Young voters feel they’re ‘screwed either way’

GRAND RAPIDS - On an early fall afternoon on the patio of a Grand Rapids brew pub, a table of Michigan millennials shared craft beers and equally jaded views about the forthcoming presidential election.

Donald Trump?

“He's just a terrible person from top to bottom,” said Kyle Wilson, 25, a cameraman for a local TV station.

But Wilson said he could not bring himself for vote for Hillary Clinton. In fact, he wasn't voting at all.

“It's because she's kind of lied her whole life. I feel terrible about not voting. I haven't voted in an election yet. But I don't think anything will make it through Congress, anyway.”

Across the table, Mitch McDonald, 25, a research scientist, said he found this election “kind of terrifying.”

His take on Clinton: “She's not my favorite. She's a liar, but then she's a career politician, so that's what you expect.”

Nonetheless, he said he planned to vote for her. “Anything to keep Trump from getting in there,” McDonald said.

These are common sentiments among Michigan millennials, a group that looks with uncommon suspicion at the major party names atop the presidential ballot. Some, like Wilson, are sitting out the election. Others have latched on to Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, or Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee.

To be sure, there are still plenty of millennials who have settled on the major party candidates.

A Detroit Free Press/WXYZ-TV poll released today, Oct. 6, found that among Michigan voters 18 to 34 Clinton had support from 44 percent and Trump was at 22 percent. That left one-in-three younger voters looking elsewhere, according to the Lansing-based EPIC-MRA survey, with Johnson receiving 21 percent of the young vote and Stein getting 3 percent (10 percent remain undecided).


Millennial skepticism about establishment politics seems to run deeper this election cycle than is typical among the young. It might as well be a generational theme song, considering the hand young adults were dealt as they came of age during one of the steepest economic slides in Michigan's history. Many of them were graduating college with rising debt at a time when paychecks were headed in the opposite direction.

Add to that the belief among at least half of millennials nationally that Social Security won't be there when they retire, that the planet is a mess, that the national debt will be a crushing burden for their generation – and is it any wonder some are dubious their vote on Nov. 8 will matter?

Like many of his contemporaries, McDonald said he still has $45,000 to pay off for his degree at Grand Valley State University. “I'm already assuming I'm going to work until the day I die,” he said. “I don't think there's any way Social Security is going to be there.”

Erika King, a political science professor at GVSU, said it's predictable that much of this age group - often defined as those 18 to 35 - look askance at the political system.

The oldest millennials – say, those born from 1981 to 1985 – were entering the workforce in Michigan just as the state slid into a decade-long economic plunge. Indeed, median income for Michigan residents under 35 fell by 26 percent in real dollars from 1980 to 2013 – the steepest decline in the nation.

At the same time, college-bound millennials fell deeper in student loan debt as Michigan public colleges and universities hiked tuition to make up for cuts in state aid. In 2000, students paid 40 percent of college operating costs through tuition – that rate rose to 70 percent in 2016. More than 60 percent of Michigan four-year college students graduate with debt, with an average debt load of $29,450 in 2014 -- ninth highest in the nation.

“Millennials are seeing a lot of economic issues themselves, but they are also seeing it with their families,” King said. “It's not just younger people being concerned with themselves, but they are seeing large swaths of society not doing well.”

But for all the cynicism, millennials remain a coveted voting bloc with the potential to swing the election, not only in Michigan but in other battleground states as well, where millennials represent about 30 percent of those of voting age.

In fact, the the U.S. Census Bureau released estimates earlier this year that found millennials had passed baby boomers to become the nation's largest generational population group, with 75.4 million age 18 too 34 in 2015 compared with 74.9 million boomers.

That gap will only grow, as aging baby boomers die and the ranks of millennials are projected to swell to 81 million by 2036.

If millennials turned out in numbers comparable to their elders, King said, their impact on the election would be “enormous.” But King added that history teaches than many will stay home.

In 2012, 45 percent of eligible U.S. voters age 18 to 29 cast ballots, compared with 72 percent of voters 65 and older and neary 68 percent of voters age 45 to 64. That 45 percent of young voter turnout was a drop from 2008, when 51 percent - many inspired by the first presidential run of Barack Obama - cast ballots.

“I do not expect to see that pattern change in this election,” said King, the GVSU professor. “There is a lot of skepticism with millennials about whatever is meant by the establishment.”

That's reflected in the number of millennials drawn to minor party candidates, especially the Libertarian ticket headed by Johnson, the former New Mexico governor.

A Sept. 29 national Fox News poll reflected a similar pattern as Michigan, with 17 percent of likely voters under 35 favoring Johnson, with 8 percent for Stein. Clinton got 44 percent support in that poll, with 28 percent for Trump.

But King said she expected support for third-party candidates to fall as Election Day nears and it settles in that only two candidates have a chance to win: Clinton or Trump.

King added that Obama's support among millennials was a key component of his winning coalition, as he captured 66 percent of the vote from those under 30 in 2008 and 60 percent in 2012. It's unlikely Clinton will do as well, but it's a group her campaign is working hard to reach.

Just how many millennials will abandon the minor party ship to vote for either Clinton or Trump, King said, “is the $64,000 question.”

Leelanau County resident Julie Meade is among those set on voting for Johnson.

Meade, 35, said she cast presidential votes for former GOP Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012 and GOP Sen. John McCain in 2008.

But this year, she just can't back the Republican candidate.

“Trump scares me. He seems unpredictable. It terrifies me that he could be in charge of nuclear weapons. I don't think he's given us any real idea of what he intends to do.”

As for Clinton, Meade said: “I just can't. The entire Democratic Party is owned by special interests. I can't get behind that.”

That led her to the Libertarian ticket of Johnson and former GOP Massachusetts Gov. William Weld.

“I think I've always been a little inclined to agree with Libertarians. I think we need to focus on balancing our budget. We need to eliminate unnecessary programs in our government. I think our government has gotten too big and that's not reasonable.”

