The big thing in American politics is a generational divide where older Americans vote like racist, xenophobic idiots and kids vote like socialists. How did it happen? Well, old people have always been stupid. Trust me, when I was seventeen I was a sharp as a tack and now, well, you read my posts. And I’m not even a fully fledged old yet. I don’t care how much hot teen blood Peter Thiel drinks, he’s going to struggle with the daily jumble when he’s a 120. But olds weren’t always this right-wing and the kids weren’t always commies.
I was reading once that the CIA had a theory about blowback, that they knew there was a pattern where they whacked countries with propaganda/coups/right-wing strongmen and ended up with strong socialist movements (or Islamic fundamentalist movements in the case of Iran) coming to dominate the country.
Do you think that’s what happened, or is happening, here? That the American right, with an assist from corporations, an Aussie media mogul and Russia, has whacked us with an endless stream of propaganda (that works brilliantly on the old) and two near-coups (2000 election and 2016 election), and that the end result is a sort of Sandinista generation?
I sure hope so. I keep wondering what the current young-ish generation is going to do to us when climate change gets real. I assume they will put us in camps in the desert and let us die.
I like this theory a lot
I’m also wondering about the strain of social/politicial (for the lulz) nihilism in late millennials and Gen Z so far, and how the next generation will react to it. The young white high school kids in MAGA hats. A certain level of dipshittery has always existed in the youths, but I feel like this level of “nothing matters lol” is uniquely strong in this cohort at the moment.
I’m not making value judgments here. I’m not a Bernie fan. I’m for Democratic socialism in principle, and obviously this would be a huge improvement on current situation, but I’m not sure it will work out brilliantly in the end.
Time will tell, but first I take issue with your term “near-coup”. Time again will tell, but 2016 will be seen as an actual coup.
Are Doc Marten’s coming back?
I tried showing ‘The Young Ones’ to my kids and they just did not get it.
And waste all that valuable reclaimable protein?
I think not.
IMO, it’s easier now than ever before for younger people to realize just how badly they are getting screwed. That vacuum noise they hear is being amplified.
Most vehement BS supporters I know of, are old, they are trying to relive their youth.
Every time I see that pic of Pink flying, or whatever it is she is doing, the first thing that pops into mind is that it’s really a pic of a dog that has jumped into a pool and is swimming.
I think the olds are the recipients of the best living standards in the world and are using wealth capture to hold onto it as long as possible. I think the youngs are the first generation in America to know absolutely that good times are not around the corner. It’s a dangerous thing.
@schrodingers_cat: I don’t actually know any BS supporters but I thought most of them were like mistermix’s hero Zach “(who) stood up with a question“.
The most fervent Bernistas I know are old guys, I see a lot of young nazi/racist fer lulZ! nonsense from the youth, I just don’t know if the youth is that trustworthy and the olds are proven stubborn ass pricks as they revert to the advanced toddler stage of life.
I think that a lot of the data is more that the divide is based on race, gender and education level, not age. White men, with no college education, tend to be more conservative than other cohorts. And you have the hateful fringe of increasingly angry, misogynistic men who feel that white women somehow belong to them, and are being led astray by feminism and the mere existence of a racially pluralistic society.
Also, whether it is wisdom, or simply an instinct for survival, nonwhite Americans tend to be much more similar in their political and ideological preferences without regard to age or gender.
The CIA has long been in love with foolish narratives. Their interference in various nations has often been devastating, but intelligence analysts were wrong about everything, from initial contacts and reactions to potential outcomes.
It not only works on the olds it works on the not so olds. When my DH was going to Golds Gym five times a week and the TV was tuned to Fox News he was watching Glenn Beck every evening and he came home spouting the most ridiculous shit I have ever heard. I would calmly explain to him that it was all horseshit and no Obama was not a socialist nazi dictator who was going to put us all in a FEMA camp but he kept saying “but the guy on the teevee!” It took me weeks to talk him down from this stuff, and my DH is a smart guy, but it was being fed to him on a daily basis and he started believing it. When you are fed propaganda every day you start believing it. Luckily his new gym is the UK does not carry Fox News and he now complains about the fact that there are pot holes in English roads and why is the Lancashire County Council not fixing them because they are a serious danger to cyclists. Ahhhhhh sanity.
@Corner Stone: I live in Bernie country. Most BS supporters here happily voted for HRC in the fall, but a few cranky ones that didn’t are invariably older hippie types.
Macron just reminded congress that there is no Planet B. for all the good it will do.
A Sandinista generation needs its Joe Strummer.
Goddamn, how I miss him.
Too many gross generalizations about the “aged” and the young ones.
Rigid right wing nut jobs — come in all ages. Gunslinging nuts — mostly toxic testosterone.
Male and female differences – voting patterns and empathetic personality traits.
Individual Differences — too vast for the generalized belly button gazing of this post.
I think it’s self-evident that opinions seesaw as you describe. There are 2 generations between the Fox News demographic & the youngest voters – basically the MSDHS graduating class. Even when I was a young kid I knew my grandfather (a Bircher according to my mom) was a raging asshole on politics.
At the end of the day, people are still people. I am a 50 y.o., college-educated white male and I work in a mostly male engineering field. I own a gun and play violent video games. By most descriptors, I should be a full-blown evolution & climate change denying jerk. However, each year I creep closer to being full-fledged soc1alist. Somehow I ended up in a different place from most of my co-workers (not that they’re all Alex Jones fans, but they do tend to be union-hating moderate to slightly conservative Republicans).
