We all know that Hillary Clinton has problems with young voters.
I have been working on a series of posts on another site, and I have been talking about the 2016 Presidential Election. So far, I have looked at the two major candidates, as well as the two candidates from the Libertarian and Green Parties, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, respectively.
To be perfectly honest, this is a pretty weak field of candidates but I hold more favor toward the latter two candidates. Gary Johnson and I part ways on issues like economics, tax policy, and education. I find that Jill Stein is closer to Senator Bernie Sanders on the issues, although she is to the left of him.
But overall, I really don’t like the Democratic or Republican nominees. The Republican nominee is largely unqualified and he has said and done enough that would disqualify any other candidate. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Nominee, is one of the weakest candidates to ever run for president, primarily because of her baggage. But the poor way Clinton is handling younger voters is another point of contention.
Why Hillary Clinton Is Such an Unpalatable Option
To be fair, much of the initial hate that Mrs. Clinton received over the years was irrational. It was mainly due to a Republican smear campaign. They hated her as First Lady and that carried over to her first senatorial run in New York. She was hated for her ambition and political aspirations. She was maligned because she was a woman with those aspirations.
But beyond that, Hillary Clinton has earned a tremendous amount of distrust among American voters. Why? It’s not only about dishonesty (yeah, I know that the vast majority of politicians are liars), but how she lies, what she’s done, and how she addresses people. On top of that, the behavior of her surrogates has only served to turn off many voters.
Let it be known that Clinton’s policies are worrisome. What I found about her tenure as Secretary of State speaks of corruption. But that is not what this post is about.
As the title suggests, I will be discussing how Hillary Clinton does with young people. This is an issue she has never solved since the 2008 presidential election.
Why Young Voters Distrust Hillary Clinton
There is a confluence of factors going on here, but the easiest to explain is Clinton’s obvious disdain of younger voters. I don’t believe she made it any clearer than she did in 2006.
While speaking to the United States Chamber of Commerce in May of that year, Clinton called young people lazy. She said young people “think work is a 4-letter word,” and they grew up in a “culture that has a premium on instant gratification.” Even her daughter, Chelsea, had to call her out for those statements.
Yes, that was ten years ago and Millennials are often categorized by those terms. On some level, it is true about a number of Millennials. But there are many other hardworking people in the same generation and plenty of lazy people in other generations.
Also, it is well-known that young voters pay more attention to presidential elections. They have the lowest turnout of any group in mid-term and off-year elections, although turnout is lower overall.
That said do you honestly think Mrs. Clinton has changed her view? She definitely hasn’t and it shows at times, especially during this election cycle.
Naturally, part of the contentiousness of the Democratic nomination was aimed at Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ supporters. Sanders polled strongly with Millennials and white males. Clinton was said to have more support among minorities and women.
Now, just how strong is/was Sanders’ support among younger voters? Well, his support among younger voters was more than the two leading candidates had combined.
It should be noted that in elections like these, young voters can make a world of difference, when they do vote.
So, how did Clinton address this group? When on Meet the Press in April, Clinton said this when being accused of taking fossil-fuel money: “I feel sorry sometimes for the young people who believe this. They don’t do their own research.”
In short, Clinton thinks that young voters are “misinformed.”
Well, I have news for Mrs. Clinton. Many young voters have done their research on her, and that is part of the reason why they don’t like her. They know about the weapons deals, her support for fracking and the TPP, and more and more details are coming out about her emails sent and received while she was working at the State Department. It doesn’t help to have their intelligence insulted like this.
Why Clinton Won’t Click with Young Voters
In short, Hillary Clinton does not know (or care) how to talk to them. She has done some “youth” outreach and it has been half-hearted at best.
What has she done?
Well, this is her butchering the Nae nae …
This is her “just chillin’ in Cedar Rapids.”
This is her barely answering a question aimed at her regarding the disconnect she still has with younger voters …
This is her pointing her finger in the face of a Greenpeace activist before that Meet the Press interview.
And this is her telling young people to go to the polls …
Oh, I wonder why she hasn’t been making any progress. It amazes me that many of her supporters think she done enough the reach out to young voters (and progressives in general).