Meade, who is office manager for a Traverse City law firm, said she is grappling with $100,000 in college debt. She graduated in 2009 from Grand Valley State University with a degree in education but was unable to find a job, then went back to school to earn a degree in business administration.

A mother of two children ages 3 and 7, she has worries both for herself and the world her children will inherit.

“I'm pretty sure Social Security won't be there for me. I don't know what the choices are going to be for my children in the next 15 to 20 years. I don't know where the country is headed and that scares me as a Mom.”

Meade said she is well aware the election will be won by either Clinton or Trump.

“If I had to vote for either one, I would not vote. It's no choice at all. I am willing to throw my vote away.”

Brooke Wheeler, 35, is equally sold on Green Party candidate Stein.

That would break a pattern dating back to 2000, as she voted for every Democratic presidential candidate through Obama in 2012.

“I grew up in Flint in a Democratic household and we were a very union-strong family. I've always supported Democratic candidates,” said Wheeler, who lives in the small community of Durand, about 15 miles southwest of Flint.

So what happened?

“Bernie Sanders is what happened,” Wheeler explained, adding that she donated to the Vermont senator's campaign, volunteered for him and was captivated by his message.

Wheeler said Democratic Party officials worked behind the scenes to derail the Sanders campaign, noting the series of hacked internal emails from the Democratic National Committee that appeared to show efforts to slow his campaign. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned in the wake of the revelations.

“It was disappointing to see what happened. He would pack stadiums to speak and she could not pack a high school gym. It made no sense.”

Wheeler is also unimpressed by how the Democratic Party has dealt with climate change.

“Their point of view is very much toward big business. The Green Party platform is the Green New Deal. They want to introduce alternative energy and do it a way that's creating jobs, killing two birds with one stone.”

Wheeler has her own economic worries, both for herself and her 9-year-old son. She is employed as a lab scientist at the Michigan State University Veterinary Medical Center, earning about $42,000. She's grateful for its health and retirement benefits – but doesn't exactly feel like she's getting ahead financially.

“My father was skilled tradesman at General Motors and he was able to raise four kids on one income. We were not rich but we were comfortable. I work as a scientist with a college degree and I struggle with one child.”

In addition to her son, Wheeler is parent to the two children of her boyfriend.

“I have kids that are going to be going to college knowing they are going to be struggling with debt. They are going to be facing a mountain of debt and that's scary.

“But I can't with clear conscience vote for either Trump or Clinton. It's the Democratic Party's fault for rigging (the primary race) it in the first place.”

Sitting at the Grand Rapids Clinton campaign headquarters, Julian Ayers, 21, said he understands the frustrations of millennial voters like Wheeler and Meade. That doesn't mean their frustrations don’t trouble him.

“I agree with the idea of a third party. But now is not the time. I think Donald Trump is a threat to our democracy. Now is not the time to throw away your vote.”

Ayers – known around the headquarters as a “super volunteer” - has been putting in up to 12 hours a day, six or seven days a week. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Ayers said he has no reservations about casting his vote for Clinton.

“I think she's the most qualified candidate for president we've had in awhile,” he said.

While Clinton may not have the charisma that drove millennial support for Obama, Ayers said he believes she is practiced at the “nitty gritty” of political progress.

“She knows how to do that, to push it forward to make real-time true progress,” he said.

At GVSU, the student chair of the school's College Republicans, is a Trump backer.

Michael Sullivan, 21, said he started out as a supporter of GOP Florida Sen. Marco Rubio – but has come around to Trump.

“I think he has the solid conservative credentials the country needs at this point. I think he is simply recognizing that illegal immigration is an important issue and that it is harming the country. I think his policies – building a wall – would stop that.”

Sullivan added that he disagrees with GOP establishment figures like Mitt Romney, who called Trump “a fraud” and stated that he could not support him.

“I agree with what Ronald Reagan said, that we should never speak ill of another Republican. We need to stand behind our candidate for president.”

On the day of the first presidential debate between Clinton and Trump – watched by 84 million – a trio of female GVSU students sat around a table at a campus student center near downtown Grand Rapids. They were anything but riveted by the campaign.

“Isn't there some kind of a thing tonight?” one of them asked, referring, apparently, to the debate. At any rate, they said their sorority was holding its annual event for new pledges at the same time as the debate. That took precedence.

“I don't think I'm going to vote at this point,” said Olivia Scott, 20. “I'm not really for either party.

“I think Donald Trump is a joke,” she said, to amused laughter from her friends. “Hillary Clinton is a better candidate but I don't think she's trustworthy.

“It's kind of like we are screwed either way. What difference does it make who ends up president?”

