Yes, it’s true – you cannot comment on any articles on the Flathead Memo. I find this frustrating, but not as frustrating as some of the attitudes displayed by older Democrats in the state.
One of the main reasons for this article is the New York Times article called “The Coming Democratic Schism.”
In that article Thomas B. Edsall pretty much lays out the case that younger Democrats are more conservative, less progressive, and more inclined to go against government welfare spending. They’re also more likely to think minorities have themselves to blame for any poor economic position they may have.
You see, many of us younger Democrats born in the 80s have always lived with Affirmitive Action and the effects of the Civil Rights Movement and Equal Rights. We’ve always had abortion. The right to unionize or strike federally has never existed for most of us.
Our thinking is a bit different and many older Democrats are coming to realize this, much to their dismay.
Oftentimes this leads us younger Democrats to be labeled as “DINO’s,” or “Democrats in Name Only.” I don’t think that’s a very good strategy, and kind of smacks of the inability of one group to defend its own ideas. After all, throwing up your hands and calling someone a name isn’t a very effective way to explain away a problem.
It’s clear things have shifted, as the article makes clear when it brings up a Pew Research study:
The July Pew survey identifies two predominantly white core Democratic constituencies: the “solid liberals” of the traditional left, which is 69 percent white, with an average age of 46, who exhibit deep progressive commitments on both economic and social issues; and younger voters, 68 percent white, with an average age of 38, which Pew calls the “next generation left.”
Right now most elected officials in both parties are quite old. There’s not a lot of young blood on either side, although there’ll have to be as the state gets older.
One of the things James Connor says is that if this trend continues it:
“ultimately will prevent the Democratic Party from seeking redistributive solutions to social and economic ills while contributing to economic inequality, leaving the less fortunate without a major political party as their champion.”
Is it really the government’s job to solve all the problems in the world? Most young Democrats don’t think so, and that puts us more in line with some of the Republican- and business-minded folks of the state.
We’ve discussed the problems the older generation has getting effective communication tools of the 21st century up and running. Yes, these include blogs and social media, two things that aren’t newspapers and that generally scare these older groups.
Remember, many of these older Democrats are set in their ways and either unwilling or incapable of learning new tricks…and most probably both. For them sitting and complaining is much preferable to actually getting up and taking action. I mean, one takes work, and we’ve seen that older Democrats believe it is more important to have everyone provided for than to have everyone working.
Ultimately it won’t be this ideological shift that does this older way of Democratic thinking in, but age itself. Older Democrats in Montana have the distinct disadvantage in that they’re…older. Yep, their time will come whether they like it or not.
I helplessly hope they do teach us some ideas first before they sail away. But I also hope the logical plan of these younger Democrats will prevail. And you know it will.