I would hope though that as opinions seesaw between every 1.5 to 2 generations that the overall march of civilization is towards a more just & equitable society. We’ve seen some things slide back like voting rights and institutional & systemic racism, but permanent progress has been made on a few fronts like gay rights.
I have no idea if it’s possible in a nation as wealthy as the US, but I’d bet the Old White Dudes accumulating most of the nation’s private arsenal aren’t all that worried about the gummint comin’ to grab their guns (as if) but are worried as hell that hippies and brown people can buy the very same goddamn guns and face them down.
Adam L Silverman
We giving everyone an AK 47, some RPGs, and a copy of Marighella’s Mini-Manual?
Great, another opportunity to make sweeping statements about the only segment of the population that it’s still okay to do that about. I don’t think the readership of BJ is particularly young, by the way.
@zhena gogolia: Equal opportunity full service blog.
I have an alternate theory. There is the lead crime hypothesis, which says crime rose and then fell in the 20th century because of lead pollution. After leaded gasoline was banned and lead paint was remediated, crime rates fell, but with a 20 year lag time. This was due to the first cohort of individuals that did not have high lead levels aging into the peak crime committing age. High lead levels can lead to lower IQ, anger issues, and poor decision making skills, which is why it has such a strong effect on crime. Individuals can also encounter lead from polluted gun ranges and by eating game with bullet fragments in the meat.
The last of the lead polluted cohorts has now aged into prime voting age. I think that the peak wingnut era may be due to environmental lead pollution, and that we are already seeing it subside in the next generations.
The next generation of Republicans says you are dead wrong.
Pfeh. 25 pounds of concentrated stupid stuffed into a 1-pound sack.
I have to agree with this. The most politically active young person I know is still in college and is a raving right wing lunatic female who interned for Ted Cruz. The old white guys with no college degrees I know are all union guys who are reliably Democratic voters. I hate this painting with a broad brush that goes on too much here: the olds this, the youngs that. It’s lazy and doesn’t address the issue of voter behavior and engagement nearly as much as a number of people seem to think.
Here’s the difference between a 17-year-old and a 50-year-old: the 17-year-old thinks he knows everything; the 50-year-old is absolutely certain of it.
@schrodingers_cat: I agree. The Boomer Bernbots are the worst. I’m a boomer and I didn’t like these folks 50 years ago
I wonder what ever happened to those people who were teens in 1929.
Arm The Homeless
As an early Millenial, watching chuds like Newt and the various fuckups of the W. years, radicalized me against Conservatism and the GOP.
With the rise of the overt fascist GOP I am at a place where I would rather see every member of the caucus get ass cancer rather than share a beer–or a goblet of virgin blood–with them
Snarki, child of Loki
The olds will migrate there, on their own. Then BUILD THE WALL and see how long they can swim.
@Brachiator: It depends. IIRC, on some of the cultural issues like gay rights and pot legalization, even young white people are far more progressive than their elders. But they’re only a little less racist. It adds up, though, when you consider that their generation is also less white.
The young fascist-nihilist white boys are loud and dangerous, but they’re also a minority. Their leaders are often older millennials or Gen X.
It is important to note that repetition has a very strong impact on even very smart people. If you repeat the same thing over and over again, it sinks in to your brain. (Even if you’re repeating it to Debunk it, hello ALL OF THE MEDIA stop repeating the lie when you debunk it.) Repetition combined with inciting fear and anger is even more effective.
My father is a true believer. Last time I was home was when the story about the parade of south american immigrants walking across mexico broke and he said, and I quote “Just shoot them all at the border.”
Now, he’s a thoughtful smart man. But he’s been told over and over again to be angry and to hate these people. As soon as I pointed out that some of them were probably refugees from the drug wars, and that walking up to a border wasn’t a capital crime, he backed down quickly and I could see the wheels turning. But his first response to everything is this angry hate filled programming.
He thinks we disagree with everything because I am a “liberal” which is basically the same as a pile of shit in republican speak. He’s been linguisticly trained to respond emotionally to certain words in certain words. Benghazi, E-mail, Communist, Liberal, Welfare, Immigrants.
I have to wonder if younger generations will be more resistant to this because we are so used to receiving such a huge barrage of information. Not because we are young, but just because our mental conditioning since a younger age is different. It would be impossible to study, but if you look at how technology has changed for millenials between their infancy and adulthood, and compare that to boomers, the magnitudes are very different. And I can’t help but wonder how that changes us.
I also try to remember that older generations were exposed to a lot of lead in their childhood, and that their mental patterns of aging may not be the same as ours. ( On the other hand, I am like 30% plastic.)
I always figured that the agenda of the Republican party sucked enough that most people will reject it when they figure out what’s going on.
A big problem is that the press has been covering for them since Reagan.
I think we are going to have to wait and see if the young are really going to carry through. I have heard this wish dream before.
As for Sanders supporters, we all seem to have encountered different ones and are extrapolating that all the rest are like our too small sample. for instance mine are my parents (in their 70’s always democrats but normally practical) and my sister in her 40’s…liberal but with odd stubborn patches and idealistic tendencies.
I am astonished at my mom but as far as I can tell she thinks Bernie would have won or even Biden and I think she and dad without realizing it are calculating that a white man always stands a better chance. Electorates change from the ones we first knew when we became adults but it’s very hard to know how they have changed until after the fact. I am not denying that Hillary was hit by chauvinism, it’s just that Biden and Sanders each had their flaws to the voters also and I still think they were more serious and would have lost more. We have discussed Sanders too much but all I can really say is Biden never seemed to catch on with most voters beyond a niche of democrats. he ran several times and didn’t catch on.