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

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Thu, 10/06/2016 - 10:05am
Apparently too many millenials have bee brainwashed (oh how could that be?) into thinking that because Trump has a big "R" on his chest, he is anti-minority, anti-nature, anti-non-male, greedy evil. Largely a fabrication/exaggeration of the liberal media machine. If they really pay attention, they will discern that this is all not the case. However, their most significant misgivings about the democrat candidate are clearly based on substance, and clearly disqualify that person. It escapes me how that person can seriously challenge anybody. Is a simplistic idealistic ideology that attracts empathy, but ignores reality, really sufficient to choose THAT person??
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 12:01pm
I laughed out loud when I read your comment. You take the Trump approach and blame everything on every body else. Any person who has never said he is sorry or taken responsibility for mistakes he has made is not worthy of being president.
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 2:58pm
But with the following changes, your comment is even more Hillar-ious (pun intended) - "Any person who has never said SHE is sorry or taken responsibility for INTENTIONAL CRIMINAL ACTS /mistakes SHE has made is not TRUSTworthy of being president." !!! Kindly assuming you must be voting Independent or Green Party if this is your opinion of Trump ;-)
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 5:50pm
Bernadette, Are you a 'millennial'? Is your vote really decided by a single word ['sorry']?
Sun, 10/09/2016 - 3:31pm
No Duane, my vote is not based on one word. It is based on a pattern of behavior that is consistent with someone not competent to hold this office. Any one with any respect for another human being does not act in such a malicious, undignified way. The millenials are much better thinkers and certainly more creative.
Sun, 10/09/2016 - 8:26pm
Bernadette: you have described Hillary exactly. She has zero respect for anyone she considers beneath her, which in her mind is everyone. She has no respect for the secret service people assigned to protect her. She has no respect for military members assigned to the White House, telling them to remove their uniforms and wear civilian clothes while on duty there. Her temper is terrible and she berates people for no apparent reason. Read any of the many books written by people who had to serve under her.
Sun, 10/09/2016 - 8:40pm
As best I can tell if you are using patterns it seems each of the two main candidates have established patterns one holds herself about the law and lies until caught and then says she is sorry but doesn't change her pattern. The other is crude and rude and has complied with the laws. If I use those patterns, if she is elected we will have no political accountability and no improvement in results. If the he is elected we may hear rude remarks, we will see continued accountability [what government agency or major news media will not digging deep] on him while in office, and we will at least have a chance of improving results. As for who is competent; in one case we only know his business performance. In the other case we know how well the 'reset button' failed, we know how Libya policy failed, we know how little she cares about those who serve her bidding, "What difference...does it make?" [do you know what that means to those who are going into battle when they know the President doesn't care what happens to them?], we know her 'war on women' one woman at at time when her husband has tried or more to have his way. There is a point when if want change, you want hope, you want accountability of our government, it you want a future for the children that is at least as free as we have had, you have to take a risk on the unknown. I too can make my choice base on more than one word.
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 10:07am
If you feel you're screwed with either Democrats or Republicans, it's good to know about your other choices. Seven parties on the Michigan ballot, six of them with Presidential tickets. The state's list of candidates on the ballot is here: by now a sample ballot for your registered address should be available for you here: you can see a ballot for any precinct here: that, since the courts have said the one-step straight-ticket "device" is back for next month's general election, you have THREE ways to vote for partisan offices (don't forget the non-partisan races and ballot questions!): * a STRAIGHT ticket (casts votes for all candidates of the selected party, and only those); * a MIXED ticket (votes cast individually in each election, no straight-party selection); or * a SPLIT ticket (straight ticket marked at the top, but then you also make exceptions by choosing to vote for candidates of one or more other parties in individual races). Yes, a split ticket IS a legal and valid vote in a general election -- and the "secrecy sleeve" you get to keep your ballot in should say so. (So should your poll-workers, but I've heard some of them get it wrong in past years.) Don't believe me? Ask the League of Women Voters:, for those who feel inclined to sit it out -- I understand the feeling. But I will take the risk of quoting two really old guys (even older than I am). "If you don't turn on to politics, politics will turn on you." -- Ralph Nader "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, / Nothing is going to get better. It's not." -- The Lorax (Dr. Seuss)
Kelly Collison
Sat, 10/08/2016 - 8:18am
Thank you for posting this information. Definitely the best comment on this post & likely the only necessary one.
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 10:13am
As a strong Bernie supporter, I understand the sentiment of some of the millennials. But I am now a strong Hillary supporter. Although Adele states in her hit song (Rolling in the Deep), "We could have had it all", in fact, we cannot. As a pathologist / scientist who studies how life and cancer arises, I understand that life is about tradeoffs, and all we can do is make the best of what is given to us. In this case, if we are grown up about it, the choice is clear - Hillary will be a strong, rational President. Donald has acted like a 10 year old during most of his life, and is unfit for any adult responsibilities, much less the Presidency.
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 6:20pm
Nat, As a pathologist is it better to cut out the cancer and then attack what is left with a new method/agent? In this case if the 'cancer' is government corruption [IRS political attacks, VA disregard for lives, FBI disregard for the law, Justice Department more driven by politics than the law, spending of trillions with no change in results] should we vote for someone who has used all of that to her advantage or should we vote against that 'cancer'? When they first use chemotherapy [poison to kill the cancer and did risk killing other cells] or radiation therapy with its risks when that was first tried, should they have not been tried? When the 'cancer' is killing the patient do you take the risks or simply let it grow and wait for death? Which way to go encourage the 'cancer' to grow and devour more of the lifeblood of America by choosing the long established person who is intertwined and benefited from the government or try a new and nontraditional treatment choosing a person who is independent of the current system, who has succeeded by being results oriented?
