Wednesday Open Thread [7.16.14]

Filed in National by on July 16, 2014

Anne Marie Cox thinks the GOP is now destroyed as an option for the Millennial Generation.

Late last week, the Reason Foundation released the results of a poll about that generation, the millennials; its signature finding was the confirmation of a mass abandonment of social conservatism and the GOP. This comes at a time when the conservative movement is increasingly synonymous with mean-spirited, prank-like and combative activism and self-important grand gestures. The millennial generation has repeatedly defined itself as the most socially tolerant of the modern era, but one thing it really can’t stand is drama.

Republicans were already destined for piecemeal decimation due to the declining numbers of their core constituency. But they don’t just have a demographic problem anymore; they have stylistic one. The conservative strategy of outrage upon outrage upon outrage bumps up against the policy preferences and the attitudes of millennials in perfect discord. […]

The GOP has long staked a claim on The Disappearing Angry White Man, but they have apparently ever-narrowing odds of getting a bite at millennials, who appear to be more like The Somewhat Concerned Multicultural Moderate. This generation is racially diverse, pro-pot, pro-marriage equality and pro-online gambling. They are troubled by the deficit but believe in the social safety net: 74% of millennials, according to Reason, want the government to guarantee food and housing to all Americans. A Pew survey found that 59% of Americans under 30 say the government should do more to solve problems, while majorities in all other age groups thought it should do less.

The Rupe-Reason poll teases out some of the thinking behind the surge of young people abandoning the GOP, and finds a generation that is less apt to take to the streets, Occupy-style, than to throw a great block party: lots of drugs, poker and gays! Millennials don’t want to change things, apparently – they want everyone to get along. The report observes “[m]any specifically identified LGBTQ rights as their primary reason for being liberal”; and “[o]ften, they decided they were liberals because they really didn’t like conservatives.” […]

Right now, Democrats benefit from both the form and content of conservative message: this next generation is not just inclusive, but conflict-adverse. Millennials cringe at the old-man-yelling-at-gay-clouds spectacle of the Tea Party. Perhaps this comes from living in such close proximity of their parents for so long. If this generation does have a political philosophy, it’s this: “First, do no harm.” If it has a guiding moral principle, it’s simpler: “Don’t be embarrassing.”

Which is why the Millennial Generation still shows positive approval numbers for President No Drama Obama.


IOWA–SENATE–NBC News/Marist Poll: Bruce Braley (D) 43, Joni Ernst (R) 43.
GEORGIA–SENATE–REPUBLICAN RUNOFF–Insider Advantage: Jack Kingston (R) 43, David Perdue (R) 41.
LOUISIANA–SENATE–: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) 46, Bill Cassidy (R) 43
SurveyUSA: Gov. Rick Scott (R) 45, Charlie Crist (D) 43

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  1. puck says:

    its signature finding was the confirmation of a mass abandonment of social conservatism and the GOP.

    Yes, but austerity and supply-side thinking are still ingrained in their economic thought. We’re going to need a few decades of soak-the-rich thinking in order to restore the middle class and broad-based prosperity.

  2. cassandra_m says:

    And I think that if you take a good look at the Reason poll document (not real crosstabs, certainly), this is a test of how well millenials know the conservative talking points. And they do. That means to me that liberals are incredibly poor at delivering a coherent message an broadcasting it. Not a surprise. They have to reframe questions in terms of the usual talking points in order to get closer to the answers they want. There’s plenty of opportunity here for Democrats — they just have to start talking and acting like Democrats.

  3. puck says:

    DelDems fail to get in line behind Sean Barney, issue no endorsement for Treasurer primary:

    According to a news release issued Tuesday night, the party’s executive committee could not decide whether to get behind Treasurer Chip Flowers or Sean Barney, a former policy director in Governor Jack Markell’s administration and aide to Senator Carper.

    The amazing thing is that they even presumed they should issue a party endorsement for a primary.