Everyone sees the electorate or their countrymen as pretty simular to themselves or at least people they know so almost everyone is convinced they see better than the pundits or actual politicians.
The young trend our way, but not tomorrow in a big enough way to relax. Be careful not to only tell ourselves the stories we want but of course we also need hope. I don’t want to be negative but this theme strikes me as too good to be trusted.
@Brachiator: @NobodySpecial: Weirdly this is something I have known since I was a kid. I recently talked to my partner and eventually a bunch of people about my conviction that these were the end of the good times and many of them were dismissive. So I think it’s not an issue of generation, but of attitude. Because if you study historical patterns it is hard to see this as anything but the end of the golden age, unless you are an optimist.
The Moar You Know
Not hardly. A not-insubstantial percentage – at least 35% – of our local high school kids are full-throated racist Trump fans. On average, they’ll be more liberal than their GenX parents, but that is a low fucking bar to clear.
Always brings to mind the sentiment attributed to Mark Twain.
I love it when I read something in the news or online that demolishes, contradicts or complicates a previously deeply held belief or old bit of conventional wisdom. When you cease to learn, you cease to live.
@Adam L Silverman:
Shoot, a fella’ could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff…
This is kinda lazy. Nobody can say how a teen will turn out. I know a couple who are from Norway and Hawaii and the closest thing to socialist I’ve ever met. When their son hit 13 he demanded a subscription to the WSJ and announced that he wanted to be a robber baron when he grew up, a living Alex Keaton. Now he is a scruffy longhair who works for the post office and is high up in their union and hates Republicans.
O/T: I wish some front pager would feature Jim Carrey’s artwork he’s been putting out on twitter. This latest one is hilarious:
@Corner Stone: Along the lines of this, there has been a seminal change in the way information is communicated, and we olds tend to be hobbled by our habituation to the old media forms and norms. Younger people are more sophisticated users of modern media, while a lot of old people believe what they see on Facebook. Younger people are more aware of the problems we’re handling to them because they understand the current world better and because they can’t fall back onto comfortable myths. There’s precedent for that, eg, the Vietnam era when a lot of younger people realized they were being sold a line of horseshit when older folks had a reflexive acceptance of authority and Cold War narratives.
Hah! Was never keen on Jim Carrey the actor but Jim Carrey the painter has won me over. His SHS portrait was effing brilliant.
Well, I thought the Vietnam War revealed the reality for ever and ever amen, but it doesn’t seem to work that way. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance and belligerence.
Dolt45 never stopped asking foreign governments for campaign funds
The Moar You Know
@Shinobi: only if your world view is America-centric. The Chinese, the core of the EU, a bunch of other nations, are enjoying a rocket ride to great and further success.
America hit its apogee about twenty years ago and the start of the long arc down is now pretty plain for all to see.
@Arm The Homeless: the Clintons were in the White House when I was in junior high and high school, and seeing just how nastily they were treated by the right-wing back then did a similar job in radicalizing me against Republicans. The nail in the coffin was when my first presidential vote (for Al Gore) got essentially invalidated due to Republican shenanigans in Florida. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that the kind and degree of fates I wish on the Republican establishment has gotten much nastier. I’d be worried about this reflecting badly on me, if it wasn’t so obvious that they were focused on killing and/or immiserating so many of my friends with their policies.
Look, we know that the older generations had high exposure to lead. We know that crime fell when young people no longer had high exposure to lead. Why do you think lead levels would affect crime rates, but have no effect on voting? As young republicans are more likely to be poisoning themselves with lead by going to gun ranges or hunting, it still fits with the pattern.
@trollhattan: I know! The only movie he made that I remember liking is “The Truman Show,” but his drawings are Betty Cracker on steroids.
Adam L Silverman
@Corner Stone: this
@schrodingers_cat: this too
My first instinct was to blame talk radio and Fox News, because I’ve seen the changes in friends after being pelted with propaganda. That doesn’t explain what is happening in Europe though. Orbán won by a large margin in Hungary after blaming the Jews for the problems in Hungary.
I agree with you about gay rights. It has been amazing to be able to watch the great shift in attitudes towards gay marriage happen right in front of us. And by the way, this was somewhat similar to a shift in attitude in favor of Civil Rights from the 50s into the 60s. Yes, real progress.
I don’t see pot legalization as being particularly progressive, no more than, say, people who flouted Prohibition.
Racism is an ongoing problem. And sadly, I think that sexism and misogyny is deeper and more malignant than some can bear to admit. Tech companies probably are younger than the typical American business, and we have learned that pervasive sexism is a terrible problem there. The same is true among gamers, comic book fans, almost any group that has been dominated by males.
And the current administration fans the flames of bigotry every freaking day.
This is, of course, an international phenomenon. And we see fascist and nationalist parties winning seats in Parliaments and winning elections here at home. I agree that here, particularly, these people are not a majority, but neither are they a tiny minority.
Adam L Silverman
@rikyrah: As per tradition…
Cheap Jim, formerly known as Cheap Jim
Sandinista? You mean in 30 years there’ll be riots over Pres. Gillibrand raising payroll taxes and cutting social security benefits?
Adam L Silverman
I’m pretty sure Doug!’s neo-Sandinistas aren’t the change we’ve been expecting:
For the most part, I’m pretty sure they were the party of FDR for the rest of their natural lives.
@Brachiator: I mean they’re a fairly small minority of the young. Put them together with racist old people and you have a large dangerous constituency.
Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et Al.)
We can only hope.
All this idealization of the young. The day after the election of 2016, I came into class and the first thing a student said was, “This shows the failure of neoliberalism.” Forgive me if I don’t bow to the superior critical judgement of everyone younger than me.