Barry Visel
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 10:49am
I feel like I'm screwed either way as well, and I'm a boomer. It's good to know younger folks realize there are more than 2 parties. Maybe not this election, but I feel only a third party will lead this country out of our worsening situation.
Gene Markel
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 11:18am
If you didn't vote in the primaries, you have to take what you get, but the primaries are a 2 party affair in which you must declare a party . Those who did have made their choice via the conventions for you and sent their winners to do battle in the national election with one party in control of the Executive. Would it be better if all of the declared candidates were thrown into a national election and the top 2 finishers would be President and Vice President. There are 435 congressmen and 50 Senators, currently there only 2 Independents seated in the house and senate that equals 4 tenths of one percent. Do you have to be a Republican or Democrat to get elected? Does the candidate who raises the most money win? Does our current political system make sense?
Sat, 10/08/2016 - 7:42am
Gene, declare your party? No, Michigan has no party declaration laws to be able to vote in a primary. All it says is that if you want to vote, you can only vote for one party. So independents can vote, no party declaration required.
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 11:27am
I'm voting for Hillary but I don't feel great about it, anyone who is in politics as long as she has been is going to have some compromised situations to deal with, that is just a reality. Trump has mental problems that are becoming more acute as the race has gone on. Gary Johnson is a sad joke of a candidate. The green party woman I don't know enough about and don't want to bother with anyway.
Sat, 10/08/2016 - 7:46am
Read any one of Edward Klein's books to learn about the real Hillary. Perhaps you would form a different opinion. What she says and what she does are two different things.
Michael J
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 12:00pm
Ted, your picture caption of the Green party supporter is incorrect. The Green party's nominee is Jill Stein, not Julie.
David Zeman
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 1:46pm
Michael, You're absolutely correct, and that caption has been corrected. Thanks for contacting us. David Zeman Bridge editor
TC Mike
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 1:22pm
The millennials surveyed are right: they are screwed. Neither major party candidate is even addressing the national debt and the Social Security bankruptcy to come. Their so-called economic plans vary only in how much greater we will be in debt after the next 4 years. It won't make a difference, but there is a candidate (actually certified for write in ballots) that cares about our debt status. It is Lawrence Kotlikoff, a Boston College economist who has been trying to alert the public to the debt issue for several years. He coined the very appropriate term "fiscal child abuse". It might be a good place to park your vote until an election that does not feature a crook vs. a crazy guy.
Ann Schriber
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 3:11pm
Not voting is a half vote for the candidate you don't want. A responsible citizen has to vote. Look at Robert Reich's video on iTunes or move on. No matter how disenchanted you are, democracy depends on your voting. Ann Schriber
Rod G
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 3:18pm
The only thing voting for either the Libertarian or Green candidates will do is help Trump. So cast your vote for them with that certain knowledge. And you don't have to look too far in the past to see how this can happen. Just Google the Bush/Gore race and see how lovely that ended up.
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 4:40pm
Millinials 18-34...i have two 28 and 31. Both grew up in a factual home. Grandpa a great advocate of voting. We half u of m and half msu. Half right half left. Half eastside lake hironof mi half on the west lake m. We discussed and continue to discuss it all. Both graduates For all my life getting my kids to the polls was such a dfficult task until this seems they realize all the misrepresenstion of facts and history by leaders of state and congress Let alone the barage of hate guns and fear disreprecting this potus as well. Trump represents 16 years of lies pillaging lost homes bigotry fear and these young people need to out their caps on and learn facts for themselves. Vote Hillary 2016
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 5:16pm
WHY I THINK IT MAKES SENSE TO VOTE FOR HILLARY (versus a third party candidate or Trump or no-one). HISTORY INDICATES THE DEMOCRATIC OR REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE WILL WIN THE PRESIDENCY. EVERY VOTE COUNTS – We are so deeply divided and polarized many expect this election to be very close. (While in truth, rarely does one vote make a difference, a ‘culture of voting’ does.) SUPREME COURT IS AT STAKE – Hillary and Trump would make very different appointments. POLICY DIFFERENCES – Hillary’s and Trump’s (and their party’s) policies are very different. IF TRUMP WERE TO WIN, REPUBLICANS WOULD LIKELY ALSO CONTROL THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE. THE OUTCOME FOR OUR COUNTRY AND OUR WORLD MAY BE VERY DIFFERENT DEPENDING ON WHO WINS. BASED ON SUPREME COURT APPOINTMENTS OR POLICY PREFERENCES OR OTHER REASONS, IF YOU PREFER EITHER THE DEMOCRATIC OR REPUBICAN CANDIDATE OVER THE OTHER IT MAKES SENSE TO VOTE FOR THAT PERSON. ********************** *** SUPREME COURT *** ********************** THE NEXT PRESIDENT MAY APPOINT MORE THAN 1 SUPREME COURT JUSTICE. HILLARY AND TRUMP WOULD MAKE VERY DIFFERENT APPOINTMENTS. Trump wants to appoint justices like Scalia. He is also “all in on banning abortion.” IF YOU WOULD PREFER THE APPOINTMENTS THAT SOMEONE LIKE BERNIE, JILL, OR EVEN GARY WOULD MAKE (that could pass the senate) MY EXPECTATION IS THAT YOU WOULD PREFER HILLARY’S APPOINTMENTS OVER TRUMP’S. ************************ *** POLICY DIFFERENCES *** ************************ HILLARY’S AND TRUMP’S (and their party’s) POLICIES ARE VERY DIFFERENT. ------- BERNIE WROTE “On virtually every major issue facing this country and the needs of working families, Clinton’s positions are far superior to Trump’s. Our campaigns worked together to produce the most progressive platform in the history of American politics.” There is a policy preference comparison (quiz) that is extensive, detailed and nuanced at the following link. POLICY PREFERENCES MATCHED UP TO THE CANDIDATES AS FOLLOWS: - 97% MATCH WITH HILLARY - 6% MATCH WITH TRUMP - 87% match with Jill Stein - 67% match with Gary Johnson IF YOU LIKE OR PREFER THE POLICIES OF BERNIE, JILL, OR EVEN GARY, MY EXPECTATION IS THAT YOU WOULD PREFER HILLARY’S (and her party’s) POLICIES OVER TRUMP’S. FOR INSTANCE, WHEN I TOOK THE ‘QUIZ’ REFERENCED ABOVE DURING THE PRIMARIES I MATCHED BOTH HILLARY AND BERNIE AT 98%.) ------- THE DIFFERENCE IN BREADTH AND DEPTH OF THEIR