Showing posts with label Donald Trump Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donald Trump Related. Show all posts

5 December 2018

Why The Rise Of Populist Nationalist Leaders Rewrites Global Climate Talks

International climate negotiators need to recognize the motivations that drive populist nationalist leaders.
International climate negotiators need to recognize the motivations that drive populist nationalist leaders. {AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
The election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil not only marks the rise of another populist nationalist leader on the world stage. It’s also a turning point for the global politics of climate change.

When the new president takes office in January 2019, by my estimate at least 30 percent of global emissions will be generated from democracies governed by populist nationalist leaders.

As climate policymakers meet at this week’s UN climate conference in Poland (a country itself governed by a populist nationalist party) people who care about achieving the Paris Agreement goal should push for and develop new strategies for advancing policies to reduce emissions within countries headed by these leaders.

Populism and cutting national emissions

What is populist nationalism? Although both populism and nationalism are contested terms, political scientist Francis Fukuyama, offers this tidy synthesis of the characteristics associated with populist nationalists leaders in democracies.

Firstly, these leaders define “the people” narrowly to refer to a single national identity which is oftentimes anti-elitist. Secondly, they promote policies which are popular among their selected people, or base of support, in the short term but may not be in the long-term economic, social or environmental interests of the country. Thirdly, populist nationalists are expert at capitalizing on their supporters’ cultural fears about a loss of status in society.

Over the past five years there have been several populist electoral victories in countries that are among the highest emitters of greenhouse gases. This includes the U.S., India, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland and the Philippines. While these regimes each represent a different brand of populist nationalism, they exhibit the basic characteristics I’ve just described.

From my perspective as a scholar focused on global energy and climate policies, it’s clear that the political structure of populist nationalism makes introducing policies to reduce, or mitigate, emissions in democracies difficult.

Mitigation policies require leaders to expend short-term political capital for long-term economic and environmental gains. However, populists have shown a particularly strong disinterest for doing so, particularly if those short-term costs would affect their prioritized group of the people.

Perhaps the clearest example of this is President Donald Trump’s unwinding of the Clean Power Plan. It may bring short-term benefits to his base, which includes coal miners and related interests, but it is not aligned with long-term energy market trends in the U.S. toward natural gas, wind and solar for generating electricity and away from coal.

Resistant to global pressure

Secondly, as several country-level case studies have shown, developing policies to reduce national emissions is often a top-down and elite-driven activity. This is particularly true in high-emitting middle-income democracies like Mexico or Indonesia. In these countries, mitigation policies, like carbon taxes, have not emerged by way of large scale social movements but by top-down policy processes supported by international donors and nongovernment actors. In these countries, climate mitigation is at risk of being overridden by policies with more popular appeal.

Indonesia President Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, has prioritized economic expansion over spending international funds to stem deforestation.
Indonesia President Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, has prioritized economic expansion over spending international funds to stem deforestation.(ahmad syauki, CC BY)
In a forthcoming paper on Mexico, a colleague and I investigate incoming President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO’s) mitigation policy. The AMLO administration has publicly committed to reduce emissions through a little-known set of carbon pricing policies, while at the same time responding to a popular demand to reduce fuel prices by increasing domestic oil refining. In the contest between the top-down mitigation policy and the widespread popular demands for low gasoline prices, it is likely that the latter will take priority.

A third issue relates to the international governance of climate mitigation. Under the Paris Agreement, governments are asked to progressively ratchet up their emission reduction goals. This mechanism assumes political leaders will respond to international pressure to increase their ambition. However, populist nationalists have shown that they are not motivated by international reactions to their climate policies.

Take Indonesian President Joko Widodo, for instance, who was elected into office in 2014. As I have described elsewhere, one of his first moves in office was to shut down a US$1 billion mitigation policy program funded by the Norwegian government. This decision to close the agency breached the bilateral agreement between Indonesia and Norway, and points to the disregard shown by some of these leaders to international political pressure.

As these short anecdotes suggest, the mechanism by which populist nationalists hold and retain political power makes it difficult to introduce climate mitigation policies. Their interest is to prioritize short-term programs which favor their select group of the people, rather than longer-term mitigating policies which have widespread economic and environmental benefits. Also, because they don’t comply with traditional norms of international relations, it will not be possible to coerce this group into meeting the Paris Agreement goals.

However, there are some ways countries that want to make reach consensus on global climate policies can better engage these leaders.

Ways to engage

As a starting point, it is important to emphasize the short-term benefits of climate mitigation policy to populists.

I believe policymakers and advocates would be well-served in drawing attention to how clean energy may bring multiple short-term benefits to the people on whose support these leaders rely, including lowering domestic air pollution, low cost energy, improved health outcomes and less reliance on foreign fuel imports. Indeed on some of these points, Bolsonaro, has recently said that he will increase the country’s hydropower and nuclear capacity.

