Young people throughout history have been consistent leaders in demanding essential progressive political and societal changes to our world and our nations, far too often against the systemic and ruthless resistance of our older, more wealthy and powerful compatriots.
Despite this indisputable reality, the ruling class of the United States and both its major political parties have perhaps unwittingly unveiled yet another truism of the modern world becoming ever unavoidable to anyone paying attention: The U.S. is no country for young people.
Both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party do not only struggle to attract young Americans (along with the poor and the working-class); rather, they actively ignore, silence, confuse, misinform, and repel us. Evidenced by this are the official policy platforms of both the major national parties and their respective 2020 presidential candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump.
The policy platforms of both major American parties and their respective presidential candidates are a glaring testament to the lack of control and influence young Americans have over our national politics; inversely, the lack of any serious leftist priorities or values outlined in both platforms is representative of the ultra-conservative corporate cobra-clutch plaguing both parties—and seemingly unanimously hated by the youth and our comrades. This near-ironclad dynamic is no accident.
The leftist, progressive, socialist and populist values and inclinations of young people are incompatible with the limitless, lawless capitalist ambitions of the oligarchs who control our society and our politics.
When the youth say in solidarity: “Peace,” the corporate duopoly says in lockstep: “War.”
When we say, “Equity,” they say, “How?”
When we say, “Progress,” they say, “When?”
Anything to disrupt the radical changes which might result from a unified effort in The Good Fight. Anything to perpetuate our senseless struggle. Anything to perpetuate their unrestrained power.
When the youth and our families use GoFundMe for impossible medical bills and plea for universal healthcare to help cope with a historic global pandemic, both Biden and Trump oppose Medicare-for-All and stand firmly on the side of the corrupt health insurance corporations and Big Pharma.
When the youth take to the streets nationwide to protest for “Defunding the police,” for civil rights and racial justice and an end to police militarization and legal immunity, both Biden and Trump have documented histories of blatant and consistent racism and plan to increase police department budgets nationwide to crack down on petty crime.
When the youth are drowning in debt, economically crippled for acquiring an education, both Biden and Trump oppose tuition free public education.
When the youth go hungry and homeless amid the second major economic depression of our short lives, worse than the Great Depression, both Biden and Trump oppose universal basic income and wealth redistribution while means-testing unemployment benefits and wishing to cut our families’ hard-earned Social Security.
When the youth demand a legitimate end to the endless wars of our fathers which were started before our lifetimes for lies we were never even told, both Biden and Trump serve only to do the bidding of the relentlessly conflict-craving Military Industrial Complex.
When the youth grew up during the Housing Crisis with families on the streets unable to get by and no place to call home, both Biden and Trump promise to frequent the same cocktail circuits as the criminal bankers who piss on our backs, call it rain and sell us stocks for umbrellas.
When the youth have known for decades that marijuana is a safe, naturally-grown medicinal drug, made illegal explicitly for the purpose of locking up innocent poor people, both Biden and trump oppose legalization.
When the youth of the wealthiest country in the history of the world experience unprecedented income and wealth inequality worse than the Gilded Age, perpetuated by a corrupted economy rigged in favor of wealthy elites, both Biden and Trump support corporate socialism and public austerity for the poor over taxing the billionaires to fund a New New Deal.
When the youth have unveiled a fraudulent meritocracy to be a properly functioning oligarchy of The Haves vs. The Have Nots, with tens of thousands homeless veterans and neighbors rationing medicine and unable to afford insulin, both Biden and Trump shake the hands of our oppressors while stepping on the backs of The Little Guy.
When the youth scream and beg for radical change as the Amazon burns to the ground, the ice sheets are melting, the seas are rising, the cities are flooding, the natural disasters exacerbating excessively and animals going extinct, both Biden and Trump oppose a Green New Deal to save our only planet.
When the youth raise awareness about out-of-control data mining, endless spying and warrantless invasions of privacy committed by the Security State, both Biden and Trump lack the courage to fight for our most personal liberties.
When the youth stand in solidarity with the striking workers, the unions and the revitalizing labor movement, both Biden and Trump stand silently feigning ignorance of the rampant and immoral exploitation.
When the youth protest for world peace, to halt the detentions, to free Palestine and to end the genocide in Yemen, both Biden and Trump turn cold shoulders to the most vulnerable amongst us.
When the youth are desperate for any sort of genuine populist representation for grassroots activists, the poor and the struggling working-class, straying dramatically from traditionally established partisan politics, both Biden and Trump flaunt documented histories of repeated lies and blatant corruption.
If Trump wins, the youth are promised More of The Same. If Biden wins, it’s Meet The New Boss…
Whether the predictably fraudulent elections in November result in a “victory” for the corrupt corporatist steward of cancerously unfettered capitalism and lawless American imperialism with the ‘D’ beside his name or the one with the ‘R’ beside his name, the youth understand: “Nothing will fundamentally change.”
Douglas Harding can be contacted at [email protected]