POLICY PROPOSALS IS SOMEWHAT SHOCKING. Hillary’s Platform – Trump’s Platform – ********************************************************* *** LIBERALS/PROGRESSIVES VOTING FOR JOHNSON OR TRUMP *** ********************************************************* IN TERMS OF SUPREME COURT APPOINTMENTS AND POLICY PREFERENCES, IT IS NOT SURPRISING TO ME THAT SOME LIBERALS PREFER BERNIE OR JILL. HOWEVER, BASED ON THESE SAME CONSIDERATIONS IT SEEMS ODD THAT THEY WOULD PREFER TRUMP OR EVEN JOHNSON. ------- "Johnson would eliminate corporate taxes, shrink the government by nearly half, eliminate the Department of Education, and pull back federal efforts to fight climate change.” “When Johnson ran for president in 2012, he proposed a 43 percent, across-the-board, single-year federal spending cut, the worst idea proposed by any candidate running for president that year. “ “This would sharply reduce revenue and make the tax code more regressive— “simplify” it, as they like to say. Since we’re talking about young voters here, too, don’t ask Johnson for much help on college tuition. Same goes for your union drive." “Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid would seem to be on the agenda. Johnson, who believes “the government should not be involved in health care,” would also cheerily sign on to a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and his replacement would not be a single-payer health system. Already-cut discretionary spending programs would learn a new meaning of cut.” “But it’s worth noting, for example, that during his 1998 campaign for governor of New Mexico, he ran tough-on-crime ads promising to make criminals serve “every lousy second” of their terms. This approach mingled with his free-market absolutism to bring about a governorship that was all too friendly to the private prison industry, a position he still defends.” ****************** *** HEALTH CARE *** ****************** Hillary has championed health care efforts for decades. She wants to build on Obamacare, and improve it. She has come out in favor of a public option. While some liberals prefer trying for single-payer right now, that is largely a difference in tactic, not objective, based on political calculation in regard to what is possible. Trump wants to repeal Obamacare, and what plans he offers would at the very least take insurance away from millions. **************** *** ECONOMY *** **************** UNDER DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP THE ECONOMY HAS DONE WELL (in spite of republican obstruction every step of the way). Deficits are down. The longest streak of private sector job growth on record. Unemployment is down. Stock markets have done well. Corporate profits are up. The middle and lower classes are finally doing better. ------- “The reports showed strong progress on three fronts: rapid growth in the incomes of ordinary families — median income rose a remarkable 5.2 percent; a substantial decline in the poverty rate; and a significant further rise in health insurance coverage after 2014’s gains. It was a trifecta that we haven’t hit since, yes, 1999.” "The Wall Street Journal reached out to 45 economists who have served on the White House Council of Economic Advisers, under both Republican and Democratic presidents, to ask about this year’s presidential election. MOST DEMOCRATIC APPOINTEES SAID THEY SUPPORTED HILLARY CLINTON, WHILE NO REPUBLICAN APPOINTEES OPENLY SUPPORTED DONALD TRUMP.”********************** *** MINIMUM WAGE *** ********************** Hillary wants a $12 federal floor. Jill Stein wants a $15 floor. Trump opposes a minimum wage. Note: both $12 and $15 may be politically out-of-reach. Hillary’s position on this is based on the perspective offered by the individual whose research made it clear that certain increases in the minimum wage do not hurt the economy or jobs. However, his opinion is that in certain areas, $15 might be too high and cause problems . So he recommends $12 as a federal floor, while certain locales go beyond this. ********************* *** TAXES & DEFICITS *** ********************* Hillary wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest among us. Trump wants to reduce them. He would starve the programs that help those in need, and help those most who least need it. And he wants to roll-back the estate tax which only affects estates worth over 10 million. He frames this as a death-tax, purposefully trying to confuse people as to who this affects. Along with hurting the poor and helping the wealthy, TRUMPS POLICIES WOULD NOTABLY INCREASE DEFICITS. ------- “More than half of America's single parents and one-fifth of its families with children could see their federal income taxes go up under Republican Donald Trump's revamped tax plan, according to a new analysis of the plan by a New York University professor who previously served as a tax specialist for the Obama administration and the Senate Finance Committee. Batchelder examined the likely effects of Trump's proposed changes to the income tax code on individuals and families, to see whether their tax bills were likely to rise or fall based on his plan. That makes her analysis different from the broader economic analyses of groups such as the Tax Foundation, which has estimated Trump's plan would reduce federal revenue by up to $5.9 trillion over a decade. What Batchelder discovered, for millions of individual Americans, was a math problem in Trump's tax plan as written. The plan eliminates some tax breaks while adding others. Notably, it eliminates what's called the personal deduction, which is currently $4,050 for every member of a household filing taxes. It also raises the standard deduction for all tax filers and creates new benefits to offset the cost of child care. It shuffles and consolidates tax brackets so that the first income to be taxed for anyone is taxed at a 12 percent rate instead of the current 10 percent. For 8 million families, Batchelder found, the Trump plan's tax breaks would add up to less money than the breaks they receive today. “********************* *** SOCIAL SECURITY *** ********************* Hillary wants to strengthen Social Security. Trump has claimed he wouldn’t cut Social Security, but he has no real plan for this, and Bloomberg had reported that behind closed doors he told Paul Ryan that he would “favor cutting Social Security, but he’s afraid to say so publicly because it would doom his chances in November.” Considering that he would be working in lock-step with republican legislators, it’s hard to imagine him not cutting benefits or otherwise weakening this program. ********************** *** WOMEN’S ISSUES *** ********************** Hillary has long been a champion of women’s issues. She wants fair pay and has strong Child Care and Family Leave plans. ------- Trump offered a plan that is relatively very weak and … “Donald Trump’s plan to fund a paid family leave program is totally absurd” ------- “Women’s rights are human rights.” This simple sentence declared by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 resonated around the world.