” Democrats have become so frustratingly useless to young people that it’s inspiring Salon writers to say semi-nice things about libertarians. Yes, my friends, perhaps the partisan apocalypse really is nigh.
In a piece at Salon today, Tim Donovan explores how millennial-voter turnout in the recent midterm elections was low, and that didn’t bode well for Democrats. He scoffs at the idea that the dismal showing had much to do with voter identification laws or other logistical barriers. Rather, Donovan suggests (as I, too, did recently) that Democratic candidates have done a crap job of focusing on issues that actually matter to young voters:
For those of us who follow “millennial issues,” this generation’s low turnout hardly came as a surprise. Last April, the Harvard Institute of Politics found something surprising while talking with young voters: considerably more young Republicans expected to vote than Democrats. Armed with this troubling data, Democratic candidates had months to adapt their messaging and court our votes. What happened? Universally, Democratic candidates didn’t bother to address the (very real, very serious) problems that are on the minds of many millennials: the racist and costly drug war, ballooning student loan debt, long-term unemployment, flat wages at shitty retail and restaurant jobs, and an imperiled climate. Democratic strategists seemed to assume that running as the Not-Republican Party would carry them to victory among young voters.
I don’t know that the issues Donovan mentions are necessarily those that excite millennials the most, nor that it’s true Democratic candidates didn’t focus on wages or climate policy this election season. But he’s certainly right that they focused much more on scaremongering about Republicans than actually setting themselves apart from them in substantive ways. Donovan continues:
Personally, I’d vote for Rand Paul for president faster than you can say “libertarian wacko” if I thought he would actually end the drug war, slash corporate welfare and plow the savings into student loan debt relief or a robust infrastructure bill. If someone like myself—a pajama-festooned, latte-sipping, liberal hipster who writes for Salon, fer chrissake–is willing to ignore party preference in favor of actual legislative gains, I can only assume that less ideologically committed millennials are even more willing to vote Republican for the right candidate or platform. “
As we’ve expressed before , Barack Obama is the greatest libertarian recruitment tool to come along in decades . With crushing debt and regulations grinding the citizenry and it’s economic motor to a halt , Obama is the perfect man at the perfect time to effect a sea-change in the political nature of generations to come . It is difficult for one to imagine a more fitting personification of “The State” than president Obama .