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Wed May 22, 2019, 01:19 PM

Millennials could push American politics to the left -- or totally upend them

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/05/22/millennials-could-push-american-politics-left-or-totally-upend-them/?utm_term=.f22c4889f709



Trend-spotters love to blame millennials for simultaneously killing everything from porn, sex and divorce to beer, mayonnaise and the home-cooked meal. But in politics, at least, party leaders think they have the rising generation of voters born between 1981 and 1996 figured out.

Democrats believe these young voters will eventually turn out to the polls at higher rates, replace the baby boomers and the Silent Generation, and give the blue team an unending string of victories. Republicans alternate between reassuring themselves that younger voters will age into conservatism once they start having kids and panicking that young voters will never age out of liberalism — or never have those grandkids the older voters who dominate GOP have been waiting for.

Both these Democratic hopes and Republican fears have a basis in reality. Democrats have won millennials and other young voters by wide margins in recent elections, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll drift right as they age. But many young voters are skeptical of the Democratic establishment, and this wouldn’t be the first prediction of a demographically guaranteed permanent Democratic majority that hasn’t come to pass.

With an extraordinarily high-stakes presidential election looming, it’s natural to wonder how millennials — or any other potentially critical demographic group — might vote. But taking the long view, it’s much less interesting to theorize about how millennials might evolve to slot into our current political alignment, and much more important to explore how they might upend that alignment altogether. Whether young Hispanic and Latino voters become more conservative; whether the shifting religious views of youthful Americans breaks up the evangelical Christian bloc of the Republican party; or a millennial boom in the South ends up shaking up the political map, this rising generation could confound all expectations.

In the short term, make no mistake: The current top-line political numbers on millennials are genuinely great for Democrats.


People of any age should probably understand that insulting an entire generation of people isn't the best way to gain their votes, even if it feels satisfying. As an elder millennial (I'm about Mayor Pete's age), I can confirm it's fun to kill stuff.

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Reply Millennials could push American politics to the left -- or totally upend them (Original post)
IronLionZion May 2019 OP
Blues Heron May 2019 #1
Celerity May 2019 #2
Skittles May 2019 #3
LisaM May 2019 #4
IronLionZion May 2019 #5
LisaM May 2019 #6
IronLionZion May 2019 #7
LisaM May 2019 #8
IronLionZion May 2019 #9
LisaM May 2019 #10
FreeBe May 2019 #11
IronLionZion May 2019 #12
FreeBe May 2019 #13

Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2019, 01:24 PM

1. I feel for the next generation after the M's

"millennials and other young voters" ouch

they don't even get the dignity of a generational name. Prob end up being "Post millennials."

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Response to Blues Heron (Reply #1)

Wed May 22, 2019, 01:29 PM

2. Gen Z

pretty much the settled upon name for years

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2019, 01:29 PM

3. I really like the Millennials I know and work with

but thus far I have been disappointed by their lack of interest in politics, usually because they will profess that Democrats and republicans are "all the same". I don't think that Millennials can afford to be as complacent as other generations have been in their youth, there's too much to lose now.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2019, 01:33 PM

4. My issue is not with Millennials (I like all the ones I know very much) - it's the gig economy.

I don't know how we - and they - got jobbed into thinking the gig economy is something the people who work it in actually would have chosen. There is so little workplace protection, no guaranteed income, no retirement, no employer handling your taxes, no sick leave......how do we get people to realize that the gig economy is going to screw up a lot of people forever? How do we get people to approach things (including Congress; I don't like the "Brand New Congress" idea at all), with a long view? How can people vote for a $15 minimum wage, then use Uber?

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Response to LisaM (Reply #4)

Wed May 22, 2019, 01:56 PM

5. I love hearing fairy tales from older generations

try buying a mortgage with gig economy income. I had a hard enough time using contractor income. It really requires finding a younger mortgage lender because the older ones just don't even consider it possible.

The ACA came about around the same time the gig economy got big during the recession. It's good to have a way for people to get health insurance individually without a traditional employer. Single payer would be better for this. My Dad still works despite being retirement age mainly to keep getting health insurance for my mom.