“ “Throughout her time in the Senate, she championed gender equity legislation and used her status in the world to shine a light on issues of importance to women and girls. In terms of family planning and reproductive rights, Hillary has unwaveringly supported a woman’s right to choose and has fought for access to family planning resources that would empower women to make their own decisions about their bodies.” “Globally, no candidate has done more for women’s rights than Secretary Clinton. In her time as Secretary of State, she appointed the first-ever Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the State Department; oversaw the creation of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security; and introduced the Global Health Initiative (GHI), investing $63 billion to help partner countries provide robust maternal and infant health services. Secretary Clinton has worked tirelessly to elevate women’s rights as the key towards economic prosperity and global stability. Her public and private initiatives have appropriated millions of dollars towards providing secondary education to young girls around the world, and tackling the obstacles that face at-risk youths.” **************************** *** FINANCIAL REGULATIONS *** **************************** Hillary’s plan is supported by respected progressive economists like Paul Krugman and Jarrod Bernstein, and also by politicians like Barnie Frank. Trump wants to roll-back Dodd-Frank. ***************** *** EDUCATION *** ***************** Hillary teamed up with Sanders’ to write a progressive platform on education. Trump has offered nothing except his opposition to Common Core. ******************** *** IMMIGRATION *** ******************** Hillary supports comprehensive immigration reform and will follow Obama’s lead and take it further. ------- While Trump has waffled and wavered in spite of harsh rhetoric, he seems a disaster on this issue. In regard to his wall – the only policy he has not wavered on - even prominent republicans who support him are dismissive of the practicality and utility of this proposal. ------- “During the most recent Republican debate, Donald Trump declared “people are pouring across the southern border.” “Trump is right that the United States has been a major immigrant destination since the 1960s, but if he is referring to Mexican flows today, he is wrong.” “But here’s what Trump ignores: a recent Pew Report shows that more Mexicans are leaving than coming to the United States – reversing a decades-long trend.”******************* *** GUN CONTROL *** ******************* Hillary is a leading advocate of basic measures of gun control. While many of us think this does not go nearly far enough, these are steps that should still be taken, and we understand that even these basic steps face monumental opposition. Trump is endorsed by the NRA. ******************************** *** CRIME & THE WAR ON DRUGS *** ******************************** Hillary wants to reduce mass incarceration. Hillary is progressively oriented in regard to the war on drugs. Everything so far suggests Trump would do the opposite. ------- “A clear trend emerged: Trump would very likely be "tough on crime" — he would very likely back tougher prison sentences and invasive policing practices, and would likely continue the more punitive aspects of the war on drugs.”********************** *** CLIMATE CHANGE *** ********************** “Donald Trump, says climate change is a “scam.” He plans to roll back Environmental Protection Agency regulations on Fossil fuels and pull the US out of the international Paris agreement on emissions reductions. The 2016 Republican party platform mentions climate change only to dismiss it.”“Hillary Clinton has assembled a virtual army of formal and informal advisers on energy, the environment and climate change — and the names on the list indicate she fully aims to continue President Barack Obama's push to green the economy and take on global warming. The team of nearly 100 informal advisers, who have spent the past year compiling recommendations on everything from chemical safety and Everglades restoration to nuclear power and climate finance, includes holdovers from the Obama administration such as former White House advisers Carol Browner and Heather Zichal.” “Like Obama, Clinton is prepared to rely on her executive powers to make progress on climate change, rather than waiting on Congress to send her legislation.”********************* *** FOREIGN POLICY *** ********************* Hillary voted to give Bush the authority to go to war in Iraq. She has admitted to the error of that. I am concerned that she may have hawkish tendencies, or think that as a woman she has to be especially tough. But she seems to have done a good job helping with bringing Iran to the negotiating table. And in terms of Libya, whether or not that was ill-advised, that seemed to strictly aim at saving tens of thousands of lives Gaddafi was about to mow down. While problems have ensued in Libya, there were no American boots on the ground, and considering that Gaddafi was about to kill magnitudes of his own people, there was not stability there to start with. Arguably the main problem with that endeavor was a lack of follow-up. (If my memory serves correctly, Obama referenced this in regard to our allies.) In spite of his claims, there is no record of Trump being against the Iraq war until a year after it started in the Esquire Magazine interview. He is on record before the war with Howard Stern supporting it. In addition, Trump is on record as having supported taking action in Libya. In regard to foreign policy, Trump seems extremely uninformed and dangerous, and has made many questionable and careless remarks about such things as NATO, Torture, and the use of Nuclear Weapons. He appears to want to end or renegotiate the nuclear deal with Iran, which seems potentially disastrous. While some liberals may be concerned that Hillary is too aggressive, at the very least she has a wealth of experience, knowledge, and connections to draw on. I feel cautiously comfortable putting the most powerful military in the world under her command. PUTTING THE MOST POWERFUL MILITARY IN THE WORLD UNDER TRUMP’S COMMAND IS DISTURBING. ********************************** *** HILLARY’S FAVORABLE RATINGS *** ********************************** “UNTIL SHE RAN FOR PRESIDENT, CLINTON WAS THE MOST ADMIRED WOMAN IN THE WORLD.” “And Clinton didn’t just top the list in 2015, but she’s topped it each of the last 14 years, and 20 years overall. That’s the best record for any man or woman since Gallup began polling this question in 1948. And those numbers matched Clinton's extraordinarily high approval rating during her tenure as Secretary of State, when she reached a high of 66%. That’s far above anything Barack Obama achieved in his entire presidency, and it’s well above even Michelle Obama today.” “She’s been rated by Politifact, the Pulitzer-prize-winning fact-checkers, as more honest than every other major candidate.” “Nate Silver ranks her record in liberal terms as comparable to Elizabeth Warren, and not at all distant from Bernie Sanders.”