like under Clinton, yeah, but that doesn’t mean that the beyond the pale stuff such as internment camps on U.S. soil and speech censorship codes are any less beyond the pale.

            It’s incrementalism. Fighting for a smaller government, a freer economy, and more individual rights is a gradual set of battles rather than one huge ‘blowing up the death star’ moment. That’s why defeating Trump– the authoritarian strongman wannabe that would like to be America’s Putin or Mussolini– is so important.

          • IconoclastTwo

            “Clinton is a statist. Trump is an authoritarian.”

            Technically they should both be considered statists in the pejorative sense which you imply. It’s just that both of them consider different spheres acceptable for it, Trump wants to punish deviation from the fake norm that his followers want. However, Clinton wants to use the power of the state to make favorable trade relations for the types of corporations that support her, ensure that they never face meaningful prosecution for their myriad misdeeds against the American public and around the world, clearly supports the punishment of meaningful dissent against her foreign policies, and has little compunction about using force, both economic and physical, against other countries.

            “That I’m not an idiot and recognize one of them being worse than the other doesn’t make the other one acceptable, or even ‘good’ by whatever judgement.”

            They’re both worse and this needs to be honestly admitted. They just manage to be different types of worse.

            “The country will be worse off with more taxes, more gun control measures, more business regulations, and the like under Clinton, yeah, but that doesn’t mean that the beyond the pale stuff such as internment camps on U.S. soil and speech censorship codes are any less beyond the pale.”

            But Hillary Clinton is actually not even particularly likely to pass any of these. Instead, her governing style is likely to lead to more war, more impunity for the super-wealthy, and more immiseration as more of the population is either considered economically surplus or forced into precarious employment.

            “It’s incrementalism. Fighting for a smaller government, a freer economy, and more individual rights is a gradual set of battles rather than one huge ‘blowing up the death star’ moment.”

            Which means…what exactly stripped away from the euphemisms? I also think that underlying this question is the core of what’s wrong with American politics-which is that a whole host of political policies (and for that matter a massive chunk of the population) is never really taken seriously as compared to locking people into an immediacy of defeating *this particular candidate* and overlooking how general trends controlled by our elites worsen most people’s lives.

          • And, by all means, if someone is in a very solidly safe area, I very much encourage them to vote Gary Johnson if they seek to do so. I’m in Texas, so that’s likely what I’ll be doing. But for most people in most states that swing at least somewhat: reality is reality, and Clinton is how to defeat Trump.

      • Pennybird

        They are worried about the down ticket implications of people voting for Trump.

  • montex

    Millennials are going to stamp their little entitled feet all the way to WW3. And then cry that nobody warned them about Donald Trump.

    • Lynn

      The entitlements were flushed for them. They are involved or they would not be expressing themselves on this blog. Maybe you should start helping them instead of pouring salt on their wounds.

  • Inkswitch

    Cue the cries of “spoiled millennials!” in 3… 2… 1…

  • I’ve so done with millennials! Grow up!

    • Christian Chiakulas

      We can’t. We literally cannot achieve economic independence because your generation fucked up the economy so badly.

      • Lynn

        It was two and a half generations that stuck it to you. If you want it to change your generation needs to run for office from city council to president. We will die off and you will still be here. The Hippies gave up. Do not do the same.

      • scott stone

        Well I have three millennial kids and they are doing fine. They’ve managed to transition to adulthood mentally, something many millennials struggle with. Your generation seems to be rather shallow, no depth. They demand free college but no data on how that would be paid for and what the dynamic effect would be. They demand we get off of fossil fuels but when questioned as to how you would get an Airbus A380 from JFK to LAX without fossil fuels they stare at you blankly. Your generation sucks because of you, not because of someone else.

      • g75401

        Sorry to say, our economy is the sum of 313 million Americans choices. I would love to have regulations that criminalized manipulating subprime loans into investment opportunities that were, in turn, marketed to pension funds with defined benefit expenses, but, alas, my fellow liberals cannot be bothered to show up to vote in 2010 or 2012, or 1994, 1998, or 2002. But, seriously, at this point, with unemployment less than 5% and wages increasing due to an increasingly tight labor market, I’m not sure how much better you think it is going to get.

        • IconoclastTwo

          “Sorry to say, our economy is the sum of 313 million Americans choices.”

          I don’t think you can make that argument plausibly when you consider how few among those 313 million Americans have the disproportionate economic/political power to make their voices heard and influence the decisions the government makes accordingly. if you’re a liberal much less a leftist, what actually happens has so little to do with what we actually want. Jobs and education are going to rank much higher for a lot of people than deficit reduction-especially on the backs of most Americans.

  • Jeff

    Millenials have a choice. They can sit it out and allow the failed Republicans to maintain control, understand that the current situation is the result of Republican governance since Reagan started the “conservative revolution” that was then put on steroids by Gingrich, or they can force the Democrats to act progressively.

