Disenchanted Millennials

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        The polling data to date suggests that millennials are disenchanted with Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party's presidential nominee and may not vote on election day or, if they do, will cast a dissenting vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party or Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party.

    Should they opt out of the election or succumb to cynicism or indifference, the consequences to the U.S. political system would be significant. Millennials in the U.S. are a large, self-defined population group. According to PEW Research, there are about 76 million millennials in the United States (those who were born between 1978 and 2000; 50 per cent have at one immigrant parent;  50 percent of Millennials consider themselves politically unaffiliated;  29 percent consider themselves religiously unaffiliated.  But, as a generation, they also tend to be inward-looking, and skeptical of authority and institutions. As of 2012, only 19 percent of millennials said that, generally, others can be trusted.
    A few months ago, voters of the United Kingdom, in a stunning and unanticipated referendum result, voted to leave the European Union. The British pollster Yougov reported that 64% of people between 25 and 29 wanted the U.K. to remain it the European Union, and that 61% of those aged between 30 and 34 wanted to stay. However, the research showed that while those younger than 44 were more likely to vote to stay, the balance tipped in favor of Brexit for those aged 45 and more. And the numbers told the story.  Older voters turned out, younger voters did not. So it didn't matter if the overwhelming majority of millennials preferred to remain in the EU, because they simply didn't show up and vote to express that opinion.

    A similar pattern of voting in the  U.S. presidential election would result in a decisive victory for Donald Trump. And who would be the losers? All of us, the old, the infirm, minorities, the poor, the hard-scrabble will suffer, but the millennials themselves will be the biggest losers as the Affordable Health Care Act, minimum wage legislation, labor laws, Medicare, Social Security, environmental protection, civil liberties, a woman's right-to-chose and student relief would all be placed on the chopping block. A Trump-Spence  administration would open the floodgates to lobbyists, polluters, robber-barons, insiders and craven, self-seeking man-spirited reactionaries.

    It was Abraham Lincoln who reminded us that "Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters."

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