************************************ *** HILLARY’S UNFAVORABLE RATINGS *** ************************************ “So what do we see in this data? What I see is that the public view of Hillary Clinton does not seem to be correlated to “scandals” or issues of character or whether she murdered Vince Foster. NO, THE ONE THING THAT SEEMS TO MOST NEGATIVELY AND CONSISTENTLY AFFECT PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF HILLARY IS ANY ATTEMPT BY HER TO SEEK POWER. Once she actually has that power her polls go up again. But whenever she asks for it her numbers drop like a manhole cover. And in fact I started thinking more about this after reading an article that Sady Doyle wrote for Quartz back in February. The title of the piece was, “America loves women like Hillary Clinton - as long as they’re not asking for a promotion.” In the article Ms. Doyle asserted that, “The wild difference between the way we talk about Clinton when she campaigns and the way we talk about her when she’s in office can’t be explained as ordinary political mud-slinging. Rather, the predictable swings of public opinion reveal Americans’ continued prejudice against women caught in the act of asking for power…” ------- “And despite being widely perceived as a puppet of Wall Street, her Senate voting record is rated mainstream progressive--more progressive than Joe Biden's or Barack Obama's.”**************** *** HONESTY *** **************** It’s tough to be completely honest and straight-forward in politics. I thought that supporters of both Bernie and Hillary could be to some degree legitimately offended during the primary. Hillary appears to have changed her stance on TPP for political reasons. Bernie appears to have compromised some votes on gun legislation for political reasons. And Obama pretended that he was still evolving on Gay Marriage so as not to lose the election. IT COMES AS A SURPRISE TO MANY THAT IN TERMS OF THE FACT-CHECK SITES, HILLARY DOES BETTERY THAN ANY OTHER PRIMARY CANDIDATE THIS YEAR IN EITHER PARTY, AND IS DEEMED ONE OF THE MOST HONEST EVER. ------- “Politicians running for president are graded by Politfact and the order runs in the way you would expect it to if you find yourself annoyed when Donald Trump is speaking. DONALD TRUMP, THE REPUBLICAN FRONT RUNNER, IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST with a sad 9% of true or mostly true statements. Just 9% of the things Donald Trump says are mostly related to the truth. TRUMP LIES SO MUCH THAT IN 2015, POLITIFACE AWARDED HIM THE LIE OF THE YEAR FOR NUMEROUS STATEMENTS HE MADE, BECAUSE THE TEAM COULDN’T PICK THE MOST EGREGIOUS LIE. Out of 77 statements checked, 76 of them were found to be mostly false to false to pants on fire lies.” ------- I THINK BERNIE GOT IT (literally) RIGHT WHEN HE SAID TRUMP IS A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR. ******************************************* *** TRUMP – CORRUPTION – HIS FOUNDATION *** ******************************************* Trump has left a trail of bankruptcies, unpaid vendors, law suits, and scandals. He won’t share his tax returns, changing his rhetoric as to why not. Too much to cut & paste here … worth a read … “TRUMP’S HISTORY OF CORRUPTION IS MIND-BOGGLING. SO WHY IS CLINTON SUPPOSEDLY THE CORRUPT ONE?” ------- Trump has not contributed to his own Foundation for many years. Foundation money was used to support the Attorney General in Florida as she was deciding whether or not to press charges on Trump University. His Foundation has also been found to pay off personal debts. “Guess which candidate’s foundation was caught in an illegal campaign funding scheme?“Donald Trump’s surprisingly shady charitable foundation, explained” ****************************** *** THE CLINTON FOUNDATION *** ****************************** “The New York Times’ latest Clinton Foundation “scandal” may be the dumbest one yet” “There is no scandal. There is no question. There’s only the presumption of guilt …” “THERE IS CONSIDERABLE EVIDENCE THAT THE CLINTON FOUNDATION HAS SAVED MILLIONS OF LIVES.”************************ *** THE EMAIL SCANDAL *** ************************ Even as a supporter of Hillary, I have found myself at least exasperated at what might be some questionable decisions regarding the whole email thing. But after reading this article, I am taken aback at how well Hillary and her staff did and how obviously many of the points called into question are either ignorantly or deliberately misconstrued. "If you read the entire report, you'll find bits and pieces that might show poor judgment on Hillary's part. The initial decision to use one email device is the obvious one, something that Hillary has acknowledged repeatedly. Another—maybe—is her staff's view of what was safe to send over unclassified email. But this is very fuzzy. It could be that her staff knew exactly what it was doing, and it's the subsequent classification authorities who are wrong. This is something that it's impossible to judge since none of us will ever see the emails in question. That said, this report is pretty much an almost complete exoneration of Hillary Clinton. She wasn't prohibited from using a personal device or a personal email account, and others at state did it routinely. She's told the truth all along about why she did it. Colin Powell did indeed advise her about using personal email shortly after she took office, but she chose to follow the rules rather than skirt them, as Powell did. She didn't take her BlackBerry into her office. She communicated with only a very select group of 13 people. She took no part in deciding which emails were personal before handing them over to State. She had nothing to do with erasing information on the PRN server. That was a screw-up on PRN's end. She and her staff all believed at the time that they were careful not to conduct sensitive conversations over unclassified email systems. And there's no evidence that her server was ever hacked." There's remarkably little here.” ******************************* *** MORE THOUGHTS ON TRUMP *** ******************************* HE COMBINES A DANGEROUS MIX OF INCREDIBLE DISHONESTY, IGNORANCE, AND AN OFTENTIMES CRUEL DISPOSITION. In addition, he seems to be surrounding himself with the worst in terms of advisors. (e.g. economist Stephen Moore) And Trump says Obama is the worst president in American history. If you like Obama at all, it’s hard to imagine you would like a Trump presidency. ------- The following seems hyperbolic, but given it comes from the person who ghost wrote “The Art of the Deal”, it may be worth considering … “His presidency could “lead to the end of civilization,” as his own ghostwriter, Tony Schwartz has said.” ------- More from the ghostwriter … “… he is speaking out now because he is extremely concerned about what Trump would be like as a president. He says the portrait that he painted of Trump in The Art of the Deal is not accurate. "I helped to paint Trump as a vastly more appealing human being than he actually is. And I have no pride about that. ... I did it for the money. It's certainly weighed on me over the years," Schwartz says.” "One of the chief things I'm concerned about is the limits of his attention span, which are as severe as any person I think I've ever met," Schwartz says. “ “The idea of a president in an "incredibly complex and threatening world who can't pay attention is itself frightening," Schwartz says.” “Add to that the fact that Trump is so easily provoked, that what Schwartz calls Trump's insecurity "makes him incredibly reactive whenever he feels threatened, which is very, very often.” "For 25 years, I think Trump has done a very, very effective job of muzzling anyone who has worked for him or with him by signing very, very strict nondisclosure agreements before they start working with him," Schwartz says. "It just turns out that I started with him so early that he hadn't thought of it yet." "The reason I'm stepping up is because no one else seems to be free or willing to do so,"
