Yeah, I admit to being in a cranky mood, what with the election being just four days away and Donald Trump showing more signs of presidential election life than this idiot deserves.
But what I read today in Greg Sargent's Washington Post piece would have gotten me irked at voting-age millennials (who are, roughly, those born between 1982 and 2004, so people aged 12 to 34 or thereabouts) no matter my state of mind.
Here's an excerpt from "Top Democrats say Clinton took a real hit from Comey. But they're cautiously optimistic."
Democratic pollster Celinda Lake told me that the impact of the Comey letter was to sour millennials on Clinton and on the political process — potentially to the detriment of Dem Senate candidates in states like New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.
“Many millennials who were already discouraged about politics,” Lake said, saw increased “doubts whether voting for any politician makes any difference.” By way of illustration, Lake recounted that in one focus group in Nevada, one millennial said she was down to a choice between two options. When the moderator asked her if that meant Trump and Clinton, Lake recounts, this young voter replied, “No, between Clinton and not voting.”
“We are really struggling to get millennials out and this latest challenge makes that complicated,” Lake said.
Gosh, I feel so sorry for those sensitive young people who, faced with the most important election in their lifetime, were soured on Clinton by a bullshit letter from a FBI Director who violated the Bureau's longstanding policy against getting involved in elections close to voting time so he could basically say "there might be something significant about Clinton's emails on a computer seized in an unrelated case, or there might not be; I don't know because we haven't looked at any emails yet."
JUST KIDDING. Actually I feel deeply pissed-off at any and all millennials who are so self-centered and clueless that they somehow believe there's no meaningful difference between Clinton and Trump.
That's absolutely wrong.
For example, Clinton embraces the reality of climate change and wants to do something about it; Trump denies that human-caused global warming is happening, calling it a Chinese hoax. Clinton wants to make the rich pay their fair share of taxes; Trump is calling for a massive tax cut for the wealthy. Clinton favors a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants; Trump has vowed to deport 11 million people who are here illegally.
And leaving specific policy differences aside, there's the question of character. Mark Morford lays this out bluntly:
This is not a matter of opinion. It is not a matter of which party’s sociopolitical agenda you “believe” to be fair and true, and which you think is unsustainable and damaging – a bit of education reform here, America’s role in the U.N. there, your well-informed take on taxation and global economics, health care for the poor and the impact of environmental conservation.
If you’re voting for Trump, you care as much for those notions as a fish cares about lasagna – which is to say: absolute zero, and aggressively so.
Nuanced policy? The function of the social contract in human civilization? A deep curiosity about science, art, foreign cultures, economics, the vast complexities world? These matter not at all to rabid Trump fans, as evidenced by the fact the man himself has forwarded what amounts to a laughable garbage pail of genuinely workable ideas – favoring, instead, a battery of spittle-flecked sucker punches that have only one thing in common: they all openly despise you.
Could this be much clearer? For Trump, it’s all about hate, contraction, corrosion. Women, Jews, blacks, Muslims, Latinos, the environment, liberals, the poor, children, schools, health care and women’s rights, community and compassion, integrity and shared humanity? Here is a stubby, orange middle finger for all of you.
As the nation careens to the end of the ghastliest, most insufferable election season in your lifetime – all made so by the existence of one leering, bloviated beast of a rich white male – one final truth must be nailed, one and for all, into the coffin of Trump’s acidic campaign.
Note: This is nowhere near the “lesser of two evils.” There is evil, and there is deeply intelligent, humane, savvy and flawed and excellent.
It is thus: On Tuesday, you are not making a genuine choice. Your vote is not between two sets of equally valid, but wildly differing visions for the future of the American experiment. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are not opposing ends of the same spectrum. This is no “lesser of two evils.”
You are, very simply, choosing between a voice that champions life, fundamental humanity and intelligence, and a voice that hisses only violence and death. Put another way: The choice between a thoughtful conversation and a thug’s knife in your kidney is no choice at all.
So any millennial who thinks it is OK to vote for someone other than Clinton, or not to vote at all, is choosing to set this country down an exceedingly dangerous course. And doing so not out of the courage of convictions, but out of lazy uncaringness.
Sure, us baby boomers can be irritatingly preachy. However, we've lived through times that millennials only have read about in history books.
I've marched against the Vietnam War. I've faced off against police with tear gas and billy clubs, itching to put damn protesting hippies in their place. I've voted in every single election since I turned 21. I've been shocked by the news of four unarmed Kent State demonstrators being killed during a protest against Nixon's Cambodian war campaign. I've been politically active for most of my 68 years, putting my time, money, and effort into causes that I believe in.
Now, when I hear about millennials feeling it isn't worth voting in this election because Clinton isn't the Perfect Candidate these spoiled young people believe they are entitled to, even though they've done next to nothing to work for a better America, and Hillary has spent the bulk of her life doing just that, I feel...
Something that's hard to put into words.
Sad. Angry. Disgusted. Disappointed.
Back in the 1960s, I was part of a generation that was committed to changing the world. OK, we didn't succeed to the degree that we baby boomers thought we would.
But we damn sure tried, and when you go to any meeting of progressives/ liberals/ activists today here in Salem, Oregon, you'll see mostly gray hair on the heads of the attendees, which shows that we're still working our butts off to make the world a better place.
While lots of millennials say, "I'm not even going to vote, because FBI Director Comey wrote a letter about some emails that may or may not mean something significant."
Please, young people of the 21st century: think long and hard before deciding not to vote in the November 8 election. Or choosing to vote for anyone but Hillary Clinton.
I realize that most of you guys aren't into reading lengthy stuff like a 4,500 word New Yorker editorial explaining the magazine's endorsement of Hillary Clinton. I urge you to do so, though. I read every word, because even though I already was convinced that Clinton deserved my vote, I wanted to be as well-informed as possible about why she is hugely better than Trump or None of the Above.
Here's the first three paragraphs of the editorial:
On November 8th, barring some astonishment, the people of the United States will, after two hundred and forty years, send a woman to the White House. The election of Hillary Clinton is an event that we will welcome for its immense historical importance, and greet with indescribable relief. It will be especially gratifying to have a woman as commander-in-chief after such a sickeningly sexist and racist campaign, one that exposed so starkly how far our society has to go. The vileness of her opponent’s rhetoric and his record has been so widely aired that we can only hope she will be able to use her office and her impressive resolve to battle prejudice wherever it may be found.
On every issue of consequence, including economic policy, the environment, and foreign affairs, Hillary Clinton is a distinctly capable candidate: experienced, serious, schooled, resilient. When the race began, Clinton, who has always been a better office-holder than a campaigner, might have anticipated a clash of ideas and personalities on the conventional scale, against, say, Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. Instead, the Democratic nominee has ended up playing a sometimes secondary role in a squalid American epic. If she is elected, she will have weathered a prolonged battle against a trash-talking, burn-it-to-the-ground demagogue. Unfortunately, the drama is not likely to end soon. The aftereffects of this campaign may befoul our civic life for some time to come.
If the prospect of a female President represents a departure in the history of American politics, the candidacy of Donald J. Trump, the real-estate mogul and Republican nominee, does, too—a chilling one. He is manifestly unqualified and unfit for office. Trained in the arts of real-estate promotion and reality television, he exhibits scant interest in or familiarity with policy. He favors conspiracy theory and fantasy, deriving his knowledge from the darker recesses of the Internet and “the shows.” He has never held office or otherwise served his country, never acceded to the authority of competing visions and democratic resolutions.