Gary “What is Aleppo?” Johnson, the libertarian candidate, is polling at 8.9% nationwide according to Real Clear Politics. Because I’m not an insane person, I foolishly assumed almost all of that was from pissed off anti-Trump Republican voters and libertarians who normally vote Republican but find Trump unpalatable.
But I forgot about the Millennials. The same Millennials who couldn’t be bothered to find out when and how to register to vote for Bernie. The same Millennials that were shocked SHOCKED to find out they couldn’t manipulate the DNC’s rules to do an end run around Democrats who have been in politics for decades. The same Millennials that are so angry that liberals voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in the primaries that the online presence of a fairly large number of them is now virtually indistinguishable from Trump voters.
And so I’ve been seeing headlines like this:
- ThinkProgress: The myth of Gary Johnson: He’s attracting a lot of support from Millennials. But why?
- WLFI.com: Gary Johnson visits Purdue, attracting the attention of millennials
What. The. Fuck.
No one in their right mind can accuse Slate, Mother Jones or ThinkProgress of being “establishment” outlets, so it should make Millennials pause in their rush to libertarianism that these progressive stalwarts are alarmed.
But it won’t.
It became clear very early on that a lot of Millennials were Bernie supporters, not because they cared deeply about wealth inequality or progressive tax reform, but because he was “cool.” No one gets a tattoo of a politician because they love their policies. Bernie Sanders became a cult of personality and when the object of their affection did what he always said he was going to do, support Hillary Clinton if she won the primaries, his cult turned on him in a heartbeat.
The feeling of betrayal was as intense as it was ludicrous. Bernie said on numerous occasions that on her worst day, Hillary was a million times better than Donald Trump and that he cannot be allowed to become president. But when Millennials elevated Bernie to a cult symbol, they stopped listening to what he was actually saying and only heard what they wanted to hear.
So when he “betrayed” them, they had to go look for a new cool person to worship. You might think that Jill Stein would appeal to them (I certainly did), but my guess is that Stein panders to spoiled upper-middle-class white people that have the luxury to worry about vaccines and wifi signals melting your brain. Does that sound like any Millennials you know?
Johnson, on the other hand, is all about legalizing pot, maaaaaaaan, and cutting the military and LGBT rights and all this awesome liberal stuff. And he’s suuuuper laid back. You could totally chill out and get stoned with him, not like that stiff $hillary bitch!
But the fundamental intellectual laziness of the Millennial voter is what Johnson and libertarians are counting on. Why look past the cloud of pot smoke and “freedom” to examine what his economic policies would do to the country? That’s hard work!
Do I sound condescending and arrogant? Do you think I should be nicer to Millennials? How about this: I’ll be nicer to ex-Bernie supporter Millennials voting for Johnson when they can explain why, without talking about how much they hate Hillary.
Because let’s be honest: Gary Johnson is the anti-Bernie. Where Bernie is for ending income inequality, Johnson is for exploding it. Where Bernie is for more regulation on Wall Street, Johnson wants to end ALL regulation. Where Bernie is for single payer, Johnson is against any and all government health programs and would repeal Obamacare. Where Bernie is for a living wage, Johnson is against the very concept of a minimum wage. Where Bernie is against the TPP and fracking, Johnson is 100% for it.
That last one is particularly annoying because not being 100% against TPP and fracking are constantly touted as Clinton deal breakers. But clearly, the deal-breaker is the name “Clinton” and everything else is negotiable.
Right now, there are hordes of former Bernie supporters who want Hillary Clinton to lose just so they can crow about it. Some of them even became ardent Trump supporters because fuck that evil bitch Hillary or something. They imagine themselves as rebels striking a blow against corruption because they’re too busy being more progressive-than-thou to pay attention to the damage a Trump presidency will do to every single cause they insist they believe in.
I used to think that Baby Boomers were the worst thing to happen to American politics but I’m starting to wonder if future generations will look at the squandered legacy of the Millennials and wonder how they could have been so stupid to allow Donald Trump to destroy the country.