Good morning/afternoon. It’s election day. There’s something no one has told you because they’ve been too busy wagging their finger at you, admonishing you that you need to grow up and vote today for Hillary Clinton. Yeah, like that works. Like none of these older adults were ever 19 and didn’t do unconventional or contrarian or rebellious things like refuse to vote because both candidates “sucked.”
They also didn’t want to tell you they smoked pot at your age, but they did, and they also refused to vote at times or vote third party. Yup, the same ones telling you you have to vote today.
But here’s the secret no one is telling you: You, more than any other group In the U.S., truly hold all the power today. You will determine the outcome of today’s election. The pollsters and pundits, the media and the campaigns of both candidates, all agree on who’s’ going to get the majority of the African American vote (Hillary), the majority of the Hispanic vote (Hillary), the majority of the white male vote (Trump), the majority of the vote of those with a high school education (Trump), and on and on.
But there is one group that they all agree they don’t have a clue as to what’s going to happen with them today: YOU. The 18 to 35-year olds.
Oh, they know that if you vote, the majority of you prefer Hillary. But what they don’t know is if in fact you are going to vote at all! The millennial vote it seems is not between Hillary or Trump but between Hillary and those who simply won’t vote today (or vote 3rd party).
And so you’ve made all the adults very nervous. Especially in the Clinton campaign. They know the election may be very close in some states today and that just a few of you, should you decide to show up, could tip the balance. That means you, the young adults, hold all the power today. You are the wild card. And it is clear that tomorrow morning you are either going to be blamed for her loss or be given the credit for putting her into the Oval Office.
It is nothing short of amazing that you are the most powerful group in America for the next 8 to 12 hours. If someone told me that I could determine the outcome of this election, that I would be given the credit for Hillary Clinton winning the presidency if all i had to do was show up, do you think I’d stay home? If the headlines tomorrow were to read “Millennials Show Up in Record Numbers and Hand the White House to Hillary Clinton,” what kind of power do you think you’ll hold over the next four years? Do you think you might end up with free college tuition for all? A law to forgive those already saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of student debt? Do you think we might finally deal with climate change in a profound way because you’re going to be the inhabitants of this planet in the second half of the 21st century, not us? How many wars do you think we’re going to start if the age group who’s going to be asked to fight them held the political power on November 8th, 2016 and stopped a trigger-happy sociopath from getting elected?
You young adults will not only be the ones to decide who wins today, you will be the demographic President Hillary Clinton will have to listen to over the next four years — or else. In 2008 you came out in record numbers and elected this country’s first African American president. You probably don’t remember that the ONLY white age group President Obama won eight years ago were 18-35-year olds. He LOST every other white age group! Young people of all races massively poured into the polling places across the country and put him office.
And what did you get for that? How many countries has he invaded or new wars has he started using you and your young friends as cannon fodder? None. Where are the flag-draped caskets of thousands of young people being shipped back to the USA (this is not to condone his use of drones which must stop)?
What’s one of the great provisions of his health care act? That parents can keep their sons and daughters on their health insurance until they are 26 years old!
And who has proposed that all community college be tuition free for every American? The president YOU put in power. He didn’t forget who did that for him and he spent eight years trying to do his best for you. Was he perfect? No way. In fact, he started off pretty slow in ’09 and was too nice and eager to compromise with Republicans. You didn’t like that and so, to exercise your power of “that’s not cool,” you stayed home for the 2010 Congressional elections — and Obama lost both Houses of Congress to the Republicans. It was a stinging blow and a huge lesson for him and everyone else of just how much power you really held.
This year you started a revolution with Bernie Sanders. You shocked everyone — even Bernie! — because you became an army of millions in the primaries and caucuses and handed Sanders a whopping 22 states — 22 states who voted for a SOCIALIST for President of the United States! THAT blew everyone’s mind.
Hillary Clinton saw the power you held — and what did she do? She moved as fast as she could leftward, adopting one Sanders position after another. At the convention she accepted over 2/3 of his platform, which in turn won her his support and he’s been out campaigning for her ever since.
And here’s the bonus of what you did by starting the Bernie Revolution: if the Dems take back control of the Senate today, the new chair of the Senate Budget Committee will be none other than Bernie friggin’ Sanders! WTF? A socialist will be in charge of the budget? THAT can happen today! Who wants to stay home and sit this one out?!
Look, I don’t blame you for being upset that Bernie didn’t make it onto today’s ballot. I’m upset. The DNC played a lot of dirty tricks. They will pay for that, I promise you. But for us to not claim our victories and this major historic moment (and movement) we created would be foolish. This movement is going to continue. There’s no going back now. You made this happen — and the Bernie Revolution will be there to support Hillary when she does right, and we’ll challenge her mightily when she doesn’t. This work begins tomorrow morning.
So, whaddaya think? Use the power you hold today, be given the credit for it tomorrow, and be a force to be reckoned with for the next 4 to 8 years? Or stay home? Punish this effed-up system for its massive failures, or head out the door to fix it as a member of the most powerful group in America for the next 12 hours? If you want my opinion, I’d pick being the part of the youth revolt at the voting booth today. Seize your power, and control the person in the Oval Office who’s going to be making the decisions that affect YOU. And pick the members of Congress who will meet your wrath if they don’t do what you say.
Yeah, you’re that powerful today and they know it. You’ve got adult America scared shitless. Use it! Go eff ’em up at your polling place. I’ll be there in spirit, from Boulder to Battle Creek, cheering you on.
Tomorrow’s Headline: “Youth Vote Pushes Hillary Over the Top to Landslide Victory!”
Yeah. Sweet. Friggin’ do it.
All my best,