Remember the signs and bumper stickers during the 2020 presidential campaign that read “Every Functioning Adult”?
Well, here we find ourselves, having been let down by the corporate media’s less-than-robust news approach, once again thigh-deep in the Trumpian “flood the zone with shit” strategy, but this time not to the ironic soundtrack from the Village People’s “YMCA,” but to Lauren Boebert’s version of “Beetlejuice.”
There is a lot of good news from thoughtful citizens and U.S. allies around the world about Joe Biden’s accomplishments and standing as president, but you won’t hear much of it from the corporate media, which is always focused on the horse racing aspects simple reality that we have a solid and even strong president running against a criminal sociopath who seeks the big office to avoid going to prison and become a quasi-dictator to take revenge on his enemies and democracy to destroy.
No, most of the coverage was about Biden’s “negatives” – his age and his perceived unpopularity – and not about the other candidate, who is also old and obviously unhealthy and a sociopath and would-be despot.
The media noise could make reasonable people so anxious that they need counseling.
In a recent Rumble podcast, filmmaker Michael Moore provides that help, inviting a well-known psychologist he refers to as “Dr. multiple accused guy.
This episode, “Self-help for frightened liberals,” is definitely worth your time. (Moore has been prescient about elections before, including the 2016 disaster and the 2022 midterms.) One of his key arguments for why you shouldn’t worry is the simple fact that the younger electorate is getting bigger every year. These voters want action on climate change, LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, voting rights and the right for all of us to be safe from people who write manifestos and fetishize guns. You are motivated.
Questionable polling aside – in a recent CNN poll that showed 61% of voters disapproved of Biden’s job as president, 60% of respondents identified as Republican – Moore (um, that is, Mike) said the following about the Republican Party’s appeal:
The American people abandoned the Republican Party long ago, even before Trump… The vast majority of Americans disagree with virtually everything the Republicans stand for. And in the 30 years since Daddy Bush was elected – that’s 1988 – there have been eight presidential elections, and only once in 35 years have the American people given the Republican majority. In that one election in 2004, the Republican presidential candidate won by just 100,000 votes. That’s it. Over these 35 years, the American people, your neighbors, have said over and over again that they want the Republicans out of office, that they want them to disappear.
During an appearance on the “PBS NewsHourLast week, League of Women Voters President Deborah Turner spoke about trying to appeal to younger voters: “By connecting them to the reasons they vote and the impact voting has on their lives, we get them to vote. When asked by moderator Geoff Bennett about the right’s view that higher voter turnout is best for Democrats and hurts Republicans, Turner had a simple answer:
It depends where you are. But the key is: If everyone is registered and everyone votes, the results in the end will be what people want. And it has nothing to do with whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican. So when we register voters, we don’t even ask about their party. We simply say, “We want you to vote, we want you to be registered, and we want you to vote and express your feelings so that your representatives can represent you, your ideas, and your community.”
In other words, it is not the problem with their organization that Republicans have long since stopped competing for the hearts and minds of the majority of voters with policy ideas and good governance and have instead turned to cynical, undemocratic and deeply divisive rhetoric Gerrymandering and voter suppression to help them maintain minority control for as long as possible.
In the same PBS segment, Bennett Turner played a clip of an interview with Nora Vinas, deputy executive director of Engage Miami, a nonprofit organization that works to engage young people in voting. She was asked why young people are more motivated to vote:
I think when you influence someone’s everyday life – what they can read, where they can go, who they can love – all of that triggers a certain anger and confusion in people about why it’s happening. Unfortunately, I believe we have culture wars. And these attacks on books. And I also think that being attentive and caring is a great motivator for young people.
I would like to add that most Americans I have spoken to personally want real adults in government positions. (Hence those 2020 yard signs). They are ashamed and exhausted by the endless nihilistic antics of Donald Trump and those of his slavish cult members – Jim Jordan, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene; It’s exhausting to list them all. These are all people who couldn’t succeed in any industry outside of the cowardly world of MAGA politics, where nothing matters except loyalty to the government Hamberder King (which he certainly won’t reciprocate).
Outgoing Republican Sen. Mitt Romney was right when he told compulsive manufacturing Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y.: “You don’t belong here.” But that wasn’t nearly enough: he should have said that about a whole bunch of so-called conservatives, especially members of the House Freedom Caucus and the Senate Sedition Caucus.
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Let’s get back to the reassuring message from Dr. Mike, yes? He urged us to stop paying attention to polls and media noise and consider some important facts:
How about this fact? In the eight years and three months since Trump descended the golden escalator at Trump Tower to announce his candidacy for president, over 32 million 17-year-olds have turned 18 during that time. 32 million young Americans became eligible to vote…. And I don’t think I have to tell you: you. Not. How. Trump card. They hate him.
Younger people (members of Generation Z, Millennials, and even most Generation X voters) would likely prefer a new generation of leaders. Yes, some are probably unhappy with the choice between a 77-year-old and an 80-year-old. But they want real adults in charge, not angry toddlers or wannabe fascists. There is more than enough chaos in the world; We don’t need more of this in government.
Any sensible person, regardless of age, listening to the media talk incessantly about Joe Biden’s age and perceived mental capacity might scratch their head and wonder why Donald Trump’s astonishingly confused and incoherent statements are hardly ever mentioned.
Younger people are likely to be unhappy with the choice between a 77-year-old and an 80-year-old. But they also want real adults in charge, not angry toddlers or wannabe fascists.
The mainstream media may not want to outright label Trump as a clever, dangerous fool, but most younger people know one when they see one. They can also recognize lies and distinguish them from facts – and they can also recognize incompetence and even incompetence devilish when they come across it. Younger people know that far-right religious zealots want to take us back to the Middle Ages (when America was, er, great?) and that a system is looming in which people are rewarded for their loyalty to a would-be dictator, not for talent or merit over many decades destroy social progress.
The basic questions voters are asking are quite simple: Who will tell us the truth and who will do the hard work of governing? Who will stand up for our democratic system and seek to strengthen and improve it rather than lie about it and tear it down? Who will stand up for working people and the poor? Who will address the world’s most pressing issues, such as climate change and the rise of disinformation and hate?
Is it the clear-thinking, sensitive, grandfatherly man with a long track record as a senator, vice president and president, or is it the vulgar, corrupt man? Serial cheater who after that four years in the White House still lacking any understanding of the government, charged with dozens of crimes in four different jurisdictions, convicted of sexual assault, telling lies every time he opens his mouth, relying on incoherent snippets of words and meaningless catchphrases?
Like the vast majority of us, but unlike mainstream media executives with short attention spans, young voters understand how best to answer these questions.
by Kirk Swearingen