Fri, 10/07/2016 - 10:07am
Anyone with the time to write a tome like this has to be a paid Hillary staffer!
Fri, 10/07/2016 - 1:51pm
Matt, I hope they aren't a paid staffers, that tells who is careless with money and disrespects the work those whose money they are wasting. The commentator wrote so much that they haven't got the time/breath to read what they actually wrote and see all the flaws they committed or perpetuated.
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 7:05pm
Voting for a 3rd party candidate = "I'm just going to let the people voting for Clinton or Trump decide who my president should be."
John Q. Public
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 11:20pm
Exactly. I remember the Minnesota gubernatorial election of 1998. Why, so many of those idiot voters there cast their ballots for a third-party candidate that he ended up winning.
Fri, 10/07/2016 - 2:03pm
d, I would rather encourage people to exercise their right to vote then I would try to discourage their voting because of the who or the party they would be voting for. Consider Bernie Sanders was elected to office by running outside the two Party system, effectively being a 3rd Party candidate, and look how the Democrats, especially in Michigan, voted for him over the long running Democrat Party candidate. If 3rd Party can be so credible and the Party be so fearful [head of DNC Wasserman-Schultz conspire against his campaign] that it would seem those discouraging 3rd Party voting maybe blindly loyal to a Party and afraid voter choice.
Chuck Jordan
Sat, 10/08/2016 - 3:25pm
Yes we are all screwed, either way. The lesser of two evils is still evil. Vote your conscience. Nothing will change until we change the way the two parties and their moneyed backers control the country.
William Plumpe
Sun, 10/09/2016 - 9:28am
Once again Trump has proven by words that came out of his mouth he is unfit to be President. Do you really want someone with a junior high school boys locker room mentality in the White House? We're not talking about a reality TV show but the very serious business of being President of the United States. OK. Maybe Clinton's a liar but where is the real proof not tainted by political posturing or various far right politically motivated conspiracy theories that have little basis in fact? And even if Clinton is a liar I say: "So What"? Nobody's perfect and it comes with the territory. Trump has proved over and over again he is a fraud and con man, a racist, sexist xenophobe, a childish school yard bully with a big mouth, a chip on his shoulder and absolutely no clue. Clinton may be a liar but so is Trump. And Trump's a racist, sexist xenophobe, a childish schoolyard bully with a chip on his shoulder and absolutely no clue. I repeated that for emphasis. And let me tell you millennials and environmentalists---Trump as President would be a total disaster for the environment and the Planet Earth even without bringing up global warming. Trump is in the back pocket of one of his major contributors---the coal mining industry. In his first hundred days as President Trump would no doubt gut environmental laws and cut back significantly on environmental monitoring and compliance to spur business growth, satisfy his major contributors and of course most important make himself look good. Trump doesn't give a damn about America or the environment. Trump only cares about Trump. And finally remember that the Flint water fiasco where thousands of children were poisoned by lead in their drinking water was the fault of Governor Snyder just like Trump a Republican, businessman and outsider. Snyder tried too hard to run government like a business, tried too hard to make the bottom line, tried too hard to make money more important than people, tried too hard to look good and as a result poisoned the water supply of an entire city endangering the health and safety of thousands of kids. Can you imagine the disaster that would be the Flint water crisis on a national scale if Trump is elected President? In the first hundred days President Trump repeals critical environmental regulations to spur business growth and as a result poisons not thousands but millions? The possibility is too horrible to contemplate. Trump as President would be a complete disaster for America, the rest of the world and the planet Earth.
Sun, 10/09/2016 - 9:27pm
William, What were your thoughts when a President was using the Oval Office as his personal pleasure palace and then was more concerned what 'is' is? What were you thoughts when to protect her political future the First Lady viciously denied, belittled, defamed the women her husband had assaulted, knowing full well he had a long history of doing this to women? There is no doubt Trump is crude and rude, but did he stain a little blue dress that changed politics, changed the language standard in the media, and made public how if you are a big enough celebrity you can do anything you want. That President put his personal sexual pleasures above his family, he put his personal gratification above Presidential role/responsibilities, and he put his salacious appetite above the good of the American people. And you point your finger at Trump with a holier than thought attitude, isn't freedom of speech wonderful. Do you really want to trust your freedom to say what you want to a person with a government and a media who do her bidding rather hold her accountable for their self interests? I have to admit I will go with the crude and rude who will be under full scrutiny while in office than with a person who has a long history of doing what she wants, hiding it and lying about it until she is caught and then at best says she is 'sorry' and continues to do it.
Tue, 10/11/2016 - 8:59am
its not just young voters that feel this way. I am 50 and have no viable candidate for which to vote. HRC is a life long liar and of questionable character. DT is a huckster and would represent the scariest ignorant president ever.
Tue, 10/11/2016 - 3:53pm
dj, I have a few years on you and this has been going on for longer than you have been around. The only difference is with the new means of access it is much more public and the public has become desensitized by it. Think back to the later 90s how we found out what is and isn't 'sex'. While in the 40s and 60s the media was hiding that about certain candidates from the public. There is nothing new here, only the players are different. I have to admit I lean to the person least knowledgeable of the system, they won't know enough to manipulate it and are more likely to question/even challenge current practices since their experience is based on regular scrutiny. The longer someone has had their favor curried the more they expect it, the one that is questioned/challenged/personally under the media microscope the less likely they are to expect/to even believe and accept such inducements/insolation. Kinda like the old phrase, 'power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely'. One candidate has had political power off and on for a long time and the other has never had political power. I lean to the novice at political power, they are less likely to even get the opportunity to abuse it.