Millennial and Boomer Communicate with Great Civility on Twitter. Details at 11

Yesterday on Twitter I had a brief and friendly interchange with a Millennial. I didn’t KNOW she was a Millennial until she told me. The dispute was how the Democrats should push a candidate in the upcoming election; who should they choose? Her contention was that, “We can walk and chew gum at the same time” meaning that the candidate can run on something more than just beating Offal. He or she can run on Medicare for All as well.

I contended that I wished this were the case, but to beat Offal, the candidate has to appeal to a very wide range of voters, those who voted for Offal just to get a dig at Hillary, those who held their nose and voted for him because they “always vote Republican,” those who had lost their faith in Offal. I said I thought anyone too far left would not capture those votes.

She replied that she is a Millennial, Millennials want healthcare, and they are the largest block of voters. I was about to reply that I believe healthcare is a right, that I spent most of my working life uninsured (exploitation did not begin with the Millennials) but this is not that election. When I hit “reply” I learned she’d deleted the comment. I was sorry. We were having an uncharacteristically civil conversation on an otherwise often enraged platform.

This young woman had retreated to the arbitrary definition of her herd. Later I thought about me at twenty vs. now. As time passed, I became less “passionate” in a way — maybe that’s what we do, what Hemingway decried in A Farewell to Arms where he sets the young male character up against an older man who says something about patience and the cooling of ardor and says, “That is the wisdom of old men.” This wisdom is criticized by Federic Henry who’s fallen in love with the British nurse who cared for him in the hospital. Frederic is willing to go AWOL to Switzerland to be with her…

As I became older I saw that many of our goals are not reached in one fell swoop, but over time, step-by-step. Sure, I knew that intellectually but what it meant in my own real life? It took a while. The idea for a novel is not a novel. A trail is not trod on a map. There are complications and turning points and hazards we don’t know about until we start out. When I was young — as this woman is — I didn’t KNOW this. And, what my Millennial interlocutor might not know is that Clinton ran on a universal healthcare promise way back in the 90s. We know how that worked out. Americans were upset that he was going to put his wife in charge of that! Nepotism! And Hillary is annoying!

One of the things that put Offal in office is the desire of his base to have it all RIGHT NOW and his willingness to promise that he could deliver it. Their appetite for instant gratification leads them to believe his lies. They know they can’t see the whole iceberg, so if he tells them Ivanka created 14 million jobs when the entire economy added only 6 million, they’re going to believe Offal.

Also my young Twitter friend doesn’t seem to realize that there are Millennials who support Offal. The Millennials alone are not going to fix this mess in the upcoming election. In fact, there’s the danger that — as happened last time when Bernie wasn’t nominated — if they don’t get the candidate they want, they won’t show up at all.

We have a huge mess and, in my opinion, it’s urgent that we get rid of Offal and most of the men and women currently in the Senate. In fact, keeping Offal and transforming the Senate would be a pretty acceptable alternative because it would paralyze him. The most important thing for any voter — whatever generation — to understand is this. None of the more liberal agenda (and I’m only marginally liberal) can take place without one of those two things happening. If both could happen it would be the best outcome. Once the power is restored to the majority of Americans (who either did not vote or voted Democrat in the last presidential election) we’re going to have a big job restoring our position internationally and convincing our allies (if we still have any) that we’re serious about renewing our ties. We’re going to have to come to grips for once and for all with an immigration system that doesn’t work right and we’re going to have to find a way to make things up to the families we’ve destroyed. There’s no reason in the world for this country to have the kind of whacky health care system it has right now and maybe Obamacare can be tweaked to function better as we work toward a more equitable system for everyone. The most important issue to me is climate change — but it’s huge. Maybe we can step back into the Paris Accord.

Offal’s reign has brought up the question of state’s rights, a topic that interests me very much after living in California for 30 years and witnessing the incredible difference between that world and the rural Colorado world in which I live now. How can we support and enhance those things which each state does well and offers to the nation as a whole? Doing that would promote unity in this massively divided nation. We should not be against each other. Being against the government? I get that. Je suis l’anarchie.

Here’s a very funny song for your listening pleasure…

6 thoughts on “Millennial and Boomer Communicate with Great Civility on Twitter. Details at 11

  1. amen. My sister is a Libertarian and her biggest gripe about the Democrats is that they routinely nominate candidates that are not electable. I would love to see a woman and a progressive in the White House but the older (and marginally wiser) me knows that to woo the fence sitters we will need to nominate a man. That doesn’t mean that we can’t have change and make a difference in our world. We may just have to do it in a less linear path. I’d love to see Mayor Pete (he’s from my town) be the VP and I like Elizabeth Warren. I felt the Bern(ie) last election but sadly he and Hilary Clinton have both been painted with a broad brush as too liberal and they have too much baggage to win in the general election… But it doesn’t really matter. I’ll vote for anyone that opposes the current travesty.

    • I agree with your sister and I’ll vote for anyone who opposes the current travesty, too. I have a preference, but am not profoundly impressed by any of the aspiring Democrats. I liked Bernie Sanders last time very much and was sad when he was persuaded out so that we could have “the first woman president.” Elizabeth Warren makes my teeth itch, but only because she comes across to me like one of my hyper-enthusiastic and conventional teacher colleagues pandering for a contract. That’s not her fault. Personal taste is what it is. I try not to pay attention to her as a person but to what she espouses. I wish Biden were not so old. I honestly think — on the basis of his experience and good reputation internationally — he’s got the best chance of righting some things quickly. I like Mayor Pete and Andrew Yang both very much.

      I’ve examined my heart pretty seriously and I don’t think any woman of my generation will appeal to me (though I have voted for one and would do it again). We’re too — I don’t know. We’ve lived through too much change (and too much abuse) to just LIVE gracefully with the fruits of feminism. We’re still (and always) proving ourselves which makes us obnoxious, strident, trying too hard. (Just my opinion). Kamala Harris did appeal to me. I thought she was smart, aware of her demographic without being limited by and to it, and experienced. I guess I’d like to see Biden and Harris or Biden and Mayor Pete.

      • I actually like Yang, but don’t think he has any chance of winning. I also love Warren, but she is one of ours and I have watched her rise from nowhere to somewhere. She’s smart and funny and she thinks. But, like you, in the end anyone by the one who’s there will be better. One of our dogs would do better.

  2. I have your reindeer hanging right under the thermostat because it’s highly visible there. It’s so cute!

    My granddaughter is a Millenial — but she was born and raised in Massachusetts, one of the ‘we don’t count” states because there is no way this state would vote a majority for Offal (good name!) She and the other ones in her age groups are all pro anything that isn’t Trump, but this is Massachusetts. We voted for McGovern.

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