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View Diary: Millennials are driving social - and political - change (60 comments)

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  •  A real problem there: (17+ / 0-)
    For many of my students, they were far more interested in particular issues than party identification.  They would work very hard on issues about which they cared
    Each of us has "particular issues." The failure I see too often is a lack of realization, and I see that particularly in they younger generations (I include late "boomers" too), that political change and then maintenance of policy requires collective, long term action with others that may have little interest  in our particular issues. The result is a political base too similar to a herd of cats.

    I'm not a racial minority so why should I give a fart? Because prejudicial dismissal of civil rights and acceptance of marginalization of any group threatens every one of us. So, I keep a close eye on the history of candidates for office in minority matters and, in the absence of some overwhelming positive elsewhere, consider one with a poor record DOA in primary season.

    I'm not in poverty. Why should I care? Because of a general interest in not living like friends and relatives overseas with a sea of poverty outside their walls and. So I will have in mind the interests of those in or near poverty at election time.

    The closest "interest" I have in anything "gay" are some neighbors I rarely see. I "really don't give a hoot" on a personal level—just a civil rights level. So I will have the interests of the "gay community" in mind when I cast a vote.

    Too often, in fact most elections. in my fifty plus years of voting in every election except those in which I was too far away for absentee applications and ballots to catch up have required me to hold my nose on an issue more personally applicable in order to try for a better overall end. I see people saying they won't support any Democrat because Obama is weak on their issue. I see "kids" throwing tantrums because one election or two didn't "change America" and so on. My patience with "I'll sit out" and such over single issues is in negative numbers because that has too often been precisely the reason we have done the two step forward, one and a half back step dance over my lifetime.

    "America" has changed a whole lot in my lifetime, some for the worse, much for the better. We have one collection of retrograde misfits now collected under the TP/GOP umbrella and unless we have "common interest" on a whole suite of "issues" politically they will continue to use every political trick and scheme to block all our interests.

    The meaning, however first phrased, of the "First They Came for the Jews" quote attributed to Niemoller is unknown, forgotten or just dismissed as an operative political principle by far too many.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 05:53:29 AM PDT

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    •  I think you are taking it further than I said (7+ / 0-)

      while their activism starts with their own particular issues, they are also respective of the issues of their friends.  Thus a straight person whose passion is the environment will support a friend on LGBT issues and their is reciprocity.

      The point is rather than they do not have loyalty to a party as a party - they will support depending upon what that party (a) stands for and (b) actually does

      that is one reason why there has been so much appeal for young people for Ron Paul, because of his strong opposition to foreign adventurism, which so many of them oppose.  I think this has been misunderstood.  They supported him on that.  It did not mean they supported him on other issues, but of people running for President he was offering perhaps the clearest voice on that issue.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:24:37 AM PDT

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      •  I don't know your students or many of that age (2+ / 0-)
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        a2nite, Eyesbright

        outside my own family. What I do see is the attitude I've described on this site and in other gathering places for "progressives" and "liberals" and others supposedly "our side" in general.

        You now describe precisely what has hurt "us" in too many cases. Anyone, your students included, diverting support from and overall "better" and electable candidate for a niche candidate strongly supporting their single issue view in a general election is effectively a deserter in the long term effort to "change America" and keep it in that path. It is what I call the lack of strategic voting. It is emotional voting and has the same result of the racetrack gambler that always bets on the long shot horse they most "like" while disregarding most likely to place. You will win a few big ones and lose your shirt overall.

        I recognize most people vote that way. I also recognize that is precisely why issues I thought settled twenty, thirty, forty and fifty years ago are still bubbling up and roiling our society and jeopardizing our future. Despite gallant efforts of such as you with our young I think most parents and elders have done a miserable job of getting across gut level lessons (for a circular reference) of the past so that we don't keep looping. (My kids hated my efforts sometimes, but I think it took!) Sometimes I'm amazed we aren't still chipping flint outside our caves!

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:49:42 AM PDT

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      •  And those issues that they (1+ / 0-)
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        care about are primarily liberal and progressive in nature.

        And beyond the explicit political/politicized issues, their attitudes and behaviors toward a whole host of issues are fundamentally different from earlier generations with implications for all kinds of sectors from retail, insurance, banking, agriculture, and automotive — which in turn will influence how companies need to do business; hopefully for the better.

        Chaos. It's not just a theory.

        by PBnJ on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 09:00:17 AM PDT

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        •  Indeed. My son contends that the entire brick and (5+ / 0-)

          mortar retail model may face extinction. Hard copy books are already facing that with impacts on libraries and the very concept of "public library."

          There is a danger there as well. It may be much more difficult to mobilize, particularly on local and regional issues, a citizenry with no "hard copy" links locally. Consider some coffee shops I know. Nobody is talking. Nobody is even visiting with people at the same table. They are all "elsewhere"—maybe across an ocean. Texting family members in the same house has become common.

          If "the commons" is diffuse electronic then how do you mobilize it for concrete actions in your town, county, state and even nation. Think globally, act locally is a nice idea, but if even in daily contacts it is communicate without boundaries can such a diffuse group even act locally? I have literally run into some people in a moment of "here, now, real time, physical" contact in the midst of some obvious problem that needs correction here, now, on the block only to get an answer equivalent to "I don't live here anymore" because they really are in another world.

          No more building in which I bought this piece of crap, so . . . We shop Amazon, oh, what came was absolutely not what was described but Amazon was just the "agent" and you have to take it up with . . . somewhere "out there" . . . No phone number, just maybe e-mail or on line form that may or may not really exist . . .

          There are certain problems with a "community" that is virtual or so diffuse it is difficult to even find.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 09:58:48 AM PDT

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