The Democratic Party Age Divide

Written by Swiss America

Financial DragonsThe Millennials-Versus-Boomers Fight Divides the Democratic Party -The Atlantic
"The United States is a fortress of gerontocracy besieged by a youth rebellion. America's leaders are old - very old. The average age in Congress has never been higher, and our national leaders are all approaching 80...Americans 55 and up account for less than one-third of the population, but they own two-thirds of the nation's wealth...Americans under the age of 40 are historically well educated, peaceful, and law-abiding. But this impressive resume of conscientiousness hasn't translated into much economic or political power....

Young Americans demanding more power, control, and justice have veered sharply to the left. This lurch was first evident in the two elections of Barack Obama, when he won the youth vote by huge margins. But upon closer examination, the Democrats aren't really the party of the young - or, for that matter, of social-justice leftists. In the most sophisticated poll of the Iowa caucus, Joe Biden polled at 2 percent among voters under 30, within the margin of error of zero. Bernie Sanders, by contrast, leads all candidates among voters under 30 and polls just 5 percent among voters over 65....It might be most useful to think about young progressives as a third party trapped in a two-party system.....This group's support for Medicare for All, free college, and student-debt relief is sometimes likened to a 'give me free stuff' movement....'This is only the halfway point of an epochal change in Western politics following the Great Recession,' Keir Milburn says. The far right has responded with calls for xenophobic nationalism to preserve national identity, while the left has responded with calls for social democracy to restore socioeconomic justice. Assuming Milburn's analysis is correct, the young progressive movement will have to shed its first adjective in order to gain power. In 2016, voters older than 40 accounted for nearly three-fifths of all primary voters. It is impossible to win a national election by running a campaign of generational warfare that runs counter to, or directly indicts, a majority of the electorate. One way or another, America’s third party will have to grow up."