Why the “Conservative Republican” strategy to press socialism will fail miserably
“To the Republican Party, if you want to win and stop the socialist agenda, we need to work with President Trump,” Graham told Fox News. “We can’t do it without him. … I’m into winning. And if you want to get something off your chest, fine. But I’m into winning.” – Lindsey Graham, on “Fox News Sunday,” February 14, 2021.
In this country, multitudes of young people are starting to give up hope on what the government can do to provide a buttress for their future. Nevertheless, they are not giving up yearning for radical transformation; and they appear ever more capable of impugning current representatives in the U.S. government.
If you ask younger Millenials or Gen Z who Lindsey Graham, Tom Cotton, or Ron Johnson are, they will most likely say, “I have no idea.” It’s possible they saw one of these politicians in a social media video, or perhaps on CNN, but they may not remember. In other words, young people merely do not and will not worry about what these conservative and rancorous conspirators are up to. These days, they are exceedingly concerned about what their checking account balance is when they wake-up. In these uncertain times, we can’t blame them.
While Graham, Johnson, and Cotton continue to denounce Biden’s agenda as “socialist” and “Marxist,” young people continue to embolden the supposition that something must change in this country.
Jim Tankersley, who wrote an article in the Times, titled, “Why Trump’s Efforts to Paint Biden as a Socialist Are Not Working,” makes it abundantly clear why so many Americans are shifting on their uncomprising stance regarding the need to provide more support to Americans.
“Some of it appears to also be about the “socialist” policies themselves. Despite months of attempts by the Trump administration, Republican lawmakers and conservative advocacy groups to forecast a descent into a Stalin-like regime of stringent government controls on business and limits on personal freedom if Democrats win, many of the plans favored by the most liberal wing of Democratic leaders remain popular with wide groups of voters, polling shows.
A new poll for The New York Times by the online research firm SurveyMonkey reveals the durability of many of those proposals in the face of repeated criticism from the right. Nearly three in five respondents say they support “a national health plan, sometimes called Medicare for All, in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan.” That level of support is essentially unchanged from polling the firm conducted in July 2019, and it includes backing from more than two-thirds of independent voters.”
So many young people are finding it even more challenging as they branch into the workforce (after their educational endeavors) to find career positions. Many find it nearly impossible and hastily resort to entry-level work to earn income. Some even spend years under their parents’ wing, with no way to progress their credit or generate self-stabilizing income. The last thing these Millienials and Gen Z folks want to hear is why Lindsey Graham says it’s important to support Trump; after all, this is the same person who cut taxes for the billionares and did nothing to resolve the issue as to why it costs thousands to go to college.
“In the abstract, the messaging would appear to fit with Americans’ views about economic policy. Polls show a significant majority of Americans approve of “capitalism” and disapprove of “socialism.” But there are movements toward “socialism” in subgroups of the country. Majorities of young voters, and Democrats overall, have a favorable view of the concept.”
I truly believe young people are in favor of a capitalistic framework, in which the target is to try and make as much money as possible, whether it’s starting a small business or independently achieving wealth. The issue at hand is how to provide the groundwork for this philosophy. If students graduate from college with thousands of dollars worth of student loans (these loans carrying high levels of interest), then how can we expect them to start their own business or engage in the purest form of capitalism?
Of course, it’s not a detrimental thing when we see young people start in entry-level work. It allows them the opportunity to grow, build on leadership qualities, and of course, gradually learn their trade and ineluctably get promoted. If you look at certain trades, however, there is an immediate shortage of workers.
For example, in Fortune, I read an article, titled, “After SolarWinds: Untangling America’s Cybersecurity Mess,” by David Z. Morris and Robert Hackett. They point out, when it comes to cybersecurity, we are out of the ballgame because we can’t find qualified people.
“The underlying problem is that the U.S. has a severe shortage of cybersecurity talent. A recent survey by the labor analytics firm Emsi found that the U.S. has less than half the qualified cyber professionals it needs, across the public and private sectors – a gap that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of unfilled jobs. That helps make existing talent more expensive: The median cybersecurity salary in 2019 was $99,730, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 15% above the median salary for software engineers. And that extra cost gives firms in the industry another incentive to take production offshore.”