The actual Nazi Party never won more than about 1/3 of the seats in the Reichstag.
Their rise is a case study of how a well-organized and violent minority can cow the majority into compliance.
I was just commenting elsewhere about Kirsten Gillibrand’s proposal for a postal savings bank, and the proposals for guaranteed jobs or UBI, that both of these are now possible because of the shattering of old boundaries by Trump.
Once the old boundary lines are down, and people free to wander across the political landscape, all sorts of things that were once untouchable are now within reach.
@Shinobi: i’m starting to think we may have been separated at birth ?
( or perhaps our dads were )
The looming crisis of underfunded/ underperforming 401(K) that will be created once the younger Boomers realize how impoverished their SS will leave them, will IMO, cause many of the Republican members to develop an appreciation for gummint assistance of some kind or another.
The cult fanaticism of the Millennial cohort for Wilmer, and their subsequent assist in putting the Dotard in power is their political legacy to date.
Adam L Silverman
I resemble that remark.
I’ll never forget the shining young faces booing people all through the Democratic National Convention.
I believe in history, but I do not believe in deterministic or recurring historical patterns.
@E: think soylent green; though would rather think fertilizer for food
I wonder if the white kid fans of Wilmer, TYT, Glenn G, RT, Wikileaks, are savvy enough to notice that the stomping on Joy Reid that is happening in a co-ordinated attack last night and today completely negates Wilmer’s recent afam southern charm tour attempt. No way are the voting adult Dems down there going to ride or die with these people.
That certainly sounds familiar. Especially if you decide to gerrymander and suppress votes so you can be the minority party in charge. I truly think there’s way less republican diehards than they think.
I’ll never forget neck beard white hipsters calling John Lewis a “sellout,” because he wouldn’t drink the Wilmer koolaid.
sheila in nc
@Chip Daniels: Alas, only for themselves.
This. The big reason the youngs look so much more liberal than the olds is because they’re better educated and much more diverse. White kids are still pretty awful, which is why we hear about predominantly white schools making taunts about building walls and sending people back to Mexico when they have sports contests against predominantly Latino schools.
@Arm The Homeless:
I feel like this is more or less what I hear from most millennials that I know.
@Adam L Silverman: Dang, I should have hung on to my Anarchists Cookbook; who knew?
Easily refuted. Obviously, a good chunk of people were, became or remained Republican. Or were Dixiecrats. Even a good chunk of black people who loved FDR were registered Republicans and remained so until the 60s. Jackie Robinson was a Republican.
I’m not saying millennials are Bernie dead-enders, just that they voted overwhelmingly for Bernie. I agree that nearly all the Susan Sarandon types I know of are Sarandon-aged or older.
That’s right. My children, now in their 20s and early 30s, know damned well how different and worse things are than they used to be. They pay a lot more for health care than I ever did. They pay many times what I paid in student loans so they can enter a worse economy. Their housing costs are totally out of whack (except the one who lives in Pittsburgh – Go Pens!!). None has anything remotely resembling a pension. They were told to go to college so they could get good jobs and it just wasn’t so.
yeah, they’re pissed.
Because they voted for Hillary in the general.
I think that seriously underestimates how racist their elders are. Seriously, compared to older whites, what percentage of young white people are seriously opposed to interracial marriage? Or insist that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery? Or sport “Heritage Not Hate” Rebel flag bumper stickers on their cars?
Not all the olds. Maybe it’s because I live in a blue state, maybe because I don’t want conservative asshole friends/acquaintances, but most of the olds that I know are quite liberal.
At first I thought the Joy Reid thing was idiotic, but now I’m kinda interested to see where this goes. GG has invested a lot in this, and if it turns out that she really was hacked, it’s going to look like he was part of a coordinated smear campaign. And that could make a significant dent in what’s left of his credibility. (Or maybe that’s wishful thinking on my part)
@Shinobi: I think mental conditioning makes a big difference; so of “us olds” were still being taught in small school by teachers who expected us to think. Then came the massive schools where repetition and testing was more important; in order for students to learn to think they not only need to be encouraged but not grouped together by age. We need “the little red schoolhouse model” instead we have school to job slavery or prison
A quote I heard when I was a kid.
“If you’re not a communist at the age of 20, you haven’t got a heart. If you’re still a communist at the age of 30, you haven’t got a brain.”
In fact, people who came of age under FDR tended to vote Democrat for the rest of their lives. Part of why the country drifted right was that the Greatest Generation died off. You can read about this on 538.
Everyone likes to say “oh my grandfather used to be Democrat and now he’s a Republican” but there is in fact a correlation between how people vote when they’re young and how they vote when they’re older.
But he never voted for a Republican presidential candidate again after 1964.
He saw the writing on the wall with the southern strategy and was appalled by it.
the only MAGA hats I see now are on teenage white males…. And I just saw this article…
This idea has been around since like 1820. Not kidding.
It’s a very good idea but jesus fuck, she’s going to get credit for it.
Personal grudge, I assume.
Can we just make it illegal for white people to vote? Wouldn’t that solve almost everything?
Well, this whole “capitalism” thing paired with a drive toward deregulation is at the heart of our current state, I’d say. Capitalism without a leash is inevitably going to hurt people and result in extreme inequality, and we’re heading that way fast. Fuck history, who needs it, amirite?
I’ll never understand libertarian thought, or what is at least to me an incomplete thought. Kind of like how Charlie Pierce has applied his “5 minute rule” to Rand Paul: you pretty much agree w/what he says up until 5 minutes in, when he completely loses the plot. De-regulation for the sake of it is madness. People will always be greedy, thus regulation is needed. I just don’t see how libertarians can’t (or won’t) recognize that it is that which defeats their ideology, generally speaking.
