I thought this was a great article about the rising power of millennials in US politics.
First, as a woman, Warren would drain the deepest reservoir of pro-Hillary passion: the prospect of a female president. While Hillary would raise vast sums, Dean and Obama have both shown that in the digital age, an insurgent can compete financially by inspiring huge numbers of small donations. Elizabeth Warren can do that. She’s already shown a knack for going viral. A video of her first Senate banking committee hearing, where she scolded regulators that “too-big-to-fail has become too-big-for-trial,” garnered 1 million hits on YouTube. In her 2012 Senate race, despite never before having sought elected office, she raised $42 million, more than twice as much as the second-highest-raising Democrat. After Bill Clinton and the Obamas, no other speaker at last summer’s Democratic convention so electrified the crowd.
Warren has done it by challenging corporate power with an intensity Clinton Democrats rarely muster. At the convention, she attacked the “Wall Street CEOs — the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs — [who] still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them.”
And in one of the biggest applause lines of the entire convention, taken straight from Occupy, she thundered that “we don’t run this country for corporations, we run it for people.”
Don’t be fooled by Warren’s advanced age. If she runs, Millennials will be her base. No candidate is as well positioned to appeal to the young and economically insecure. Warren won her Senate race by eight points overall, but by 30 points among the young. The first bill she introduced in the Senate was a proposal to charge college students the same interest rates for their loans that the Federal Reserve offers big banks. It soon garnered 100,000 hits on YouTube.
I’m of course English, but millennials here face many – if not worse – problems in the UK. We don’t have a party that speaks for us, yet. With the Liberal Democrats basically burnt among the young, with Labour both having problems with a grey and unclear leader at the same time that it struggles with the legacy of the Brown and Blair years, and with a Tory party that has reverted to its ‘nasty’ label, there’s not a lot you can vote for.
It has struck me before that millenials don’t have that much to look forward to. We are called the entitled generation, but we are the least catered to generation. Few of us expect to ever get a pension, and hell few of us expect to even have a steady job. House? Savings? Security? That’s a ridiculous concept to most people that I know. Maybe no generation thinks about those things at this age, but I don’t believe that.
While many of us will go on to university, our BAs and Masters degrees will mean little, and may not even give us McJobs because everyone will have one of those. Our wages will suffer then, and as is usual in economic depressions, our wages may never reach comparable levels with our parents.
Pensions are for our parents and their parents, but are expected to be broke by the time we get to that age. We already are shut out from government benefits to a large degree so that our joblessness goes to pay rich pensioners’ free winter fuel benefits. We have to pay a lot for our own higher education, directly or indirectly. Yes, you can get student loans, but they have to be paid back. Economic unfairness is costing the young a shot at a decent life where their wages, if they ever get a job, will drag behind.
We are considered the entitled and spoiled generation, because we ask for what our parents and grandparents got. That’s not asking for much, is it?
Elizabeth Warren for President in 2016? Huh. Maybe that would jolt this side of the pond too.