The main political divide in the US is not between parties or States, and between generations. The younger generation (the so-called “millenials”, that is, those who are now 18-35 years) actively voted against Donald trump, and it will be the basis of resistance to his policies. Although among older Americans, there are differences, the base of trump are people over 45 years. All the issues young voters will reject the position of the trump, perceiving him as a politician of the past, not the future.
Of course, this is all averaged numbers, not absolute. However, they confirm the fact of generation gap. According to exit polls, trump voted 53% of voters over 45 years of age, 42% were age 30-44 years and only 37% in the 18-29 age group. According to the 2014 survey, 31% Millennials call themselves liberals, while the generation of baby boomers (at the time of the survey they were 50-68 years old) the figure is 21%, and the so-called “silent generation” (69 and older) — 18%.
The point is not that today’s young liberals will be tomorrow’s old conservatives. Generation “millenials” much more liberal than the baby boomers and the silent generation at the same young age. This generation is also much less of a party and ready to support politicians that will fit their values and to respond to their needs, including candidates associated with the two main parties.
There are at least three big differences in the political views of young and old. First, the youth is much more liberal socially than the older generation. For her the growing racial, religious and sexual pluralism is not the problem. Heterogeneous society consisting of whites, African Americans, Hispanics and Asians, as well as from local and visiting, is a country in which they live, and not a dramatic change compared to last. They calmly refer to sexual and gender-based categories (lesbian, gay, TRANS, bi, inter, pan, etc.), which actually were taboo, or were generally unknown, the generation of their grandfathers and grandmothers, to whom the trump.
Secondly, young people are facing unprecedented economic difficulties associated with the information revolution. Young people leave the labour market in periods when the market return is quickly shifted from labor to capital — robots, artificial intelligence, all intelligent (smart) machine. On the contrary, elderly rich people benefit from the boom in the stock market, caused by the same technological revolution.
Trump proposes to reduce taxes on corporations and property that will bring even more benefits to the rich elderly (which are in abundance represented in his government) due to the growth of the budget deficit. Such a policy will further increase the burden on the young. In reality, young people need the opposite policies: raising taxes on the wealth accumulated by the older generation to Finance higher education, training, infrastructure, renewable energy and similar investments in the future of America.
Thirdly, young people are much better than their parents and grandparents, are aware of the situation with climate change and it creates threats. Trump seduces older generation Swan song of fossil fuels, while the younger generation will not be anything like. They want clean energy and will to fight against the destruction of the Land that they and their children will inherit.
In part, these differences between generations on the issue of global warming caused by the absolute ignorance of many older Americans, including the trump, in terms of climate change and its causes. Older Americans were not taught in school about climate change. They were not acquainted with the basics of scientific knowledge about greenhouse gases. And that is why they are ready to meet their own short-term financial interests, ignoring the terrible danger that they are subjected to the generation of their grandchildren.
In the survey conducted in June of 2015 poll, 60% of respondents aged 18-29 said that human activity is causing global warming, while among respondents aged over 65 years responded only 31%. As follows from the data of a survey published in January of this year, only 38 percent of Americans older than 65 years, welcomes the expansion of fossil fuel rather than renewable energy capacities, and among respondents aged 18-29 believe only 19%.
Economic policy trump sharpened by these “native” Americans, older and whiter. He advocates tax cuts for the rich elderly that will increase the debt burden of young people. He was indifferent to the canopy in the amount of $1 trillion dollars in student loans. He staged a repeat debate of the 1990-ies about NAFTA and free trade, instead of having to deal with much more important issues of employment in the XXI century, which arise due to robots and artificial intelligence. He is anxious to squeeze a few more profitable years of American coal, oil and gas reserves, the price of which will become a future environmental disaster.
It would be possible to explain the retrograde mentality of the trump of his age. In 70 years, the trump is the oldest person who ever became the President of the United States (Ronald Reagan was a bit younger, when he joined the post in 1981). However, age hardly is a cause or even an important factor. Bernie Sanders, the undoubted owner of the fresh brains of all the presidential candidates in 2016 and the hero of the youth vote, now 75 years old. The young people enthusiastic about Pope Francis, who is now 80 years old because it tells about its problems (poverty, employment difficulties, risks of global warming) from a moral point of view, not dismisses them with gross cynicism as trump and others like him.
The main problem here is the mentality and political orientation, not age. Trump the short time horizon (and coverage) among all the presidents in our historic memory. He is completely divorced from the real problems of the younger generation, which attempts to adjust to new technologies, evolving labour market and a huge student debt. Trade war with Mexico and China, or tragically misguided ban on entry of Muslim migrants are unlikely to help solve their problems.
Political success trump is a whimper, not a turning point. Today’s younger generation and its prospects looking forward into the future, will soon come to dominate American politics. America is multi-ethnic, socially liberal, climate-conscious country with a much more equitable system of distribution of economic benets of the new technology.
Too many observers continue to focus too much on the traditional party divisions in the U.S. Congress, and not the more profound demographic changes that will soon become critical. Sanders almost became the presidential candidate of the Democratic party (and could win with a triumph in the General election), making a platform that was very attractive to millenials. Their time will come, apparently, with the President, whom they will support in 2020.