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Why don’t Millennials vote? Cartoonist Matt Bors has the answer

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Matt Bors is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of the prestigious Herblock Prize for Editorial Cartooning. But more importantly, the Portland, Oregon cartoonist was born in the year 1983. And that’s why he’s found himself thrust into the role of speaking for his coevals in the mainstream press. Matt’s among the best political artists in the country and he seems to have an opinion about everything. So we wanted to know why other people his own age don’t have more interest in politics and get themselves to the polls during an election like the one coming up on November 4.

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Raw Story: We’ve seen you react pretty brilliantly to the way the Millennial generation tends to get run down in the mainstream media. There was a particular piece — a TIME magazine cover story — that painted the Millennials as lazy, entitled, and selfish.

Matt: Yes, the Me Me Me Generation they called it. Three “me’s.”

RS: You shot back with a cartoon that countered that narrative by pointing out that no generation in a long time has started out with a lousier economy, more college debt, and in general more difficult prospects. If the Millennials are discouraged, it’s thanks to the crappy hand the Boomers and Gen X dealt them.

Matt: That is correct, sir. That piece is here. Just doing my job to foster generational warfare between groups that have been arbitrarily divided for marketing purposes. But yes, in a lot of ways I think younger people got a raw deal and there’s a disconnect with the type of people who generally sneer at the young not understanding that.

 
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RS: The Millennials are hard hit, and by a lot of things that government ought to be doing something about. So that leads to the next question: Why don’t they vote? Democrats are looking at a disaster in a couple of weeks, and one reason is that voters from 18 to 32 years old are probably going to turn out at about 23 percent — while older, whiter (and more Republican) voters will turn at about double that rate. Why do you think that is?

Matt: Snapchat. They can’t pull themselves away from it. Have young people ever turned out in huge numbers? For older people it’s part of their muscle memory — they’ve had decades to become resigned to the fact that this is all they can do to effect change. When you’re younger, I don’t think it’s as appealing. While leaving the Senate to old men who hate women and block every meager offer at help anyone is Not Great, I have to say Democrats don’t really inspire a youth movement.

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See also:
Relax, Democrats, we figured out how to get Millennials to vote
Election Night, hour by hour: A handy guide to Democratic disaster
Millennials have the power to shape the Senate, if they would only vote
What happens if the GOP takes control of the US Senate?
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RS: If Millennials are deeply affected by who controls the Senate, how can the Democrats get them off their asses and into the polling booth?

Matt: The easiest way would be legally requiring them to vote as they do in Australia. They have 93 percent turnout Down Under. You don’t even have to print up Rock The Vote T-shirts. That might be viewed as a tyrannical destruction of our freedoms were it tried here. Perhaps people would be motivated to vote that down and turn out in huge numbers. Being pointlessly angry and fearful about something seems to really get out the vote — they should start there.

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RS: Millennials turned out in pretty huge numbers in 2008 and 2012, helping to elect Barack Obama. If you were hired by the Democrats to help them have a chance at getting out more young voters, is there nothing you could suggest?

Matt: That would probably compromise my objectivity and self-righteous purity as a political cartoonist — How much are they paying? To take it seriously, I guess what I’d like to see is an actually progressive party instead of one whose most convincing pitch is “those guys are worse so vote for us or Roe v. Wade will be overturned.” A Democratic Party one could enthusiastically support would look a mite different; they wouldn’t walk back promises on national security, spying, assassination, they wouldn’t try to out-hawk the right or wait until half the country was with them to finally say gay people are OK or offer tepid half measures as solutions for the environment and economy. In short, I would recommend they purge their ranks and fill them left-leaning populists who want to reform our system instead of party careerists who intend to move on to lobbying. So I’m thinking they would fire me as a consultant?

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RS: They probably would. As for yourself, do any of the races interest you in particular? Ernst v. Braley in Iowa? McConnell v. Grimes in Kentucky? Udall v. Gardner in Colorado? Orman v. Roberts in Kansas? Or the weird threeway in South Dakota?

Matt: Weird threeways do interest me, but no so much specific races. I’d love to see McConnell fall and stop his ascension to majority leader. That would be Good For America, and something like that happening in Kentucky would be a particularly good sign, but it seems unlikely at this point. I do enjoy drawing his bizarre neck and face.

RS: Well, that brings up the next point, which is, it’s the cartoonists who really win if McConnell and the anti-science, anti-health care crowd runs Congress for the next two years, right? Election Day is like Christmas for you all.

Matt: I don’t want things to get worse, but visually interesting elderly monsters and the slow rot of our nation does make my job easier.

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Catch up on Matt’s cartoons with his collection Life Begins at Incorporation, or check out his new cartoons and the others he collects as editor of The Nib at Medium.

 
 


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WATCH: John Oliver exposes Trump’s lies about vote-by-mail — and the Fox News ‘cult’ claiming the election is already ‘rigged’

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's main story Sunday refuted President Donald Trump's latest crusade against vote-by-mail. Trump announced on Twitter that the more people who vote in an election, the more Republicans tend to lose. So, he wants fewer people to have access to the ballot in November, even if people are too scared to go out during the coronavirus crisis.

Oliver called out Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO), who outright told people not to vote if they were too afraid to vote in the local elections next week.

"Well, hold on there," Oliver interjected. "Voting is a right. It has to be easy to understand and accessible to anyone."

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John Oliver rips Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for urging ‘order’ from people of color — but never demanding it of police

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John Oliver opened his Sunday show, shredding Fox News host Tucker Carlson for uring "order" among protesters, but refusing to urge "order" to police and "wannabe police" who can't stop killing people.

It's a lot, Oliver explained. "How these protests are a response to a legacy of police misconduct, both in Minneapolis and the nation at large and how that misconduct is, itself, built on a legacy of white supremacy that prioritizes the comfort of white Americans over the safety of people of color."

While some of it is complicated, Oliver conceded, most of it is "all too clear."

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Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent

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The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.

The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.

Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.

https://twitter.com/markknoller/status/1267291138655956992

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