The Mahablog

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The Mahablog

How the Young Folks May Save Us

Some stuff to read today. Start with Greg Sargent, Striking new data about young voters should alarm Trump and the GOP. (No paywall.)

New data supplied to me by the Harvard Youth Poll sheds light on the powerful undercurrents driving these developments. Young voters have shifted in a markedly progressive direction on multiple issues that are deeply important to them: Climate change, gun violence, economic inequality and LGBTQ+ rights.

John Della Volpe, director of the poll, refers to those issues as the “big four.” They all speak to the sense of precarity that young voters feel about their physical safety, their economic future, their basic rights and even the ecological stability of the planet.

“This generation has never felt secure — personally, physically, financially,” Della Volpe told me.

My take: The New Deal brought prosperity and stability to working and middle class Americans by the mid-20th century. And for decades conservatives plus neoliberals have chipped away at the New Deal to the point that much of its support and protections for ordinary working people are gone. As a Boomer, when I was young the economy wasn’t a concern for most of us. We all assumed that economic growth and financial stability for most working folks was just a given. The bad old days of the Great Depression was just history.

But that’s not the reality the young folks of Gen Z are dealing with. For them, nothing is certain. They can’t even count on the planet being there for them their whole lives. Conservative/neoliberal financial policies have turned us into a nation of the exploiters and the exploited, and young people who aren’t from monied families will be among the exploited.  And it appears a majority of them aren’t buying into the culture war distractions.

Many of today’s 18-to-29-year-olds, who are mostly older Gen Z Americans plus the tail end of the Millennial generation, lived their formative years during the Great Recession and the election of Trump. What’s more, these new voters are politically coming of age during a remarkable confluence of events that appear to be conspiring in an improbable way to push them to the left.

Mass shootings have been on the rise, with the 2018 massacre at a school in Parkland, Fla., acting as a galvanizing moment. Heat waves and wildfire smog have driven home the realities of climate change with new urgency and vividness.

The problem with younger voters has long been turnout. The article says a higher percentage of younger voters has been turning up at the polls beginning in 2018. There’s probably room for improvement.

See also ‘This Is a Really Big Deal’: How College Towns Are Decimating the GOP at Politico and Swing to the Left by Tom Sullivan at Hullabaloo.

In other news: Hunter Biden’s plea deal over federal tax charges fell apart in court, and now he is pleading not guilty, according to NBC News. I’m sure Fox News is all over this, if you’re interested.

Rudy Giuliani concedes that he made false statements about the two Georgia election workers, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, who became targets of the MAGA mob. Freeman and Moss are suing Giuliani and a lot of others because of the hell the false charges put them through.

In a two-page declaration, Mr. Giuliani acknowledged that he had in fact made the statements about Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss that led to the filing of the suit and that the remarks “carry meaning that is defamatory per se.” He also admitted that his statements were “actionable” and “false” and that he no longer disputed the “factual elements of liability” the election workers had raised in their suit.

But Mr. Giuliani, insisting that he still had “legal defenses” in the case, said that he continued to believe his accusations about Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss were “constitutionally protected” under the First Amendment. He also refused to acknowledge that his statements had caused the women any damage — a key element required to collect a judgment in a defamation case.

You’ve been toast for some time, Rudy. You might as well accept it.

The Irish Times is reporting that Sinéad O’Connor died. She was only 56. The news story doesn’t say what she died of.

Kevin Spacey has been cleared of all sexual assault charges. Sorry about your career, Kevin.

This may be significant — “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suddenly stopped speaking during a weekly Republican leadership news conference on Wednesday afternoon, appearing to freeze, and then went silent and was walked away.” After a few minutes, he walked back and was able to speak. A TIA, maybe?

See Josh Marshall on the latest on the shrinking presidential hopes of Rhonda Santis.