Monday, November 14, 2016

Dear Millennials, It is time to stop crying over Trump

The following is my November 11, 2016 Op-Ed in the Orlando Sentinel

It was with a mixture of amusement and nausea that I observed young Americans throwing a post-election fit in the wake of Donald Trump’s stunning victory in the 2016 election.  It was even more bewildering when I read about college professors all over America postponing exams and cancelling classes to help alleviate the stress and trauma their students were going through.

Give me a break.

I should begin by saying that I voted for the Libertarian – and geographically-challenged –candidate, Gary Johnson.   I also feel compelled, lest Sentinel readers judge me too harshly, that I spent large portions of this fall semester explaining to my students why Donald Trump’s policies on trade, immigration and entitlements made no economic sense whatsoever. 

That said, I want to offer some words to the millions of Millennial voters (and non-voters) who are now crying, stamping their feet and smashing their participation trophies in fits of rage over this outcome.

First, get over yourself.  In case you learned nothing in your public K-12 schools, there is a system in place that Hillary participated in and lost fair and square.  Spare me the complaints about the Electoral College.  Most of you do not even know what it is.  Those of you who do would have been totally fine if Mr. Trump won the popular vote and lost the election.  

Protesting the outcome of a legitimate election  - one where your age group failed to turn out in the same numbers that helped Mr. Obama get elected – is totally fruitless.  Walking out of class, chanting simple slogans about our offensive new president and screaming for a different outcome is like the proverbial locking the barn door after your organic cows have run away.   You lost.  Deal with it and regroup for 2020.

To your professors and teachers who cancelled tests and classes – what bunch of enabling, pathetic examples of adulthood you are.

I would be willing to bet that the day after Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, students in Germany had to take exams.    The day after Pearl Harbor and September 11th people had to get up and go to work.  In the future, your precious students you are trying to protect will have to function the day after other upsetting or horrific events have taken place.  Letting them go home or cancelling their obligations simply trains them to fall apart and abdicate their roles as students and future workers, spouses or leaders of this nation.

Now to some good advice for the nearly 80 million Americans who are part of the 18-35 year-old demographic.    It is time for you to revolt.    I do not mean burning tires or smashing the windows of the coffee shops you hang out in.  I mean revolution in your thinking and actions about Washington, D.C.

In 2008 young people rose up in staggering numbers to support the Libertarian-leaning Ron Paul.  Eight years later you jumped on the Socialist bandwagon of Bernie Sanders. 

My recommendation is that you combine these two movements into a new Millennial Party that represents intelligent change to American politics and policies.

You have shown us older folks that you are very individualistic when it comes to social issues.  You do not want 50-something year old people like me and others to tell you whom to marry, what to put in your body or what faith (or lack thereof) you should have.  Good for you.  It is none of my business – or anyone’s business what you do to yourself or with another consenting adult.  Keep telling us to mind our business and get out of your lives.

You also shown (at least in 2008) that you are aware of the fact that our economic system of crony capitalism, entitlements and debt will ruin your futures.    Many of you have shown that you are capable of running businesses that practice compassionate capitalism, sustainability, a deference to small and local suppliers, etc. in an attempt to be more socially responsible.  This is beautiful.  Keep it up – because the lobbyists and giant corporations out there are going to keep trying to rig the economy to suppress competition and plunder us for subsidies, bailouts and other anti-free market goals.

You need to organize your economic thoughts around the notion that the same government you do not want in your bedroom should not be in your wallet.   If you fight for your right to your property and your money with the same zeal you fight for gay-marriage and recreational marijuana you will be able to get people elected who will leave you alone.   This will mean social and economic prosperity – and an end to the duopoly of Republican and Democratic tyranny.

So, stop crying and get to work.