How Clinton’s Supporters and Surrogates Have Exacerbated Things
At every step of the way, the Clinton people have insulted and undermined Sanders supporters.
We have seen the verbal attacks on white males. Specifically, they have been called misogynists for not supporting Clinton. They were called “Bernie Bros” to allude to their supposed misogyny.
Young women who preferred Sanders were said to do so because of their libidos. And those same women were said to be traitorous for refusing to support another woman.
Millennials have faced the old standards. Again, they are called lazy, entitled, and fickle, and they are often called uniformed.
To add more fuel to the fire, Millennials are attacked by hired guns. There are people who have been paid by Correct the Record in order to counter negative posts about her.
These voters are attacked wherever you look. Celebrities who support Clinton have gone out of their way to mock young voters especially. The guilty parties include Seth Meyers and Bill Maher, who I mentioned in a previous post. Here’s Seth Meyers at work:
The video was called “Hey! A Message to Bernie or Bust Die-Hards.” My, that’s a nice start.
Additionally, the Clintons have long had an apparatus to inoculate themselves from bad press. This was shown from emails connected to the U.S. response in Haiti. Also, Democratic National Committee emails have shown how the press has been conditioned during this entire election process.
Basically, the PR strategy has two parts:
- Control the airwaves. Condition certain members of the press to only say positive things about Hilldawg (and disparaging things about Sanders). Getting celebrity support is a plus.
- The online strategy has been to find young voters where they hang out online and … scream at them for their opposition.
And it’s this last part that has been the nail in the coffin for the notion of supporting Clinton for many young people. It is not so much the main cause, but it sends a message. It’s like the same type of message the Republican leadership keeps sending to gay people and minorities.
What Clinton Needed to Do Regarding Young Voters
I saw “needed” because it might be too late for her to appeal to younger voters, or the “Bernie or Bust” crowd, although she may very well need as many progressive votes as she can get. Still, I think it is relatively easy to appeal to younger voters as long as you are honest with them and respectful.
Young people know that they won’t get all the policies they want. They know that some policies are years in the making. But they want to be talked to like adults. Instead, they have been condescended to and bullied this entire time.
The funny thing is they were willing to vote for Clinton if she won the nomination, but they wanted her to earn their votes. She has stubbornly refused to do this because she feels it’s beneath her.
Fear and Loathing in This Election Cycle
Now, I know some people will want to say that this is about feelings, but it is for so many of Clinton’s supporters. They’re angry at the people who are not on their side. They fear a Trump presidency. And they are thus lashing out at all opponents because Trump. That is the fallback.
Yes, everyone in their right mind knows that priority #1 is keeping Trump out. But priority #2 should be holding Hillary Clinton’s feet to the fire … now. That people don’t want to hold her accountable but yell at people with valid concerns reeks of desperation.
But for the purposes of argument, people need to temporarily remove Trump as a reason to vote for Clinton. We need to talk about Hillary Clinton’s positions and past policies. Her supporters mustn’t hand wave people’s concerns and rely on fear and insults to get people to do what they want.
And just how smart is that? If you need someone to vote with you, how smart is it to disrespect them?
Let me rephrase that. Some time back, I questioned Hillary Clinton’s judgment, so this question should be phrased in that respect: How does trying to bully someone into submission show good judgment?
The Bottom Line
Not only does this amount of disrespect show bad judgment, but it also expresses complacency and laziness.
Clinton feels that young voters are entitled, but what can you say about her expecting to have those votes from Sanders supporters? And what else can we make of her ambitions? Just why does she want to be president in the first place?
Clinton is lazy in the regard that she had people do the dirty work for her. He surrogates attack her opponents.
And Clinton hasn’t built a solid case for herself. She hasn’t held a press conference in over 200 days.
Now, she expects Bernie Sanders and his supporters to do to work for her to gain more support. Rosario Dawson hits the nail on the head here:
The Clinton camp wants to take the energy that Sanders’ supporters have and use their phone-banking and communications skills for her campaign. Why didn’t her people put forth this effort? Can they put forth this effort? Will they even try?
The way I see it, Hillary Clinton’s camp wasted precious time by not investing in efforts to create more Democratic voters. This is ultimately why Clinton has lost many young voters for good.