@Stan: Put white people in rice, turn them back on & if that doesn’t work, put them in the freezer – then reboot.
What percentage in Germany in 1932 thought the far right had the right idea? or in Italy in 1922? in Spain in 1936? etc.
“If you’re not a communist at the age of 20, you haven’t got a heart.
If you’re not a communist at the age of 65, receiving Social Security and Medicare, you haven’t got a brain.”
Arm The Homeless
I wonder how much of that has to do with the education level of the Millennials you know?
The younger Millennials seem to have a lot more of the ‘pox on both their houses’ BS that permeates YouTube. This is truly the worst outcome from the South Park-ization of American culture.
In all fairness though, that was hardly a representative sample of young voters or even young Bernie supporters. Comrade Bernie and his fellow ratfuckers intentionally choose delegates based on their willingness to disrupt the convention and undermine Dem unity. And our useless whore-media fixated on those ratfuckers to the exclusion of the delegates who were unified in support of our candidate.
Major Major Major Major
Is there even polling bearing out that Millennials are particularly crazy-eyed socialists? What I’ve seen makes it appear to be mostly on the margins, or in response to the word ‘socialism’, but not actually a generational movement towards hard leftism.
ETA @Arm The Homeless:
This also seems to be fairly true. I often think about how much I hate Parker and Stone.
Most of them fought in WW2 and are now dead or very, very old
Socialized health care was an impossible idea that had been around since Teddy Roosevelt, until Medicare, and until the ACA made the concept viable.
Donald Trump was impossible, until he wasn’t.
History moves in different directions. There isn’t some invisible magic hand making the arc bend, instead there are millions of people working their asses off to bend that arc.
@Snarki, child of Loki:
A third of it will be underwater (including Mal-a-Loco, I hope)
Per Wikipedia, the first postal savings system was set up in Britain in 1861. Congress had the USPS set up a postal savings system in 1911 and shut it down in 1966.
Fair enough. From the context in which the question was raised, I thought we were talking about people who had been “working class white teenagers” — the sort of people who would grow up to be the back bone of today’s GOP but who, back then, had the sense to thank FDR from rescuing them from starvation.
@Amir Khalid: India had it too, I don’t know whether still do. What about Malaysia?
I don’t care WHO gets credit for it so long as it happens.
Adam L Silverman
@Karen Potter: It’s available online.
Major Major Major Major
@Hoodie: I think the internet is great but you’re really reaching with a lot of this.
I’ve heard there are enough to fill the Albert Hall, you know they had to count them all.
Some old fart who looks a lot like me keeps pointing out that this is the first generation to have grown up with cable TV (in the modern sense, not CATV), social media, and instant communication. Some of us golden oldies have adapted, many not. but the Parkland generation doesn’t have to adapt – for them it’s just there, and always has been.
@Doug!: Did they, though? I know many young women (< 30 years old) who were enthusiastic HRC supporters.
ETC: Also, HRC was quite popular among boomer age immigrants.
@Citizen Alan: Not all, my in-laws were impoverished and nearly impoverished in their early to mid teens but remained stuck up snobs for the next 70 years. You got to train em young (to hate) or in their case to look down on everyone else.
Probably, there won’t be any ice floes to maroon us on by then.
Yes, he won the under 30 vote something like 70-30.
For most Americans, even those who lived thru it, “history” is a required course you forget before you graduate.
“Those who forget….”
If Donald Trump had run for president in the 1980s, I am pretty sure he would have won with margins comparable to Reagan’s. I still think there’s a great chance that 2016 will be seen as the last hurrah of a movement that should have been buried long ago.
Major Major Major Major
@schrodingers_cat: sanders was very popular with the youngs. Almost all of my friends voted for him in the CA primary.
From your mouth to the FSM’s orecchiettes.
@Major Major Major Major: Agreed. Also these broad brush generalizations are overly broad. In my anecdata unionized workers vote D (white and otherwise), the shop guys when I was in grad school for example. The Rs I have known in New England were usually wealthy country club type people. Many of whom no longer identify as R, after the W debacle. Those that still do have drunk the Kool-Aid. They are not the working class people MSM fetishes about but well off professionals or business owners.
Don’t know what or where you teach, but I’d have immediately failed that student for the rest of the semester,
The postal savings system here, set up in colonial times, was spun off into a state-owned bank, Bank Simpanan Nasional (the National Savings Bank), that now offers a range of consumer financial services.
@efgoldman: @zhena gogolia: Broad brush generalizations are broad.
Young == good
Old == bad
is overly simplistic.
Here’s a piece of good news.
Didn’t happen in a vacuum. Depression, hyperinflation, the Grat War treaty gnawing at them….
More: Aren’t dismissed out of hand as nonsense
@Amir Khalid: Google tells me, India has several postal savings scheme still available. That is important because many rural areas may or may not have a bank but do have a post office.
Yeah I was going to say that it’s the white hair crowd that supports Bernie where I am.
Welp, they was besties for a whole 24 hours.
Isn’t shinobi a well known wilmerbot troll?
Good Lord, new allegations against Dr. Ronny Jackson. Couldn’t be reached when he was needed because he was passed out drunk in his hotel room and he also got drunk at a secret service going away party and wrecked a government vehicle. Also prescribed medications when other doctors wouldn’t do so. Again, allegations, but sheesh. How did this guy get promoted?
