Newsweek magazine reports that Hillary Clinton has a “millennial problem.”
It is significant that a mainstream liberal publication is pointing out the problem, considering that Democrats are supposed to have a firm stranglehold on the emotions of the radical liberal youth. But perhaps Clinton, seen by many as the face of the establishment, is not radical enough for them.
Newsweek points to polling that shows Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are siphoning votes away from Clinton among the youth, which helps Trump.
Hillary Clinton does not support single-payer health care; Young voters do. Hillary Clinton is among the more hawkish members of the Democratic Party; Young voters are not. Hillary Clinton is a capitalist, and even within a capitalist party, she is in both perception and in practice unusually comfortable with capitalism’s worst practices. Millennials, by contrast, reject the entire economic system by a bare majority. They are no great fans of financial institutions or free trade. This should not be surprising in a year when very few voters of any age group are particularly enthusiastic about their prospects…
…Despite Clinton’s flagging numbers, her chances of success remain high. Rather, the fear is that if younger voters really are committed to a host of ideological positions at odds with the mainstream of the Democratic Party, then that Party, without a Trump-sized cudgel, is doomed. It should not escape anybody’s notice that politics by negative definition—the argument, at bottom, that “we’re better than those guys”—has become the dominant electoral strategy of the Democratic Party, and that despite the escalation of the “those guys” negatives, the mere promise to be preferable has yielded diminishing returns. At some point, the Democratic Party will either need to embrace a platform significantly to the left of their current orthodoxy, or they will lose.
There are only so many times one can insist that young voters capitulate to a political party’s sole demand—vote for us!—in exchange for nothing.