It’s clear The New York Times is still having a hard time digesting Donald Trump’s win. So much so, that opinion writer David Leonhardt imagined what would’ve happened “If liberals voted” in the last election and how different the outcome would’ve been if they did -- namely, President Hillary Clinton.
“If liberals voted at the same rate as conservatives, Hillary Clinton would be president. Even with Donald Trump’s working-class appeal, Clinton could have swept Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania,” he writes, and continues the theme:
If liberals voted at the same rate as conservatives, Democrats would control the Senate. Clinton or Barack Obama could then have filled the recent Supreme Court vacancy, and that justice would hold the tiebreaking vote on campaign finance, labor unions and other issues.
If liberals voted at the same rate as conservatives, the country would be doing more to address the two defining issues of our time — climate change and stagnant middle-class living standards. Instead, Trump is making both worse.
In an email blast promoting his column, Leonhardt asks, “What percentage of American citizens between the ages of 18 and 24 voted in the last Congressional midterm elections in 2014?”
The answer is only 17 percent. Leonhardt explains that’s because the “strikingly liberal” millennials vote less, even though they are extremely passionate about their political opinions. This “turnout gap” isn’t all due to “Republican scheme[s],” the writer assures. It’s “bigger” than that, he adds.
Essentially, millennials aren’t motivated to get to the polls and are too busy staring at smartphones to bother with voting. They’d rather opine online in the safety of their mom’s living room while sipping a $5 latte and vaping. But Leonhardt calls them the “real silent majority” who “prefers Democrats, if only that majority could be stirred to vote.”
Yet, consider this: Outlets like the NYT had Clinton winning in a landslide. The constant reports asserted that there was no way a reality TV show billionaire could ascend to the presidency -- a laughable notion. So, isn’t the media somewhat responsible for giving millennials the overconfidence to stay home, figuring their candidate is already a shoo-in?
It’s all a little too late for the media to still be grasping at straws trying to figure out what went wrong. Plus, if millennials stayed home instead of going to the polls, then they haven’t really earned the right to complain about who is in office. Did they not listen to Barack Obama who constantly told them, “Don’t boo, vote?”