SO ARE MILLENNIALS JUST PLAIN DUMB OR WHAT?
THE INTERNET MAKES IT EASY TO RESEARCH HISTORY BUT WHY DON’T THEY SEEM TO BE INTERESTED?
In a Washington Post article a couple of days ago entitled “Millennial Voters See 2016 As A Bad Joke,” a range of Millennial “attitudes” towards Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are chronicled through interviews with 70 Millennials. In general, the results divide up into two camps: Donald is too unpredictable while Hillary is too untrustworthy. This split generally mirrors that of the general population but I thought that Millennials (folks born between the early 1980’s and the early 2000’s) were supposed to be smarter than us Baby Boomers and certainly much more savvy than the large group between us.
But from my reading, sadly, it doesn’t seem to be so. Otherwise why would Millennials characterize this year’s election is a “joke” when – absent conspiracy theories and conservative bullshit – there is clearly one candidate who isn’t a “joke” but an accomplished, competent, and deserving candidate: Hillary Clinton. The other candidate, while no “joke,” is simply an embarrassment to thinking human beings.
Here are a few of the comments in the article:
Says Cicerone, 20, a student at Humboldt State University, “To be completely honest, I don’t trust either one with foreign policy.”
“It’s kind of a scary time to have such a wishy-washy Presidential election,” said David Searle, 25, a software engineer in Portland, Maine.
Aaron Johnson, 32, a barista and musician from Seattle, “You have a choice between a douche and a turd sandwich.”
From Navy serving, Trump aligned, April McGuffe, 24: “Trump is acting like we’re in high school again. He has good ideas, but it seems like he’s constantly on the attack.”
To Claire Secrist, 23, Fort Collins, CO: “Clinton’s life is a lie. It doesn’t matter that she’ll be the first woman president. She should be in jail.”
But I have to ask why it is that over the course of the 2016 campaign, PolitiFact has determined that Hillary Clinton was more honest in her statements than even Bernie Sanders? Now, here’s the deal Millennials: in order to disbelieve that dishonest, lying, untrustworthy Hillary Clinton could score better than Bernie on truthfulness, you would have to also believe that PolitiFact is either an arm of the Democrats or somehow beholden to the vast, nefarious reaches of the Clinton Mafia. Right? See what I mean? It just makes no sense.
Here's the link: HILLARY CLINTON MORE HONEST
As for the emergence of Donald Trump, you have to go back to Ronald Reagan’s presidency that served as the springboard for the follow-on 30 years of conservative economic, political and social policies. Armed with the newly energized conservative “think tanks” – The Heritage Foundation, The Cato Institute, The American Foreign Policy Council – and with the advice and assistance of Free Market Economists – Milton Friedman, Nicholas Kristof, Paul Volker – coupled with socially conservative (reactionary) national organizations – The Eagle Forum, The American Family Association, The Moral Majority – all arms of the a web of Conservative/Republican/Free Market actors that had no counterpart in Democratic realms, this is how the long slide to dissolution began. If fact, the next decades including the Bill Clinton Administration, saw the destruction of unions, the emergence of corporate control of America, the packing of the Supreme Court with conservative Justices, the decline of working and middle class incomes, the denial of climate change, and a whole host of other conservative, Free Market policies that remained ascendant until the election of Barak Obama in 2008.