    Not voting for Hillary is voting to maintain the conservatism that created the situation in which you find yourself.

    • Lithobolos

      Thanks for stopping by Trump supporter.

      The SCOTUS alone is reason enough for any left leaning person to vote for Hillary. Not to mention all the others that Sanders laid out at the convention.

      If Trump wins many people won’t live to see the day your prophecy is supposed to come true. The left should continue to form coalitions or die separated.

    • IconoclastTwo

      But from my perspective in terms of policies and actions you’re _all_ failed Republicans. The problems with this country aren’t all the Republicans fault; they’re a continuum of unconstitutional (and flagrant) abuse, policies that favor the wealthy against the interests of everyone else, and either turning a blind eye to systemic racism or actively encouraging it (albeit in different ways) that continues whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge.

      Here’s a little hint at what I’m looking at. San Francisco has a mayor and hierarchy with blatant racist police abuse problems which actively supports gentrification and campaigned against a measure supported by AirBnb in which they outspent their human opposition something like 10:1. Oakland went through five police chiefs in a single month with the last one essentially falling victim to an underage prostitution sex scandal-and before that their mayor proposed to damn near suspect the first amendment in order to try and prevent protests, but that thankfully managed to get shut down.

      Who do you think runs those cities? It’s not Republicans.

  • g75401

    For way too long, liberals have pined for a Messiah figure. Conservatives have no such fantasies, they elect who they elect then push them rightward. Liberals can’t seem to vote in the midterms when state houses and Congress gets elected. The conservative movement gained its initial speed putting social conservatives in school boards in the 70s and school board elections are TINY. Too many Millennials fell in love with Bernie and seemingly forgave the facts he had no answers for the current $1.2T of student debt, they just loved his promise to make college, at least 2 years of it, free. Nevermind the for-profit college rip offs that would still occur. Bernie never seriously tried to undo the damage of exempting the gun manufacturers from product liability, he just “regretted” his vote. Bernie had no environmental platform. He had no minority outreach. He was the preferred candidate of millions of white people and his campaign promises were just as vague as the other candidate who’s appealing to millions of white people. You want a truly liberal president? Vote. And be a vote that people count on. Right now, Democratic politicians would be nuts to be really liberal, because they have no expectation that the liberals will vote in the midterms and, until we own that fact, we are going to be disappointed. So, sure, don’t vote. Just don’t be surprised if people continue to not take your gripes seriously.
    As an aside, I feel like Deja vu all over again. My childhood was spent listening to whiny Boomers. I guess my old age is going to be spent listening to whiny Millennials.

    • IconoclastTwo

      “For way too long, liberals have pined for a Messiah figure. Conservatives have no such fantasies, they elect who they elect then push them rightward.”

      There’s a lot in your post that wasn’t true but I in particular wanted to focus on this:

      1) When you look at the kind of rapturous reaction that Hillary Clinton has gotten from a lot of a certain type of Democrat (at the expense of considering what she’s actually done) your first sentence is only true to the extent that they passionately wanted someone who would represent them by not representing them, not someone who would _actually_ represent them. This is much of the problem.

      “Conservatives have no such fantasies, they elect who they elect then push them rightward.”

      2) This, however, I’d call blatantly untrue. Their most successful candidates haven’t been their (comparative) moderates. They were extremists like Bush and Cheney, who in the case of Bush pretended to be less extreme to win, and Trump. Now compare that to Dole, McCain, or Romney.

      Furthermore, especially now, if conservatives become convinced that one of their own is insufficiently conservative they’re absolutely willing to do what it takes to get rid of them politically. Cantor? Lost. Boehner? Left because he knew he had no future in the Republicans. Spector? Forced into the Democrats. They still reserve the choice to reject someone for being insufficiently right.

      The underlying problem is, as I’ve said before, that actual liberals are not supposed to not supposed to do what conservatives do in order to be successful, or for that matter, to fight back politically against ‘centrists’ treating them in much the same way conservatives do and basically cheating/running them out politically. Instead, they’re just supposed to be indefinitely loyal to a system and a party that in no way deserves it.

  • El Dee

    Grow up. HRC is an experience government official who has a proven track record.
    Trump is a sleaze bag con man who should never get close to D.C. let alone the
    White House.

  • I understand the inspiration behind so much of this, but that doesn’t change the core thing that this election is a referendum on basic civil society and democracy itself– and the choice is between a bunch of canidates on the one hand and an authoritarian strongman that wishes to transform the U.S. into something like Putin’s Russia or Mussolini’s Italy on the other hand.

    If you want to be able to vote in 2016 and vote again, later on, please do whatever you can to fight Trump. Do not vote third party if you’re in a ‘swing state’ or anything of the sort. Even if you’re in a ‘safe state’ or such, do please follow the news and consider communicating with individuals in other states to ‘vote swap’ or something like that in order to maximum the number of states that go against Trump.

    This is important.