  4. cassandra_m says:

    This is a holdover from when Carney and Markell were competing for Governor. They *did* endorse Carney for the primary and were roundly beat up for it. I think they endorsed Velda over Chip the last Treasurer’s primary (or some other D primary race, I forget) with alot of questions of WHY they needed to endorse for a primary.

  5. Jim C. says:

    There is no way that D’s can get their message out since the “messenger” is the corporate media who only get interested when they get the ad money flowing from both parties. They Love it. When is the last time you saw a majority of Dems on the sunday morning talk shows? When the R’s were in power, we were told that the R’s were the party in power, that’s why there are more of them on the shows. When the Dem’s came in power, we were told there were more R’s on the show because they were the opposition party. I can’t even get a LTE published in the WNJ that criticizes an R proposal to establish “right to work” zones.

  6. Pokeyerhontas says:

    “mean-spirited, prank-like and combative activism and self-important grand gestures”

    Isn’t that the definition of a millennial?

  7. Aint's Taking it Any More says:

    Missing an important point. Millenniums may reject conservative social policy but they will be paying for liberal economic policy for a long time to come. When the beer runs out, the drugs are spent, the piper comes due. If they’re really unlikely it will all coincide with the decline of the dollar as the international currency. At that point they’ll hate both the conservatives and liberals.

  8. pandora says:

    “Millenniums may reject conservative social policy but they will be paying for liberal economic policy for a long time to come.”

    Paying for liberal economic policy? Care to explain…

  9. puck says:

    “they will be paying for liberal economic policy for a long time to come.”

    See, right there is the kind of false premise that poisons popular economic thinking. The fact is of course that America’s greatest periods of prosperity coincided with our periods of greatest liberalism, and our greatest deficits and additions to the debt resulted from our dabblings in crackpot trickle-down supply side theory.

  10. ben says:

    “When the beer runs out, the drugs are spent, the piper comes due.”

    That kind of thinking is why I, and many my ageish (18-30) can’t stand you old people.
    You just assume we’re a bunch of dumb, high, kids. We have far more access to information than our parents did and we know how to use the devices better than you do. We also aren’t the age group driving Fox New’s ratings, so I’m guessing we’re also better at recognizing BS in general.
    The current economic mess wasn’t caused by a bunch of drunk 20 somethings…. but we know who DID cause it. (I’m lookin’ at you economic/social policy 1980-present)
    The piper IS coming due (which isn’t the expression… it’s grammatically incorrect. A debt may come due, or it may be time to pay the piper… no matter. I’m just a party guy who’s too tripped out on adrenochrome and lip balm to know who to vote for.) Just not for the generation you think.

  11. V says:

    Preach Ben. Preach.

    See also: Pokeyerhontas.

    Clearly this is all our fault. Isn’t hating on millenials fun? Selfies, amirite? ad nauseum…

    meanwhile I’m over here working since I was 15, going to grad school while working full time to pay for it, and still don’t feel econmically secure enough to buy a house or finally get married. But whatevs. It’s just cuz I’m lazy. YOLO.

  12. pandora says:

    I despise the kids these days “arguments”. That’s what’s lazy, not these kids – most of whom are far more informed than the old farts who complain about “the kids these days”

  13. Geezer says:

    The “kids these days” complaints date back to Greece in the 4th century BCE. So every generation has been worse than the one before it since the dawn of written history. My guess is that the complaint goes back to the days of the Neanderthals.

  14. cassandra_m says:

    What we’re paying for over multiple generations is the military industrial complex. A thing that both liberals and conservatives are complicit in, to be sure, but make no mistake that it is the wars and the toys of war that are the long term debt problems. We’re STILL paying veterans’s costs for the Vietnam War, the Korean War, WWII. We’re still paying the debts racked up for Vietnam, and we already know that Iraq was put on the country’s credit card. There’s no way to construe liberal economic policy as the major driver of our debt. I’m a boomer and I’m paying for the war my parents’ generation fought, and GWB (with the help of some Democrats) made sure that the millenials will be doing the same.