@Neldob: Same as it ever was. Labor was famously pro-Vietnam as were a great number of Americans. Sure we turned the corner in the early 70’s but the pro-people have never gotten over what they saw as the anti-war movement being spoiled brats and biting the hand that fed them. Those of us who made the look between the racism of the war and the racism of the country as a whole haven’t changed, things are just like they always were.
? ?? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ? ?
I’m ashamed of some of my peers. I could be considered a late millennial, born in 1995. I hate these stupid kids as much as I hate the olds. Neither cohort has had to truly struggle since the end of ww2 and the Great Depression.
Dr. Ronny Jackson certainly seems like he could easily be “convinced” to provide a not-at-all accurate report on the president’s health.
No sh*t, I’m one of those people working my ass off to bring change; been doing it for a long time. But hey thanks for the comment.
Some did. Most don’t soil themselves with politics, voting, organizing, or actually getting people elected.
Thanks, I did not know that. I do know that when Abe Lincoln was a young man this idea was being discussed. Now watch Gillibrand take credit for it.
The Moar You Know
@Arm The Homeless: GenXers watch South Park. I doubt most millenials even know what it is.
He has none, zero. nada
Formerly disgruntled in Oregon
@Shinobi: Granted, I am an optimist, but I wanted to question your statement:
This is the “end of the golden age” for whom, and by what measure? Is this statement specific to the US? To a specific demographic group? Help me out here.
@The Moar You Know: Surveys consistently show Latino and AA adults are MORE optimistic about their future than whites.
Anyone who thinks things are the worst is revealing their privilege.
Apparently Ronny Jackson says he’s not withdrawing his nomination. The allegations come from 23 people the committee interviewed. That’s a lot of people. Also, he supposedly kept a private stash of things like per co cet. How in the world did that happen?
He seemed like such a suck up at that news conference after Trump’s physical. All those glowing claims about Trump’s health. What a liar.
@Served: There is a lot of blackmail material.
I think there’s two things at work here:
1) The extinction burst of white male Christian privilege; and
2) Recognition by outside agents that we’re going through this, which we struggle to see for ourselves.
The moment that last-ditch effort happens is an important inflection point. It’s the point when a diet either get rooted, or it gets abandoned. You either find the strength to resist, or you give into it. The US is in such a moment. We kind of see it, but not really because we’re too close to it. We can hear that internal debate happening. Outsiders don’t hear that, so it’s really obvious to them that it’s happening, and so it presents an opportunity. If your spouse is dieting (no more snacks in the house) and you care more about your snacks than you do about your spouses health (happens a lot) then when that opportunity presents itself, you may exploit it to end the diet so you can get your snacks back. That would also make you Vladimir Putin.
Sometime during the Obama presidency, if having a black president wasn’t difficult enough for some privileged whites, white Christians fell into the numerical minority in the US. The sum total of non-white Christians and non-Christians is now large enough that if they form a voting block with a set of shared values, then the white Christians will lose all of their political power at the national level. The confederate flag is the flag of white Christians, which is why you find it everywhere. It’s just straight up white Christian supremacy.
The lost cause is looking even more lost because young people don’t buy into it. Mostly they’re WAY less religious than previous generations (only 8% of millennials are protestants), but they also don’t hear the same internal debate. They have the internet and can tune into whatever debate they want. But mostly they tune into each other rather than to their elders, and they don’t reinforce those older notions.
So, given falling influence they look to magnify their minority views by controlling key parts of the policy system – state legislatures, voting laws, etc. Then Trump shows up as the first truly regressive candidate in a long time. Even guys like Ted Cruz won’t run around yelling nigger, nigger, nigger, but Trump will. Cruz would slow the march into a progressive future, but he won’t reverse it. Trump promises to reverse it, and is dumb/clever/evil/whathaveyou enough to set himself on fire in the process. He’s the political equivalent of diving in and eating the whole bag of chocolate chips in the back of the pantry. The left bought into the ‘post racial’ thing a little more than we should have. As Mike Tyson said, ‘everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face’. We got punched in the face. And now we’re responding. Will it work? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ The institutional advantage the GOP has combined with the foreign and billionaire assists might cause it not to. If the left prevails and can tear down that institutional advantage, then it’s over. They’ll never have enough strength to make a national fight again (though plenty of states will still suffer by them). If the left fails, then its clear by tactics like the Garland nomination and Kobach that the GOP will pull out all the stops to hold power.
I think their big fear with Trump wasn’t that he’d lose, but that he’d give away the game in the process, and I think that has happened. The GOP is sticking with him because Trump is still playing the game they want played. He was just supposed to be more subtle doing it.
Major Major Major Major
@The Moar You Know: South Park was quite popular with my cohort (early-middle millennial) but I doubt a lot of 20-year-olds watch it.
sheila in nc
Where you live is going to make a big difference.
Where I live, a bright blue bauble in a red-but-hopefully-turning-purple state, at least 80% of the Democratic activists are olds. Retirees have a lot more time to devote to these activities. Our olds include scads of inveterate Hillaryites as well as some more progressive purity types. Meanwhile, I’ve encountered more than one young dude with really goofy hangups like Agenda 21 all the way to fetishizing cops.
@Adam L Silverman: I had a “first addition” gift from friend at Berkley; but since another friend mentioned that she was going to get a new copy and see if it matched what she got back in the 70’s.
I took a computer class back in early 90’s; one class mate shared all the websites where you could find everything you needed to cause destruction to establishment.
I find it interesting that today’s youth are working at getting people to vote while the group I knew was looking to blow things up.
