Millennials and the Deconstruction of the Two Party System

Richard Cucarese Rapid Response Coordinator, USW Local 4889

The unending folly of our presidential election recently had some eye opening revelations when certain factions of delegates on both sides called for a major revamping of both parties when their conventions took place in July.  Although protests at the RNC in Cleveland were sparse, there was still an ongoing tension between the old guard, the Tea Party and the Frankenstein, nightmare candidate come to life, Donald Trump, who remarkably thought that making America great again is done by running the narrative that the country is in dark dangerous times.  What he fails to mention is that if the country is on course for caving into the abyss, it’s been exacerbated by the 1% of which he’s a card carrying member.

Notwithstanding the calamity in the GOP, the DNC certainly had nothing to gloat about either as they and the mainstream media did everything in their power to squash the contentious nature inside, nor cover the discord taking place outside the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, erecting over four miles of barricades to keep thousands of protesters at bay and making sure that press coverage was nearly nonexistent.  Many in the crowds outside of the arena believed Secretary Clinton and the DNC Chairperson, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, were the chief orchestrators of these instances. 

Both parties have become reprehensibly complacent, whittling their constituencies down to niche groups laser focused on one dimensional issues, while consistently pandering to the lobbyists of big business, Wall Street and the banks.   This has left massive swaths of the population to fend for themselves while Congress passes merciless legislation, such as the free trade agreements, which have pillaged our manufacturing base and sent millions of Americans into the ranks of the impoverished or worse.

A word to the wise, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and your respective parties: The Millennials, now the largest population of Americans, are watching you and abhor what they are seeing.  They are sick of the avarice in a corrupt political system which seems to have no remorse for trampling the common person, their ability to make a decent wage, the environment and many other issues they hold dear. 

It’s the reason that many of them flocked to Sen. Bernie Sanders and his “radical” notion that fairness for the masses can work and has worked before; and he’s admitted that Republicans and Democrats have by and large walked away from the core values of their constituents and have thoroughly ignored the younger generation.

There needs to be a wake up call administered to both parties and their minions in the print and video media.  The next generation is not afraid to go elsewhere for their information, thanks to social media and the internet and they are certainly not afraid to join other political parties who’ll air their grievances.

In my travels through the days of the DNC protests in Center City, the barricades by the Wells Fargo Arena, and their encampments at FDR Park in Philadelphia, I spoke with and interviewed numerous Millennials.  They are growing tired of the never ending wars and the massive deficits we’re running up because of these conflicts.  They are vehemently against free trade deals like the TPP, which quite a few admitted have put their families out of work.  Some of them even going homeless from time to time.

Many of them agree we need our infrastructure to be fixed and also approve of the buy American provisions these programs should have.  They believe manufacturing should make a comeback in this country but not at the expense of the environment, something which groups like the BlueGreen Alliance are already trying to implement.  Quite a few from Right-To-Work-for-Less states voiced their displeasure at these laws and feel the only way to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, like medical benefits, pensions and a sustainable wage are best achieved by joining a union (are you listening, organized labor).

The Republican and especially the Democratic Party better heed the calls of this growing generation before it’s too late.  They would like to see a grassroots movement of real progressive ideas, and if their issues are not dealt with soon, this voting bloc may speed up the demise of both political parties sooner than you may think.    

You can contact Richard on Twitter @stlwrkr4889.

Posted In: Union Matters

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