The town is Missoula, and the stupid is much of the state of Montana. But what happened? Why are the state's senators and governor not Republicans? The answer is one, the growing political influence of Missoula, a college town, and two, young couple are not falling for the pro-market/anti-government ideology as fast and hard as the previous generation did. ST:
Under-30 voters are “the only age group in which a majority said the government should do more to fix problems,” the nonpartisan Pew Research Center reported in November. In a Pew survey a year earlier, more than eight in 10 said they believed that Social Security and Medicare had been good for the country, and they were especially supportive of seeing the programs overhauled so they would be intact when they retire. (Young people were also more open than their elders to privatizing the programs.)
And while Washington fights about how to cut the federal deficit, young voters believe that it is more important to create jobs, have affordable access to health care and develop “a world-class education system,” according to the Institute of Politics at Harvard.
When Forward Montana convened a focus group at a Missoula cafe to develop a “youth agenda” last week, the deficit did not register a mention. One attendee, Michael Graef, 18, who started a fitness business rather than attend college, said he rarely thought about the deficit.
This, again, represents a crisis of legitimacy for neoliberalism. After the 2008 crash, no one really believes in the sad narrative of budget cuts, tightening belts, and protecting future generations from the dangers of big deficits.
Here's something else to think about:
Voters under 30 accounted for 19 percent of the U.S. electorate last year, up from 18 percent in 2008. These millennials are by far the most ethnically and racially diverse voter cohort; whites account for just 58 percent of them, according to the Pew center, while 76 percent of older voters are white.