Dear Democrats: Don’t Take the Youth Vote for Granted
What probably appears to most as a run-of-the-mill mockery piece on “young” Republicans meeting in Helena from “Intelligent” Discontent is anything but. I suspect that behind the mockery lurks an unspoken fear that the once taken-for-granted youth vote is no longer a sure thing for Democrats. Here is the author claiming (once again) to know what the “problem” is:
While it’s great to include people of all ages in politics, clearly Montana Republicans have a different definition of young than I do.
More significantly, this quote illustrated the problems Republicans will face in the future:
Jessica Sena, chair of the MT Young Republicans, noted, “We need a new skin for an old message…and that’s social media. I mean, really maximizing every single one of the various media sources that are out there.”
That’s precisely what Republicans need to do if they want to become a permanent minority party in the United States and eventually Montana. I would argue the problems Republicans face in districts they haven’t gerrymandered to the point of absurdity has little to do with engaging voters on Twitter or Facebook.
The problem isn’t the media; it’s the message. Opposing health care, immigration reform, marriage equality, livable wages, and a clean environment certainly fires up the base that determines the outcomes of Republican primaries (a base that is decidedly not young), but it’s hardly a message that resonates with young voters.
One of the benefits of focusing on messaging is that actions are left unscrutinized, like Max Baucus muzzling advocates of single payer, Jon Tester killing the Dream Act, and Obama getting embarrassed into adjusting his stance on marriage equality after Biden’s comments.
And don’t get me started on a “clean” enviornment, because there is almost always disappointment from the actions of Democrats in that arena, as highlighted this week by Ochenski calling out Steve Bullock for a terrible decision:
In his first major environmental decision since the legislature ended, Gov. Steve Bullock completely blew it by allowing the transport of highly controversial tar-sands megaloads over Lolo Pass into Montana. Moreover, Bullock did so in spite of a recent federal court ruling that the loads could not impact the Wild and Scenic River Corridor of the Lochsa and Clearwater, a tribal resolution in opposition and a pending lawsuit in federal court seeking an injunction to stop the loads. If this is how Bullock begins the environmental legacy of his administration, Montanans are in trouble.
Democrats are a failed political entity, and part of that failure has been the collapse of western leftist opposition to US imperialism. In a great article posted yesterday at Counterpunch, titled The Wishful Thinking Left, Jean Bricmont takes a hard look at the delusionary left and its petition on behalf of the jihadists trying to overthrow Assad in Syria:
The petition sees the events in Syria as an “extension of the Zapatista revolt in Mexico, the landless movement in Brazil, the European and North American revolts against neoliberal exploitation, and an echo of Iranian, Russian and Chinese movements for freedom.”, but they are careful not to link them to the anti-imperialist governments in Latin America, since the latter stand squarely against foreign interventions and for the respect of national sovereignty.
Finally, what should make anybody think that the “immediate” departure of Bashar al-Assad would lead to a “free, unified and independent Syria”? Aren’t the examples of Iraq and Libya enough to cast some doubts on such optimistic pronouncements?
I suggest reading Bricmont’s whole piece, because it does a great job of exposing the shallow intellectual waters the so-called western left swims in these days. Here is another excerpt that I find interesting:
If such petitions are worse than doing nothing, what should the Left do? First of all, mind its own business, which means struggling at home. This is a lot harder than expressing a meaningless solidarity with people in faraway lands. And struggling for what? Peace through demilitarization of the West, a non-interventionist policy, and putting diplomacy, not military threats, at the center of international relations. Incidentally, a non-interventionist policy is advocated by the libertarians and by the paleoconservative Right. This fact, plus invocation of pre-World War II history (the Spanish civil war, the Munich agreements), is constantly used by the Left to give anti-interventionism a bad name.
How will Democrats message to young people the need to overthrow Syria, or bomb the shit out of Pakistan and Yemen? How will Democrats explain the post-intervention Libya is a fucking disaster, and Iraq is slipping, every day, closer to a full-blown civil war?
The answer is easy. They will avoid talking about those things as much as possible, and use the Republican boogeyman every chance they get to scare young people into voting for their team.
That has been somewhat successful, but with Obama’s second term, and the pathetic attempt of establishment Democrats to message themselves out of their obvious support for an unconstitutional surveillance state, it’s going to take more than mocking Republicans to convince young people that voting Democrat will do a goddamn thing to right the wrongs America’s political establishment has pushed on the rest of the world.