People don’t remember that there really wasn’t the strong separation of the elderly that is so standard today. That is, until very very recently. Except for a small percentage of the very wealthy, almost nobody had a retirement home different from their main lifelong residence. There were small almhouses and such for some of the poor elderly, but they were not located in retirement villages far away (usually, the almhouses were near the village church in the village or town center). The vast majority of the elderly lived with their families until they died.
That is, while the elderly always tended to be more conservative as they aged, they didn’t use to leave their communities en-mass and form entirely new different political communities thousands of miles away. What we have now is basically completely new for humanity – huge numbers of elderly people who basically have their own, separate political entities designed by real estate developers and propagandized by cheap digital entertainment (TV and internet). Of course, a lot of the elderly don’t do this now (move to distant retirement communities), but the numbers are still immense ( in the tens of millions in the US alone.)
@Major Major Major Major:
You just never know. My…post-millennial? kid and her cohort got hooked on bingewatching “Friends” and even did Friendsgiving back in November. They’re masters of consuming all media and good damn luck trying to steer them in any particular direction. Shows she’ll reliably watch with me are “Fresh off the Boat,” “Silicon Valley,” “TDS” and “John Oliver.” I have no farging idea what all she watches on YouTube.
“If you are a 60 year old man and you don’t care about gonorrhea how can you care about North Korea”? DL Hughley!
@burritoboy: I wonder what will happen to those retirement communities when the people who don’t have pensions get to retirement age. It’s not that far away. We see millennial kids moving back in with their parents. Wonder when it’s going to be the parents moving in with the kids because they can’t afford to go to a retirement community.
@efgoldman: I must be close enough to your age, but I have kept up with advancing technology a large part of that is due to many of my long time friends were also in “Silicon Valley” with me back when it was Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Santa Clara and so on. My first video game was when husband brought home from work what would later be “pong;” I corrupted my children early to the use of technology.
Jackson is Dr. Leo Spaceman (from 30 Rock)
@trollhattan: “Friends” is apparently a huge deal with millennials. I’ve even seen a TV segment about the phenomenon along with a few articles.
Retirement communities are like fiscal cruise missiles targeted at the olds and their bank accounts. Now with a lot of second-hand experience with them I have decided they’re a more effective payday loan bidnez.
@Stuart Frasier: I was going to say that this sounds a lot like the venerable old theory of the decline of the Roman Empire, but apparently it’s been disproven.
Still, I hope we managed to ban lead paint in time to save the rest of humanity from our elder generations.
Young people today have grown up with a manual for political activism: the Harry Potter series.
@Amir Khalid: Hunger Games. In fact, the past decade had numerous series that featured dangerous powerful demagogues gaining power, absolutely stupid adults, complicit authorities and very real consequences for not resisting.
I really think some of this can also be broken down by race, & education. They are bigger factors than age. YMMV
@Major Major Major Major:
Well, not crazy-eyed, but yes on the socialism. Granted, that comes in two forms in the US:
1) Socialism was always associated with godlessness, and where we tend to think of economics, a lot of people on the right think of social capital. Letting a black man feel as empowered as a white man was always considered socialistic in some circles. Same for a transgender person over a cisgender person, an immigrant over someone 2 generations removed from their immigrant relatives, etc. I think the left is finally settling into a more universal civil rights movement. There’s no transgender lobby to speak of, no billionaires dumping money on their behalf, they are an impossibly small voting block, and yet Democrats went to bat for them. That’s new. You see a lot of that being worked through in the Never Again movement.
2) Millennials and even more the generation after really got economically fucked in 2009, and they know it. My concern there is that they are turning increasingly anti-capitalistic, which concerns me because the US is not broadly capitalistic. Corporatism is our drug, but we don’t speak of them as opposing ideologies. Instead we lump them together. Capitalism can’t really survive in a situation where big money politics is tolerated. A lot of young people don’t see that – they just see that they’ll never be able to buy a house, or that their college costs appear to be proportional to corporate profits. Because the left has utterly failed at defending capitalism against corporatism, it’s easy to side up with someone like Sanders who seems to offer the only alternative.
@Yarrow: There was a recent article, don’t remember source, that talked about how many elderly are now working full time to make enough money to survive. It is mostly older women who spent most of their lives at home caring for family; so they have no income or so little that they can’t survive on it.
@Amir Khalid: While as child of the 60’s I didn’t.
@trollhattan: The retirement home lobby is more than a little responsible for zoning ordinances that prohibit construction of auxiliary structures (mother-in-law units). Once multigenerational housing got a lot harder to build, the retirement homes became a lot more appealing. CA just passed a law to reverse that. I could easily fit such a unit on my property, but there’s no way previously I could have gotten it permitted.
@Yarrow: 239 reasons why Dr Ronnie got promoted. Used to be 293 reasons, but it got transposed somehow.
@zhena gogolia: Not saying they can’t be deluded, just not as easily by the same things their elders are deluded by
@Karen Potter: Retirement communities are springing up like mushrooms everywhere. Obviously the baby boomers are aging and forecasters are expecting there will be a desire and need for such places. While the front third, maybe half, of the baby boom may have pensions, a lot fewer of the younger half of them and Gen X and below will. Given that, I don’t know how those places will keep going. Social Security won’t be enough to pay the exorbitant monthly fees and people will have to have a hefty portfolio to be able to afford it otherwise.
@Major Major Major Major: I may have watched may be two episodes of South Park. I suspect the viewership skews male for that show.
Major Major Major Major
@germy: ha! Yes.
I recently heard from a friend who was once an anti war organizer; she is connecting with her grandchildren and their friends, she is passing on everything she learned about organizing marches. She commented that she had to mimeograph flyers and pass them out, while the young today just have to send a text message to their friend list; she says that she has more energy now than has had in years.