About a decade ago, I couldn’t help wondering why it was that folks kept on voting into office people who were patently against their own better interests – George H.W. Bush, and son little George – until I read Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Disaster Capitalism.” This seminal work opened my eyes to what had been going on – unknown, and unrevealed – both here in America and around the world as Free Market Economics took hold and crushed any and all opposition, often with violence as exhibited by our nefarious, clandestine workings in Latin America. And although we were spared the worst of the global manipulations that supported dictators (Agustin Pinochet) or brought down democratically elected socialists (Salvador Allende) we were still subjected to Disaster Capitalism-Lite, aka “Neo-Liberalism” by the neocon, con artist conservative cabal that had infected our public policy establishment. Here's an article that appeared in Harper's about her excellent treatise: DISASTER CAPITALISM
By the Clinton Administration, the precepts and application of unfettered Free Market Economics and conservative politics and social dogma were firmly entrenched on the American scene. The investigations into the Clinton’s “dealings” – Whitewater, Vince Foster, File Gate, Travel Gate, Jenifer Flowers Gate, Paula Jones, Arkansas State Trooper Gate – were many and ongoing, most precipitated by radical conservative Larry Klayman and his founding of Judicial Watch in 1994 as a rabidly partisan organization dedicated to exposing the evils of the Clintons and Democrats despite their motto “Because No One Is Above The Law”. (See my piece on Judicial Watch ADFAAFD .) In 1994 Special Prosecutor, Kenneth Starr, was appointed to continue a Whitewater investigation initiated by a the Senate Whitewater Committee, and after two years, the Senate Special Whitewater Committee issued an 800-page majority report on June 18, 1996, which only hinted at one possible improper action by President Clinton, but spoke of the Clinton Administration as "an American presidency [that] misused its power, circumvented the limits on its authority and attempted to manipulate the truth."
"The first lady came in for much stronger criticism, as she was "the central figure" in all aspects of the alleged wrongdoings."
"The first lady came in for much stronger criticism, as she was "the central figure" in all aspects of the alleged wrongdoings."
Note that only Bill Clinton’s testimony before a Grand Jury that “I did not have sexual relations with that women” was the sole crime (perjury) that Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr could come up with despite literally dozens of “crimes” allegedly committed by the Clintons. Note also that 40 people were convicted of crimes back in Arkansas over Whitewater – including the judge who presided over the initial trial – and many served lengthy jail terms. But neither Clinton was never charged with anything despite the forty convictions that the Whitewater trials produced. (See: WHITEWATER)
Note once again that Hillary Clinton was First Lady – Bill Clinton’s wife – and not in any position to wield power in any meaningful way back in the 1990's. But as First Lady of Arkansas during Bill’s governorship, she had made a name for herself as an advocate for children’s health and the poor with great success. She actually got the Arkansas state legislator to pass laws and fund some of her projects. It was why she took on Health Care while First Lady of the United States and received viscious criticism from conservatives and Republicans that eventually ensured that her efforts failed. Note that it was not until 2009 - 20 years later - that finally our screwed up private health care system was reformed. Sort of. But it was at this time, January, 1996, that an “essay” by conservative William Safire, of the New York Times, [ A BLIZZARD OF LIES] appeared where he called Hillary Clinton “a congenital liar” and “therefore, ask not "Why didn't she just come clean at the beginning?" She had good reasons to lie; she is in the longtime habit of lying; and she has never been called to account for lying herself or in suborning lying in her aides and friends.” Pretty astounding. Pretty damning.
This piece by, at the time, the most respected conservative journalist of the day, appeared six months before Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr’s voluminous report of the dozens of accusations of illegality and scandalous, nefarious activities both In Washington and back in Little Rock exonerated all of the Whitewater, Arkansas and White House charges. And here's the important part: Safire had already convicted Hillary Clinton before the evidence was in. Any evidence whatsoever. He condemns her as a congenital liar without citing a single fact, without providing a single piece of relevant information. Does this sound in the least bit familiar? It should because this is where it began and but this is what has continued to this day.
So from 1996 when Hillary Clinton was First Lady until today – 20 years later as the Democratic Presidential candidate – she has been subjected to a blizzard of such unfounded accusations. This, in my view, makes her the most vetted politician in American history and I have to say that if after two decades nothing criminal has been unearthed, she is probably one of the most honest of politicians of all time, as the PolitiFact results seem to show.
Me? I’ve done my research plus I happened to live through the Reagan and Clinton presidencies. On the one hand I was appalled at the policies that the Regan Administration pushed including the war on drugs, three strikes and you’re out, unfettered Free Market economics, the culture wars, demeaning of people with different views, the debasement and humiliation of minorities – all issues that are still with us today. As far as living through the Clinton years, the rest of us, us ordinary Americans, saw the attacks on the Clintons and the impeachment of Bill Clinton for what it was: a hyper partisan attack that had no basis in reality. And, as a testament to just how “clued in” to this disgraceful Republican/Conservative war on the Clintons was, Bill’s approval ratings were at 73% at the conclusion of his impeachment proceedings (pretty remarkable for only the second President to be impeached, right?) and at 63% when he left office in January of 2001.
