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View Diary: * New Day * — Is political activism on the decline? Not if you've heard the long sigh of support. (145 comments)

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  •  Several ways (14+ / 0-)

    to answer this question.

    If you're talking about political activism on the left, I think, on average, it's on the upswing, after a few decades of relative quiescence.  The recent peak, of course, was during Obama's 2008 election campaign, but before that, there was significant activism against policies of the Bush administration, and afterward, the Occupy movement.  However, as you are well aware, activism is exhausting, and I think it requires a constant supply of energetic young people for the progressive push to be continuous.  I think that Gen X, on balance, was both more politically conservative than the boomer activists, and less politically engaged.  (I don't mean to insult any gen Xers reading this, but there are some data to support this claim.  If' you're a gen Xer who's reading dkos, this clearly doesn't apply to you, meaning that you're not typical of your generation.)  This was no doubt a reaction to the political atmosphere of the 1980s, one that controlled by a GOP trying to lull us to sleep.  That may account for the dip in left-wing activism.

    Activism on the right, however, has been operating full-on for the past 35-40 years or so, and has recently intensified.  Such activism is not pursued by poor or middle-class young people;  it's bankrolled by rich white men, who can then astroturf whatever issue they perceive to be in their financial interest.  This sort of activism will not go away, because the rich will always believe that they are entitled to dictate the policies that they want to see enacted.

    As such, the ebb and flow between left and right seems tied to how committed young people are to change the world they live in for the better.  The millennials seem more inclined to fight that kind of fight than gen X, no doubt partly because the economy is shitty and they can't find jobs.  What else are they gonna do?

    -5.13,-5.64; GOP thinking: A 13 year path to citizenship is too easy, and a 5 minute background check is too burdensome. -- 1audreyrenee

    by gizmo59 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 08:58:42 AM PST

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