The Democrat Party is a disgusting mess and establishment Republicans are working overtime to wrest growing inter-party power from grassroots conservatives by any means possible. It’s no wonder a massive number of young Americans are ready to try something long considered radical in American politics.
Recent polling out from NBC News and the University of Chicago reveals that 18-34-year-old support for a third party option in coming national elections is at a record high. Among the demographic, the data show that an astonishing 71 percent of respondents want ballot options divorced from the corrupted Democrat and Republican political machines.
Young Americans have historically been the group most receptive to third party candidates in American politics– so, it might be tempting to write off the recent data of support for third party options as a symptom of a longtime political pipe dream shared by American youth spanning generations.
But breaking down the NBC/University of Chicago data, it becomes apparent that disgust with two-party politics is likely playing a bigger role in the desire for a third party than simple political idealism.
According to the poll, 74 percent of voters in the range currently identifying as Democrats and 67 percent identifying as Republicans want another option.
Political analysts frequently claim that millennial voters are something of a political paradox because polling routinely shows that these voters hold political views that which don’t line up with the black/white shouting points of the current political establishment.
For instance, a Reason magazine survey of the demographic back in 2014 found that 65 percent of millennials supported government spending cuts to boost the economy– but 62 percent and 58 percent called for spending increase on job training and infrastructure, respectively.
Fifty-eight percent said they want tax cuts, but 66 percent want hikes for wealthy Americans.
Seventy-four percent support a robust government social safety net, but 66 percent lack faith in government to manage programs.
In general, polling data find millennials to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative– but they don’t fit neatly into the category of capital L Libertarians because of support for government services.
For supporters of new options in American politics, that should be viewed as a good thing.
The only way to explain why is to consider the world millennials have grown up in. This is an entire generation of people raised in a country that’s been at war for most of their lives. It’s a generation that’s seen the number of billionaires in the United States increase by hundreds as technology and outsourcing have hurt working class wages. Likewise, it’s a generation that has seen tech companies go from overnight successes to economic powerhouses which wield more control and hold more wealth than many countries throughout the world. It’s also a generation caught between massive corporate power, technologically enabled opportunity and stifling government regulation– think tech companies which use costumers as product and know everything about you, the gig economy, and government regulations designed to protect corporate cronies by making it difficult to operate as a micro-business when it should be easier than ever.
Millennials have seen enough of what doesn’t work from both major parties to believe there are better options. They don’t want no government at all, they want more effective government. If there must be a war, it needs to be winnable rather than serving as a blank check to the defense industry. If government is handing tax benefits to billion dollar corporations, there must be measurable proof of how that benefits Americans more than campaign coffers. If government is willing to allow big tech to monopolize the online experience, it should also deregulate Joe Schmo selling goods on the street without a permit.
The Washington establishment has long used Us versus Them tactics to hide the fact that members of both major parties are united as plutocrats more than they’re divided as Democrats or Republicans. Millennials are noticing, and by 2020 they’ll be the biggest voting bloc in the nation.