But still, Millennials don’t trust Hillary Clinton. Yes, I lived through those times so I have this advantage, as Walter Cronkite’s television program “You Were There” also professed. At the time, however, there were no reams of information that one could resurrect at a keystroke as there is today. So I’m not sure why it is that this trope about Hillary still has any life whatsoever. But back in 1996, Bill Safire convicted Hillary based on no facts, no evidence, no real world information except, perhaps, for his feelings or political vies. And back in 1996 the feelings against ambitious, politically savvy, and competent females were very strong. No one at the time could even imagine that a woman could be President of the United States. And this, I think, is still the dominant trope today in 2016.
While I’m not certain why Millennials continue to distrust Hillary, maybe it comes from one paragraph in today’s Post article. Most extraordinarily, according to the piece, “They [Millennials] see snippets of Clinton and Trump on Snapchat. Some of them follow daily developments on news web sites. But they don’t hear anything from Clinton or Trump like solutions for their own challenges.”
And this, perhaps, is the fundamental problem. If you think Snapchat and daily news sites are going to give you the least insight into why the Republicans wound up with a candidate so lacking in the most basic of personal and professional qualifications for the job of President of the United States, or why is that Hillary Clinton is indelibly painted with the labels “untrustworthy,” “criminal,” “devious,” and “untruthful,” you will come away with zip understanding, undo insight. Why? Because the roots of both phenomena cannot be understood from current “news” and social media. It takes background information, historical research to grasp what’s really going on and what has has been for three decades.
On the Donald’s, you will find pretty much what conservatives and Republicans have been advocating since the Reagan Administration. There are a couple of departures from Republican dogma – anti- trade, for example – but by and large there are no significant policies that will alter the course of America that we’ve been following for thirty years now.
On Hillary Clinton’s web site, you can plainly see the influence of Bernie Sander’s campaign including debt relief for students, free tuition at public colleges and universities, raising the Federal minimum wage, equal pay for women, increased scrutiny of banks, to name a few. For Democrats, who have practiced Conservative-Lite since 1980 in public policies, this represents a remarkable change in direction and one that is likely to alter the future course of the country significantly. This, of course, is dependent upon a Congress that is either more cooperative (due to the de-election of the Tea Baggers and the Freedom Caucus) or a majority Democratic House and Senate. Either scenario is not a foregone conclusion and will depend on Millennials voting for Hillary rather than not voting (a clear Trump victory) or voting a third party candidate (likely a Trump victory).
This year’s election is no joke. It probably represents our last chance to throw off the choking yoke of conservative economic, political and social policies that have so damaged America for three decades. At least our last chance until 2024 when 2020 redistricting can be implanted to get rid of the Republican REDMAP treasons since 2010 that have virtually guaranteed a Republican dominated House of Representatives. And remember, the Democrats, whatever their inherent “faults,” have never undertaken such a corrupting campaign to steal elections nor have they engaged in “legalized” voter disenfranchisement activities.
Me? That’s way to long. So I urge you to take this election seriously. Sure, you may not “like” Hillary Clinton, but please remember that her untrustworthiness stems from a twenty year long campaign of slander, propaganda and innuendo against her that has yielded nothing in the way of truth. You can prove this by doing your own research rather than relying on what you see and hear and read on Snapchat or some other social media outlet. It’s all there. But in today’s streaming news media with Kim Kardashian’s latest nude pics promoted as the latest “Breaking News,” you do have to look for it.
While it is true that our political system is in some greater or lessor degree “corrupt” the REDMAP campaign is by far the most egregious. [See: http://unitedliberals.blogspot.com/2016/08/if-you-dont-know-what-redmap-is-then.html and REDMAP ]
So please don’t make the mistake of lumping Hillary Clinton into some generalized morass of political corruption. The evidence says that it’s just not true. Remember, she’s been more honest than either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, according to PolitiFact, and that means something. Don’t be dumb. Don’t fall for the decades of Hillary slander. By doing so you are, in fact, simply perpetuating three decades of right wing bullshit. Bullshit, by the way, that has corrupted our social, economic and political systems far more than any DNC or RNC could accomplish in a thousand years.