Demographics, from a recent National Geographic Magazine special on race and ethnicity
Tipping points: “By 2020, 50.2% of American children will be from today’s nonwhite groups. By 2044, 50.3% of Americans of all ages will be from those same groups.”
Of course, populations are not evenly distributed throughout the country. It is also interesting to note that of 282,000 interracial marriages in 2015, the most, 42%, were white/Hispanic.
Also, a bit of trivia to see how far along we are:
@Major Major Major Major: In the last scene of the clip, Dr. Leo Spaceman is visited by some government officials. He puts his hands out, as if he is expecting to be handcuffed, but they inform him he has been made Surgeon General.
@Yarrow: In some areas the retirement population is nearly 40% that have pensions or alternate sources of income; but in some states less than 10% of retired population does. When I was young I remember homes with downstairs bedroom while most family slept upstairs; it was expected that at least one set of grandparents would be living with family and that would be their bedroom.
@Doug R: don’t forget that he also “grew” an inch since becoming oval office squatter
I’m a DSA member in San Francisco, and, while there’s a few loud persons who seem to pretend to be Stalinists, we’re probably more moderate than British Labour now under Corbyn. Certainly we’re less radical than British Labour of the 1950s, much less than the Labour of the 1930s. Wild-eyed utopians are not that much in evidence. We’re centrist democratic socialists of the kind that once dominated Europe’s landscape. We’re not going to be expropriating your Kenny Loggins 8-track tapes, as Jacobin likes to joke.
@Karen Potter: But that doesn’t work as well these days since most parents work so who’s going to stay home to help grandma or grandpa?
@Brachiator: I am living in area, am white, where I don’t think it would be safe to date some dark skinned.
Yeah, the amount of lead in the water in ancient Rome was probably not enough. On the other hand, the amount of lead exposure that we achieved in the 20th century was pretty remarkable. Average blood lead levels now are around an eighth of what they were in the mid 70s.
Anyway, it’s definitely not the only factor, but it is a factor.
@Yarrow: That too, but it wasn’t that grandma or grandpa so much needed help but that they didn’t have to worry about all the things you need to do to care for house.
Point of interest: they have “discovered” that if you put a day care center in nursing home, for the staff free of charge, that the children and the elderly do better. The elderly are patient with the children’s endless questions and energy; with the side benefit of the elderly ending up needing less care and being more mentally alert.
@Stuart Frasier: I had blood work done, lead stays in your body; so what I was exposed to years ago is still there.
One of the key events that alienated Robinson was Richard Nixon’s refusal to aid MLK during the 1960s Civil Rights campaigns. This was despite the fact that Robinson and Nixon were close political allies, if not friends.
ETA: This was from a June 6, 2014 NYT article by Michael Beschloss. It’s behind a paywall now, so I am having problems getting the link info.
Fun lead facts:
The serial killer/rapist was a police officer. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/law-enforcement-official-identifies-suspected-california-serial-killer-as-former-police-officer-joseph-james-deangelo/ar-AAwkMde
@trollhattan: It was interesting in that it can’t be removed; some heavy metals can be but lead is not one of them
I’ve read several journal articles that explain what is going on. Historically, the U.S. has always slowly crept right.There are always small winning on the right side.
However, America the lurches left. Heavy left.And the process starts all over again. That what happened in slavery, interracial marriage, prohibition, women’s suffrage, and gay marriage. That last lurch left took only 12 years from DOMA to Gay Marriage. Slavery took several hundred years. Interracial marriage took 103 years.
The point is: It’s flipping left faster. Probably partly the result of technology, partly the result of an insane right wing. It will flip left. And when it does, hopefully we will be prepared to pass every law and rule we’ve ever dreamed of.
@trollhattan: The doctor that ordered the tests speculated the reason behind the high lead level in my blood was due to the gutting and remodeling of 150 year old farm house.
I think Republicans said everything they didn’t like all the way back to New Deal was socialism, and people said so be it.
@Adam L Silverman:
You’re well organized?
Struggle ineffectually within a corrupt and bloated conservative system until evil takes the helm and then indulge in ineffective activities until its time for the final violent revolution overthrowing the tyrannical regime in an exciting firefight that leaves our heroes up to their knees in dead bodies? //
@barb 2: As an old in a very red area who always has been a liberal and is still very much so thank you for this post. I agree with it. Generalizing is always a bad move, but I will concede that Fox and Rush Limbaugh et al have done serious damage to the psyche of many of our fellow citizens.
I missed this thread but have to say yes, I really miss Joe Strummer as well. This morning on Michael des Barre’s SIrius Underground station he played the Bobby Fuller Four/Clash double of “I fought the Law” His story was the Clash were mixing their album and the studio had some jukeboxes with old tunes, and that’s why they cut it.
Still the only band that matters
of course, Daniel Ortega is currently President of Nicaragua so I’m not sure how that does or does not fit, but Harlingen Texas is only 2 days drive.
@Seanly: nothing is permanent. Our opponents are willing to work for generations to overturn gay marriage, abortion rights, and much more. On abortion, their goal is in sight. I’m a bit skeered.
J R in WV
“I wonder what ever happened to those people who were teens in 1929??”
They had to fight WW II, which changed the numbers so much we can’t say anything about their politics vrs their lead uptake.
J R in WV
“Orbán won by a large margin in Hungary after blaming the Jews for the problems in Hungary.” What? All 56 of them? Takes a real sucker to believe the remaining tiny cohort of Jews that have been born of the survivors of the genocide are still controlling the world.