Millennials: Third party choices benefit Trump
To the editor:
The vote of the millennial generation may turn out to be pivotal in the coming election. Polls indicate that in many states, if 6 to 8 percent of the vote goes to alternative candidates, Donald Trump could carry that state.
What should millennials do to indicate their dissatisfaction with the system and their lack of confidence in either main stream candidate?
I think back to my own campaigning for Eugene McCarthy in 1968. I was passionate about a single issue — the war in Vietnam. Opposition to that war coalesced around a little-known senator and tens of thousands of college students went door to door in New Hampshire and Wisconsin in an attempt to either defeat Lyndon Johnson or at least get him to change national policy.
We succeeded and were rewarded with Richard Nixon.
There was tremendous passion behind Bernie Sanders' campaign but now what? What choices do you have? A vote for a mainstream candidate you don't like? A vote for someone like Gary Johnson? Or simply sitting it out?
A vote for a third party candidate will demonstrate your power, but that power could enable Trump to lead this country for a problematic four years. You could take the easy way — don't vote. This is also a demonstration of power, the passive aggressive type of power more typical of teenagers than serious young adults.
If you look at the world realistically, you can see that the Sanders campaign has moved Clinton to the left. Do you trust her to vigorously continue once elected — I think not. Regardless, the passion of the campaign has had an impact.
You'll have to take my word for it that there was a lot more passion in this country surrounding Vietnam than surrounded Bernie Sanders. What happened after the election of 1968 (and also the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.) was the radicalization of the fringe and a gradual drop-off in the energy of the movement.
There was an opportunity after the 1968 election to begin the formation of a third party of progressives but no energy for it. Then, the Democratic Party stood for our ideals, it just got the war wrong. Today, the Democratic Party doesn't stand for the ideals of the millennial generation and it should be worth a try at creating a new third party. But to do something great you're going to have to create a party from the ground up, not rally around some idiot like Johnson who never heard of Aleppo and can't name a single current or recent foreign leader he admires.
Your choice this time isn't an easy one. Know only this: It's an important one and it's yours.
David Demowitz, Lenox