Monday, September 19, 2016

Millennial Update: Nowhere To Hide

Paul Krugman addressed the third party boomlet among Millennials in his column today:

Does it make sense to vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president? Sure, as long as you believe two things. First, you have to believe that it makes no difference at all whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump moves into the White House — because one of them will. Second, you have to believe that America will be better off in the long run if we eliminate environmental regulation, abolish the income tax, do away with public schools, and dismantle Social Security and Medicare — which is what the Libertarian platform calls for.

But do 29 percent of Americans between 18 and 34 believe these things? I doubt it. Yet that, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll, is the share of millennial voters who say that they would vote for Mr. Johnson if the election took place now. And the preponderance of young Americans who say they’ll back Mr. Johnson or Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee, appear to be citizens who would support Mrs. Clinton in a two-way race; including the minor party candidates cuts her margin among young voters from 21 points to just 5.

So I’d like to make a plea to young Americans: your vote matters, so please take it seriously."

After making his arguments, Krugman concludes:

Remember, George W. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000, but somehow ended up in the White House anyway in part thanks to the Nader vote — and nonetheless proceeded to govern as if he had won a landslide. Can you really imagine a triumphant Mr. Trump showing restraint out of respect for all those libertarian votes?

Your vote matters, and you should act accordingly — which means thinking seriously about what you want to see happen to America."

Hillary made her pitch to college students in Philadelphia.  She urged them not to sit the election out which plays into Trump's hands.  She appealed particular to the serious and the geeky by emphasizing her attention to detail in policy matters.  She promised to make sure the voices of Millennials are heard regularly on policy decisions in her White House.  She also posted on a blog for Millennials that emphasized the social justice causes she began fighting for in her youth, and aspects of her life that motivated her.  Here's Eric Levitz report.

A Politico report on a Bernie speech in Ohio suggests that in this age of various echo chambers of false information, some Millennials as well as others are unreachable.  Many Bernie supporters are heeding his call to vote for Hillary, but others who were attracted to his campaign are not.

I often think of Jung's theory of  the four functions, and how dangerous each of our inferior function is--because it represents our least competence though we may feel absolutely sure of it.  Politics is the inferior function for many people.  They know little about it but their strong feelings convince them otherwise.  They often see things that conventional wisdom obscures, but they also often see things that aren't there, and their analysis is not complex enough.  It's often mostly emotion and that gets exhausting.  So they disengage, and dig in.  It happens all along the political spectrum--if there is a political spectrum anymore.

On the other hand, maybe Bernie just isn't making an effective argument--as Ed Kilgore argues in his piece Can Bernie Undo the Damage He's Done to Clinton?

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