New York Magazine: Millennials Need to Start Voting Before the Gerontocracy Kills Us All

New York Magazine: Millennials Need to Start Voting Before the Gerontocracy Kills Us All
Pointing to current problems like climate change, the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, and the underfunding of the country’s school system, New York Magazine reporter Eric Levitz argues that millennials must turn out to vote to prevent older voters and politicians from sanctioning policies that could have negative effects on younger generations.Levitz connects these issues to policies advanced by the current Republican-controlled Congress as well as the White House. Calling their governing approach “carpe diem,” Levitz says that the ruling party is “dominated by geriatric billionaires and millenarian Christians; our electoral system gives politicians little incentive to prioritize the nation’s long-term well-being over their constituents’ immediate gratification.” In light of this, Levitz is dismayed at what he perceives as low voting rates among young people (ages 18-29). Citing PRRI data, he writes, “PRRI finds that 39 percent of Americans under 30 say that they do not vote, or engage in any other form of political participation, because doing so ‘wouldn’t make a difference.’”
Democrats’ Anti-Abortion Plank Falters in Missouri
In Missouri, historically “a barometer of the American middle,” Democrats are coming to terms with diminishing legislative power and a renewed need to appeal to moderate voters. This means that legislators are left in a difficult situation on hot-button issues like abortion, according to Sabrina Tavernise at The New York Times. Tavernise reports that Missouri’s Democratic senator, Claire McCaskill, endorsed a push by former state legislator Joan Barry to create a plank for the state Democratic Party that welcomed Democrats like Barry who oppose abortion. That plank was ultimately voted out by the Democratic State Committee in August, after Barry received backlash from progressive voters who rejected the plank’s proposed “diversity of views” on abortion. Per PRRI data released this month, only one in five (21 percent) Democrats say that Roe v. Wade was decided incorrectly and should be overturned, while almost three-quarters of (73 percent) of Democrats say that Roe v. Wade was decided correctly and should be upheld. By contrast, more than half (52 percent) of Republicans believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned.
Pessimism of the “Exhausted Majority” Blurs Partisan Lines
The Hidden Tribes of America,” a recently released study by More in Common, an international polling group, shows that the most hardline, politically active liberals and conservatives are white, well educated, and active on social media. These two political wings are consistently at odds with each other, while the report categorizes the rest of America as the politically disengaged “Exhausted Majority.” Axios executive editor Mike Allen spoke with Stephen Hawkins, one of the study’s co-authors, who said that liberal and conservative wings are “talking to each other too little, with too much suspicion and too little giving credit.” In an interview with Axios, Hawkins describes people at both ends of the political spectrum as “dogmatic” and “ideologically rigid.” According to PRRI data released this month, Americans have grown more pessimistic over the past year about our ability to bridge political differences. More than six in ten (62 percent) Americans say they are pessimistic about whether Americans who hold different political views can come together to solve the country’s problems, while just 36 percent say they feel optimistic. PRRI’s recent survey found that Republicans and Democrats are united on one thing, though—their pessimism about the country’s ability to bridge its political differences. Sixty-five percent of Democrats and nearly as many Republicans (60 percent) feel pessimistic about this topic.
The End of White Christian America
The Christian Citizen, a digital magazine, recently featured an excerpt from PRRI CEO Dr. Robert P. Jones’s book, The End of White Christian America. The passage comes from the afterword of the book, written in the wake of the 2016 election. The Christian Citizen is affiliated with the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, whose national conference, “Space for Grace: Thy Will be Done,” will be held in Philadelphia from November 14-16.
In addition to Jones, speakers include Molly T. Marshall, PhD, President and Professor of Spiritual Formation at Central Baptist Theological Seminary; Rev. Corey D. B. Walker, PhD, Vice President, Dean, and Professor of Religion and Society at Virginia Union University; and many others.