It is surprising to some onlookers to see the Democrat Party that, in polling if not turnout, attracts a majority of young people but retains individuals in their 70s and 80s — figures from another time — in positions of power and as presidential candidates.
This phenomenon would be easily explainable in some ways for the GOP, as it tends to revere tradition and empirical evidence.
So naturally Republicans would gravitate to those of relative experience and wisdom.
But the Democrats have glorified change for the sole sake of change since at least the 1960s.
So how and why is this adolescent-thinking party looking to near-octogenarians and those even older than that for leadership, at least right now?
Actually, the answer to the question lies not so much in the party but in the young voters themselves.
The Democratic Party, like any political party, is a creature of habit and seniority.
For candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden, who is nearing the age of 80, to be at the helm is a normal thing — for the party, that is.
His showing with the young is not great. However, the showing of the 1960s-inspired Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) with young Dem voters is quite good. Why?
Because this generation of young Democrat voters is the most conformist group of young people in our political history.
As the kerfuffle at the halftime of the Harvard-Yale game this past weekend vividly demonstrated, many college students today are mere parrots of what they hear from their leftwing professors. Many of those professors came of age in the ’60s or take guidance from the leftist fantasies of that time period.
So they’re natural propagandists for Sanders and for their own student charges, who robotically amplify the same ideology.
The pop culture equivalent would be if the current American Top 40 charts were populated by hits from Cream and The Yardbirds.
Perhaps that would be an improvement from the current Top 40 — but it would still be an odd phenomenon.
What is unintentionally amusing about all of this is that these young people generally think they’re edgy rebels sticking it to “the Man.” They think their piercings, tattoos, and leftwing politics somehow set them apart from the great teeming morass of suburban corporate culture.
But one stroll down the main avenue of any suburban shopping mall or college quad should disabuse them of their iconoclastic status. The places are lousy with fake rebels who congregate in the collective, think the same ideology, and do exactly what their professors and the major media tell them to do.
Tragic shooting? Count on young “activists” to insist on the need for gun control, interestingly conforming exactly to Democrat talking points.
Yet when young conservatives try to get their word out on a campus, you can count on many more to protest their presence and try — successfully in some cases, as at SUNY Binghamton recently — to get them thrown off campus for the audacity of straying from Dem talking points on President Donald Trump and a host of other issues.
Climate change? They dutifully glorify the very young Greta Thunberg, being careful not to think for themselves by challenging any bit of that narrative, lest they be thought “not lefty enough” by their peers or the prevailing powers on campus.
Even a hallowed Ivy football rivalry is not safe from the actions of youngsters, good robots that they are, as they engage in performance art to please their Democrat mentors and ideological masters.
So, support for the Dems among young voters is a children’s crusade led by aging Marxists and the elderly, as I see it.
But that’s OK.
Turnout numbers show that the young put up a fuss but vote in small numbers.
When student activism was at its highest in the late 1960s and early 1970s, young voters helped elect Republican Richard Nixon twice — the second time in a landslide (in 1972).
Their potential effect in the election of 2020 is going to be just about the same.
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