Why are many young people so opposed to the President and ‘Trumpism”?
Being an outsider, billionaire and Republican should not be enough to elect someone President of the United States, but that is exactly what happened. A great number of young people intensely dislike the President.
Is this sentiment related to his attitudes toward women? Is it his position on climate change? Is it his proposed border wall between Mexico?
Realistically, it is probably all of these reasons and more.
President Trump is crippling the conservative platform and millennial conservatives are tired of it.
“Drain the Swamp” was Mr. Trump’s comeback phrase to unify Americans in their hatred for career politicians and bureaucrats. Even I could get behind this message of cleaning up the mess in Washington D.C. and putting good people in government positions. However, the President’s actions so far have been anything but “draining the swamp.”
To start with, the President’s cabinet is arguably one of the most unqualified cabinets in the history of the United States. Betsy DeVos, for example, seems to lack a basic understanding of how the Department of Education functions. On several occasions, Secretary DeVos has failed in her responsibility as DOE leader to clarify the law and hold states accountable to it.
As an example, she refused to enforce the accountability provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act. She continuously disregards her duties to protect equal public education for low-income families and seems to have no interest in protecting students with financial and physical disabilities. She also holds firm in her belief that the federal government should not protect students in the LGBT community from discrimination. There is no faster way to upset young people than to dismantle public education protections and funding, yet this is exactly what the President has done through DeVos.
Donald Trump pledged that he would stand for American interests first and would enact an “America First” policy. To most people, this sounds great. Yet, not only is the President picky about which Americans he would represent first but also, this policy type has come back to harm America too many times before.
Thus, young people, with the power of internet in their hands, cannot believe the hype. It is incorrect to say that foreign industries have benefitted at the expense of American enterprise. Nothing is wrong with wanting to lower trade barriers and open up more trade routes, but we certainly aren’t going to accomplish this goal with an “America First” policy plan.
Professor Brad DeLong of The University of California wrote a piece entitled, “NAFTA and other trade deals have not gutted American manufacturing – period.” In the piece, he essentially debunks the majority of Mr. Trump’s claims about the economy and specifically refutes the claim that the U.S. has been suffering by assisting the rest of the world. The truth is, as technology continues to improve, manufacturing jobs will continue to falter.
This may be hard for older American to accept: Who wants to watch the jobs they knew disappear? But for young people, the future is not manufacturing jobs.
Many people of all ages also feel that the President is taking America backward on civil rights issues. In the late nineties, Donald Trump had a “pro-choice” stance. In the 17 years between then and now, he has completely changed his position. The President has called for the arrest of protesters at Republican rallies, completely ignoring First Amendment rights. He has appointed an Attorney General whose previous nomination to the federal bench was opposed by Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr’s wife, and other black leaders.
The President has issued an Executive Order that could keep thousands of legal residents away from their homes and families. He has asked for a database to track Muslim Americans and for Islamic sermons in Mosques to be recorded. If all of this wasn’t enough to turn an average millennial away from the President, his statements about women do the trick.
This President is new to politics, sure, but when will that cease to be an acceptable excuse for his actions and statements? He claims to fight for the middle-class Americans, yet, based on his speeches and proposed budget, he values his wealthy friends much more.
Donald Trump claims that he is the change Washington D.C. needed, yet the facts do not bear this out. Young people are sick of the mid-twentieth century ideals that he stands for and are ready to enter a future of open dialogue.
We are ready for a future that is inclusive and equal.
President Trump continually makes a mockery of American democracy. Young Americans are tired of cleaning up the mess of previous leaders. We don’t believe that the President is doing what is best for the country, and we will continue to resist him.