By Robert Mann
I know you and your fellow millennials were wild about Sen. Bernie Sanders and many are now excited by Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson. As for Hillary Clinton, you think she’s shady and represents the past as much as Donald Trump represents bigotry and greed. You’re not looking to settle but be inspired. You want a candidate whose argument is better than, “I’m not Donald Trump.”
During the primaries, Sanders spoke directly to you and your friends with passion and sincerity we’ve rarely seen from Clinton. Johnson also has a down-to-earth sincerity, although I am immune to his charms and worried about his stunning ignorance about Aleppo, the epicenter of the Syrian refugee crisis.
Whatever the case, here’s some bad news: You thought your time to save the world would wait until you turned 30. You thought you had more years to sew your political wild oats. You thought you could afford to vote for Johnson or even stay home.
Well, sorry, but your reckless political youth was short-lived. You see, your elders are about to drive this country into the abyss by voting for Donald Trump. Like it or not, your generation, along with black and Latino voters, is all that stands in the way of a Trump presidency.
I confess my generation has made a mess. We’ve jeopardized your economic future by ignoring Social Security reform. We let the big banks nearly crash our economy. We’ve done nothing about climate change.
Most of my white contemporaries want Trump to pick the next two or three Supreme Court justices. And they want the court to stop same-sex marriages and end the expansion of voting and reproductive rights.
Many in my generation hope Trump will move quickly to repeal Obamacare and pass massive new tax cuts for the rich. Whites over 50 will cheer as he yanks the United States from international climate change agreements. They won’t protest as the big banks grow bigger, the special interests grab more power and we wait another decade to make college more affordable.
I know what you’re thinking: “Don’t send me on a guilt trip for your generation’s appalling tolerance of a racist and misogynist.” OK, good point.
I understand your disgust with millions of older white people who are eager to hum “Hail to the Chief” to the orange bigot. But here’s the deal: I know how much you want to make the world a better place. You have a hopeful, expansive and optimistic vision for this country that many of my contemporaries lack.
I know you want to tackle poverty, disease and ignorance. I know well your enthusiasm for racial and ethnic diversity and environmental justice. I know you wish to see your country expand civil and human rights for women, minorities, gay people, lesbians and transgender people.
Well, Nov. 8 is the day you can stop the man who would halt or reverse the march of economic and social progress that you and I want.
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