People don't often choose the gig economy, but it did help lift us out of the recession and get people some income who didn't have it before. It's a way to employ people part time, like folks who want flexible hours. Or to supplement income. Or to fill gaps in employment between full-time jobs. It shouldn't be a person's primary source of income long term. Most Uber/Lyft drivers I've met recently are in school for something or recent immigrants.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #5)

Wed May 22, 2019, 02:15 PM

6. Excuse me, but I've never been able to afford a mortgage.

I graduated from college (with heavy debt) during the Reagan presidency; the economy sucked balls, and I worked at many retail and odd jobs for over a decade until I landed into a part-time job that eventually turned into full-time work. Guess what, working in a bookstore, working at a daycare, and being a part-time barista making $6 an hour does not turn into being able to afford a house. I still rent and it sucks, but it's never going to change unless I get a windfall.

Of course I support single-payer healthcare (like most older Democrats I know; this is not a new idea and people have been pushing it for decades), and of course, I wish there were a bigger safety net, but I really can't get behind supporting the gig economy as a consumer. If I want pizza, I'll get it from the store where it's made and tip the driver; if I need to get around, I'll always, always call a cab over getting Lyft or Uber, and I will never stay in an Air BnB when there are regular BnBs and hotels in that same town.

We do not need to fight each other.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #6)

Wed May 22, 2019, 02:26 PM

7. Don't misunderstand, I'm not trying to fight you

I just have had a lot of older people tell me I'm too lazy to get a stable job (workplace protection, guaranteed income, retirement, employer handling taxes, sick leave, are fairy tales to me), and wasting my money on rent because I'm too stupid to buy a mortgage, and so much more. My only point is that the economy is changing. And people don't get to have the type of job security that existed decades ago.

In fact, the Internet has been changing the way people produce and consume goods/services for most of my life. For example, the retail sector is totally screwed because of online shopping, but there are more jobs in warehouses and delivery and software programming because of it.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #7)

Wed May 22, 2019, 02:34 PM

8. Well, believe it or not, it wasn't great during the 80s.

I don't know who these people are you're talking to who chastise you, but I know a lot of people who graduated from college in the 80s, never married, don't have kids, and don't own property, much of this related to income. They call us "tweeners". I think we're just under the radar or something, but there are lots and lots of us, and it's discouraging when younger people think that we had no student debt (untrue), left college when they were handing out great jobs like candy (also untrue), and that we dedicated our lives to spending money in a frivolous way and stealing it from future generations. This is simply not the case. Do you know how many new cars I've bought in my life? One, and I kept it for 18 years. I have never been in the ballpark of being able to afford property. I couldn't afford a kid, either. I didn't pay off my student loans until I was in my 40s.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #8)

Wed May 22, 2019, 02:43 PM

9. I guess we're in the same boat in many ways

There is no way I could afford a kid. I don't even have vacation days! I would lose income if I had to pick up a sick kid from school or something like that.

Just think, some rich asshole somewhere is buying their 5th mansion. It was a funny joke in 2008 when the housing market had collapsed and people were losing their jobs in the financial crisis while some politicians couldn't remember how many houses they owned. The unofficial Obama campaign slogan was "one house, one spouse".

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #9)

Wed May 22, 2019, 02:57 PM

10. We are in the same boat!

Just hang in there, but I do encourage you to value a stable workplace, not just the gig economy, which I think is misleading as a term, anyway.

Throughout my life, I've always, as a consumer, done what I thought was right. If a company was outed for hiring sweatshop workers, I boycotted. If a company seemed to be on its way to being a monopoly, I boycotted. True, my boycotts have been wildly ineffective (Nike, Amazon, and Apple are all continuing apace), but at least I could tell myself that I was doing the right thing as I saw it.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2019, 03:19 PM

11. House doctor is not the best go to on how to walk life, for sure.

 

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Response to FreeBe (Reply #11)

Wed May 22, 2019, 03:22 PM

12. Haters gonna hate

Welcome to DU

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #12)

Wed May 22, 2019, 03:43 PM

13. I loved the show, and as messed up as House was, an interesting character of messed up.

 

I am not sure about your comment about haters gonna hate. What I always found interesting watching that show is he was a man so lacking integrity yet he was the hero in the story regardless of all the wrong he did in life. I was always pulling for House. Waiting for him to redeem himself. The ending was the best. I watched all the series in a small period of time on Netflix. It is a show that has stuck with me for different reason, his character being a main one.

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