So, consequently, we risk quite possibly the greatest cyberattack in U.S. history (the SolarWinds attack), because we don’t believe in reshaping the system. Even in other trades, it’s a prodigious issue. When these students emerge from institutions, carrying enormous debt, we don’t want to compensate them suitably after college.
“In a sense, the problem starts in our universities, and some reformers think the solutions should begin there too. A 2016 review found that of the top 10 computer science programs in the U.S., none required cybersecurity coursework to graduate; three of those 10 didn’t have a cybersecurity program at all. Some companies have been stepping up efforts to train entry-level cyberdefenders. Frank Cilluffo, a former adviser to the George W. Bush administration on counterterrorism and cyber issues, recommends thinking even bigger: “We need the equivalent of an educational moonshot around cyber issues, which will require federal funding,” he says.
New cohorts of cybersecurity graduates won’t help much, though, if they’re working within a dysfunctional system. Restructuring that system is core to the work of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, a task force commissioned by Congress to help reform U.S. cybersecurity. “Our focus [is] on making the market more effective at driving good behavior,” says commissioner Suzanne Spaulding, a senior adviser for cybersecurity and counterterrorism at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “If the market isn’t performing the way it should, why isn’t it?”
Reforming the program and then funding are requisites to fixing these inherent issues; but, let’s not forget about the foundational repair: encouraging young people to get into the programs; and this can only happen when these programs are ameliorated.
Susan Milligan wrote an article in U.S. News & World Report in 2018 during the midterms, titled, “Young Voters Support Democratic Socialist Policies.” She sheds light on the intrinsic difference between capitalism and socialism:
“YOUNG PEOPLE AREN’T just more inclined to vote for Democrats next week, a majority also support policies embraced by the democratic socialist wing of the party, such as single-payer health care, guaranteed jobs and free tuition for some students, according to a poll by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.
Support for capitalism (43 percent) still exceeds support for socialism (31 percent) in the survey of 18–29-year-olds, the most recent of biennial polls the IOP has been conducting since 2000. But support for the concept of democratic socialism is at 39 percent, and the numbers are higher for broad social and economic policies to empower workers and pay for a government social safety net.”
To this day, I have never met a young person who advocates against social programs to benefit our communities and help the disenfranchised. Of course, I don’t spend too much time around “young Republicans” with their parents’ conservative philosophies claiming that beneficial economic programs only help to exacerbate immigration and get more “Democrats” on welfare. I will add, unequivocally: I have more often than not heard this ineffectual argument from several Republican “Baby Boomers” I know.
One argument I often have with young people is generally around the premise of “Bernie” vs “the Democratic establishment.” I indubitably respect Bernie Sanders and believe in his approach to supporting the middle-class and making sure the wealthiest people and companies are held responsible in their tax obligations; but, I also know our limitations in how far we can push this ideology. Congress is divided between Republicans, Democrats, and Indepedents, and trying to compromise is a substantial foundation.
However, that brings us back to Graham, Cotton, and Johnson. How can there be compromise when they have no approach, other than to ignore those who are oppressed and continue to encourage tax cuts for billionaires?
The good news: young people won’t put up with it much longer. We saw this precisely with the election of Joe Biden, and the Georgia run-off that resulted in the swing of the Senate. Perhaps young people were not cognizant of Trump’s policies in the four years he held office, but they know, palpably, nothing has changed in the last half-decade, and little had changed before that (except the Affordable Care Act).
So while districts in the RED states are besieged with gerrymandering and overwhelming misconception, change is coming. Look at Georgia. Look at how close Texas came; and, look at Arizona. Graham, Cotton, and Johnson can hop on Fox News all they want and preach to their loyal constituents about the Democrats’ denigration of capitalism and the need to reform policy; meanwhile, what are young people witnessing? They don’t even know they exist…
- Tankersley, Jim. “Why Trump’s Efforts to Paint Biden as a Socialist Are Not Working.” The New York Times. October 14, 2020. Accessed on February 15, 2021.
- Milligan, Susan. “Young Voters Support Democratic Socialist Policies.” U.S. News & World Report. October 29, 2018. https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2018-10-29/harvard-poll-young-voters-support-democratic-socialist-policies. Accessed February 15, 2021.
- Morris, David Z. & Hackett, Robert. “After SolarWinds: Untangling America’s Cybersecurity Mess.” Fortune. February/March 2021 issue. Accessed on February 15, 2021.