What would Mother Jones do? Probably not bash idealistic young leftists
The left-of-center Mother Jones mag inexplicably is targeting the young people behind Bernie Sanders’s movement
By Daniel Denvir
Mother Jones was a real-life human being famous for her work as a radical labor organizer in the late 19th and early 20th century. Today, Mother Jones is a left-of-center magazine staffed in part by people who are hostile toward Bernie Sanders in particular, and left politics and the young people at its lead in general. It’s kind of odd. Yesterday, editor Clara Jeffery tweeted that she has “never hated millennials more” because many of them report that they will vote for third party candidates in November.
Someone on Twitter quickly pointed out that young people support Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by large margins, and that it is fact older people who skew right. Establishment-oriented liberals are still furious that Sanders, a longtime independent, dared run inside the Democratic Party, and that young people supported him overwhelmingly.
Mother Jones writer Kevin Drum chimed in to say that the blame shouldn’t be put on millennials but on Sanders, because it was the old man who led impressionable young people astray.
“He’s the one who convinced these folks that Clinton was in the pocket of Wall Street,” Drum wrote. “He’s the one who convinced them she was a corporate shill.”
Well, shame on Sanders for telling the truth? Drum argues that young people, if not for Sanders, would love Clinton like they loved Obama. Drum doesn’t like Sanders and thinks that Clinton has spent a “literal lifetime” fighting for progressive values. Unfortunately for Drum, many young people disagree.
Drum’s problem, then, is that Sanders inspired young people to dream of something much better for their future, and that it is Sanders’s fault that Clinton does not similarly inspire them? Is it wrong for young people coming of age during the Great Recession and the endless War on Terror to have a problem with six-figure speaking gigs from Goldman Sachs?
If Drum believes what he writes, then he does not simply have a strategic disagreement with Sanders and his supporters — he has fundamentally different political opinions. That’s his right. But he should know that he sounds pretty condescending arguing that youthful Sanders supporters are fundamentally like him and, if only they had not been misled, would think and act as he does. Drum, much like Gloria “the boys are with Bernie” Steinem, doesn’t seem to think that young people can think for themselves.