2024-07-19 10:53 AM

Editor’s Column: Awaiting the Voter of All Millennials & Gen Z’ers

For those of us who are looking to avoid panic in the context of the current political landscape in the U.S., there is a lot that’s hopeful to consider. If we can, as a nation, hold onto our democracy over the critical next couple of years, then the rise to voting age of the Millennial (age 27-42) and Gen. Z (age 11-26), also known as Plurals, populations can all but assure us that the kind of progressive, pluralistic, compassionate policy choices will prevail, and by an increasingly dominant amount.

The biggest changes will occur when all the Gen. Z’ers, called Plurals by some because they overwhelmingly affirm pluralistic values, hit voting age over the next decade.

The Republicans’ resort to extreme anti-pluralistic policies, from outlawing abortion to undoing the whole array of current pluralistic policies and rigging election outcomes through gerrymandering, reflects a growing sense of desperation that time is running out on all their increasingly radical programs.

Readers need to take that into account when the freaky policies of Trump, DeSantis and all the other Republicans who are jumping onto the 2024 presidential bandwagon are magnified by regrettable TV news coverage.

These trends are not new, despite the latest reporting by the Brookings Institute and Pew Research. I wrote long ago that the choice was up to the GOP to adapt to this reality either by acting to suppress it as much as possible, or by the wiser path of finding policies that can advance their agenda while appealing to emerging younger and minority voters.

But nope, the GOP locked itself onto the former path and is now following it into oblivion. It escalated with the reaction to the election of Obama in 2008 and the subsequent rise of its racist so-called Tea Party. They chose to appeal to and arouse the most backward, racist and sexist sentiments in the population.

A majority of the people they sought to recruit to their cause were not as extreme to begin with as the GOP sought to reshape them through ridiculously reactionary rhetoric springing from their most marginalized and incendiary crackpots like the late Rush Limbaugh.

Using old mantras from residual racist outlooks dating back 100 years or more, and activating them in the context of the Obama presidency, they dashed anyone more moderate in the process, recruiting nut cases to “primary” the old GOP, and were eager to win the tacit support of key among the nation’s most dangerous adversaries, especially the most reactionary elements of the Russian leadership.

It has been truly astonishing to witness the past decade’s growing alignment between Putin’s Russia and the most radical elements of the reshaped GOP. The two elements are effectively one entity now, united in their hatred of any and all progressive, pluralistic political agendas.

The fact that these two factions have found a common enemy in the LGBTQ+ population is illustrative of this bizarre alliance and the dangerous trend it represents. Now, far from representing any set of policies that could correspond to the GOP agenda of old, from the days when the GOP was considered progressive itself, this new fixation on the kind of perceived personal morality that has overtaken the party is both a reflection of and contributor to its eventual crushing demise.

Hatred of the notion of the autonomy of women and non-nuclear family identities of any sort is the oldest and cruelest form of oppression historically. It is the only form of social order that guarantees dominant males unchallenged access to do as they please, no matter what. This is the culture that America has struggled over many decades to overcome, and progress to that end has been halting and often stifled, but has on balance brought us to the point now where male supremacy as a cultural identity can be overthrown.

And it is to that end that today’s youth, today’s Millennials and Gen. Zers, our Plurals, offer the mosthope for the kind of seismic transformation of our culture that the best of our true patriots over the recent centuries have hoped for.

This is the humanity that’s fit for our planet’s launch out into this, our great universe.





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In Memoriam: Cathy Quinn

Catherine Garhart Quinn passed away peacefully on July 13, 2024. She was born in Sharon, PA on June 24, 1945, to Bernard and Anne Garhart.