It’s no secret that Trump and the extremists in his administration are out to gut every regulation that protects our citizens and our environment. Nor is it a secret that the aim of the GOP (Grand Oligarch Party) is to siphon off as much money as possible, further widening an already grotesque record of inequality.
But there’s something out there they didn’t count on. The people: Young people, to be specific, and they aren’t on board with what is going on in the Trump White House and the current GOP controlled Congress. This is the perfect opportunity for the Democratic Party to get its act together and start winning again.
A report in Alternet cites a new survey conducted by the Runawayinequality.org Educational Network. 200 Americans aged 18-40 were randomly selected to answer a series of questions on the issues brought up during the 2016 election. It is interesting to note that about 30-40 percent of the respondents voted for Donald Trump.
The survey was conducted April 20-22 with a margin of error of 7 percent. Respondents were given the following choices: Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Strongly Disagree, Disagree. The results listed combine the Strongly Agree/Agree categories and the Strongly Disagree/Disagree categories.
- Money and Politics: The right to fair and equal representation, free from voter suppression and the influence of big money. For our democracy to endure, we must overturn Citizens United, enact public campaign financing and enforce the Voting Rights Act.
Agree: 65.8% Disagree: 5.0%
- Medicare for All: The right to universal health care. Expand and improve Medicare (for All) to provide every American with access to quality, affordable healthcare.
Agree: 75.6% Disagree: 12.7%
- Environmental Protection: To prevent catastrophic damage to our planet’s life support systems, we must accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy; protect our water and air from pollution; and prevent companies from moving to countries with weaker health, safety and environmental standards.
Agree: 84.5% Disagree: 4.0%
- Job at a living wage: Everyone who is willing and able to work is entitled to a decent paying job in a safe and healthy workplace. If the private sector can’t provide such jobs, then the public sector should.
Agree: 65.0% Disagree: 20.5%
- Free Public Education: The right to free public education from pre-K through college or trade school. Pre-K for 2- to 5-year olds should be available free of charge for all families. And everyone who qualifies for entrance to higher education should be able to attend tuition free.
Agree: 72.0% Disagree: 13.0%
- Impartial criminal justice: Biased law enforcement in poor urban and rural communities must be ended, and we must stop using mass incarceration as a substitute for decent employment and educational opportunities.
Agree: 75.1% Disagree: 16.9%
- Pathway to citizenship: Every resident of the US should have a comprehensive pathway to citizenship, and be afforded the rights to due process and a fair hearing that the Constitution guarantees to all.
Agree: 68.2% Disagree: 10.4%
- Worker Rights: To protect and enhance worker rights and fairness on the job, the freedom to unionize, free from employer coercion, must be promoted.
Agree: 58.6% Disagree: 10.5%
- Public Banks: As an alternative to Wall Street’s predatory lending, every state should charter a public bank, modeled on the Bank of North Dakota, whose first and only goal is to serve its people. Also, like many other developed nations, the US should charter a national postal bank to provide fair and accessible financial services in all our communities.
Agree: 59.0% Disagree: 9.5%
- Taxing Wall Street: To move money to Main Street, a small sales tax should be imposed on stocks, bonds and derivatives. This also would discourage high frequency computer trades which make up the majority of all stock market activity.
Agree: 49.0 Disagree: 10.7%
- End Stock Manipulation: CEOs and their Wall Street partners should not be permitted to enrich themselves by using corporate funds to buy back their own shares in order to artificially raise share prices. This was illegal before 1982 and should be again.
Agree: 71.5% Disagree: 6.5%
- Wealth Tax of 1% on those whose net worth is over $10 million: Those who have grown super-rich in our financialized economy must pay their fair share of taxes. A wealth tax, currently used by Spain, France, Switzerland and Norway, is an excellent way to recoup those losses.
Agree: 72.1% Disagree: 10.1%
Although it’s difficult to find population statistics for the specific age group 18-40, a glance at the Demographic Statistics compiled using U.S. Census figures reveals that Americans in the 20-44 year old age group account for 36.9 percent of the population, while those in the 45-85+ group account for 34.4 percent.
It’s obvious the up and comers outnumber older Americans (plenty of whom are also on board with the sentiments expressed in the survey). If ever there was a time to embrace progressive policies, this is it. People who responded to the populist message of Bernie Sanders and the faux-populist promises of the Liar in Chief were hungry for change. Well, we got change all right! But the change we wound up with quickly morphed into our worst nightmare.
In this tumultuous time, it would behoove the Democratic Party to take note of the figures, discard so-called “centrist” (read “corporate”) policies that have widened inequality and led to disastrous defeats in the last election, the 2010 and 2014 mid-terms, not to mention in governors’ offices and statehouses throughout the country.
It’s a simple formula: Listen to the people. Give them a reason to vote. After all, isn’t that what elected officials are supposed to do?