Further, recent research suggests the cultural dimension of populist nationalism is of central importance. Rather than reducing emissions and tackling global climate change, it may be better to frame mitigation as part of a large-scale effort towards modernization; that is, modernizing energy systems, transportation systems and infrastructure. A narrative built around modernization, highlighting the economic and societal benefits for all, may resonate more with the disaffected middle classes who have led the rise of populist nationalism.

At the international level too there may be some approaches to ensuring the international governance regime continues in the face of this current wave of populist nationalism. As scholars David Victor and Bruce Jones have recently argued, it may be useful to form small groups – or clubs – of countries which share similar interests to focus on clean technology and policy innovation. Focusing on shared interests within small clubs may work better than trying to push populist nationalists to comply with broad international agreements.

Populist nationalist leaders, like Bolsonaro, are the consequence of deeply entrenched economic, political and cultural shifts that have occurred in democracies over decades. These leaders, in other words, are likely to be a feature of democratic politics for some time into the future.

To continue to make progress on global climate agreements, I think it’s crucial that negotiating countries meet national populist leaders on their own terms for ongoing attempts to save the climate.The Conversation

About Today's Contributor:
Arjuna Dibley, Graduate Fellow, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

13 November 2018

The Resilience of Barbados Counters Trump's 'Sh*thole' Remarks


Barbados was ground zero for racism and slavery but due to the resilience of the islanders, it is a model country of democracy.
Barbados was ground zero for racism and slavery but due to the resilience of the islanders, it is a model country of democracy. (Here a sugar cane harvest post card, circa 1927. W. L. Johnson & Co. Ltd., Barbados. No. 15, CC BY-SA)
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, former attorney and future inmate Michael Cohen revealed some of the uglier things Donald Trump said to him during their many years together.

Among the alleged quotes: “Name one country run by a Black person that’s not a sh*hole.” (One wonders how Trump characterized the United States when Barack Obama was President.)

Rarely stated so bluntly, this racist trope is widespread. As always, Trump gives vulgar expression to quiet prejudice, making him sound “honest” to about 40 per cent of Americans no matter how many lies he tells. As Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted after a similar revelation last year, Trump’s straight-shooting bigotry is one thing his fans love about him.

Those who don’t love him need to fight back with specific examples from the real world. Time and again, we need to highlight the big, complex reality that Trump and many of his supporters call “fake news.” Otherwise, his twisted version of the truth will continue to displace objective reality.

Many think of Rihanna when they hear Barbados.
Many think of Rihanna when they hear Barbados. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)
Take the nation of Barbados, a small island on the eastern end of the Caribbean that I’ve been studying and teaching about for many years. Best known as the birthplace of Mount Gay rum and Rihanna, it’s a remarkable example of what some Black people endured and overcame in the New World.

Ground zero for slavery and racism 
Settled by the English in 1627, Barbados became one of the most brutal and profitable slave regimes in human history. An astonishing 600,000 Africans came in chains to Barbados, about five per cent of all the victims of the Atlantic slave trade. Smaller numbers of Irish and Native American captives were also “Barbadoz’d,” exiled to this early jewel in the British crown.

Few of them survived for long.

The people spent their days under the tropical sun, cutting and dragging eight-foot canes to cattle-drawn sugar mills. There the stalks were crushed between heavy rollers and boiled in huge cauldrons. Many slaves had their hands caught in the rollers; others, exhausted by 24-hour shifts, fell into the cauldrons.

Dental records show that the Black majority nearly starved each winter, when food supplies were scarce. (Sugar monoculture left little room for corn, squash or yams.) Malnutrition led to frequent miscarriages and stillbirths. Babies crawled around in soils full of worms and tetanus, leading to catastrophic death rates for infants.

As early as 1661, well before Black slavery had taken hold in North America, the Barbados assembly passed a code describing all “negroes” as dangerous brutes, liable to the same kinds of discipline —branding, whipping, gelding —as livestock. This code was later adopted by the British colonies in Jamaica and South Carolina, and Barbadian slaves were sold to buyers as far away as Boston.

Shipping sugar, Bridgetown, Barbados, 1909. Shipping sugar, Bridgetown, Barbados, 1909. (Allister Macmillan, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division)
In 1692, the same year a Barbadian slave named Tituba began the Salem witch hysteria, the planters snuffed out an uprising among the slaves. The accused were castrated, burned alive or “hung out to dry” on meat hooks. For more than a century after that, a miserable calm settled over the island.

In short, Barbados was Ground Zero for American slavery and racism, a Caribbean concentration camp in which hundreds of thousands of people of African descent were tortured to make white planters very rich.

Transition to peaceful stability 
No wonder those planters feared violent retribution when the British Empire abolished slavery in the 1830s, just as the “peculiar institution” took off again in the cotton-growing United States.

Instead, Barbados became one of the most peaceful and stable Caribbean islands.

Most “Bajans,” as the islanders are known, valued honest work, humility and forgiveness. Gradually and painfully, they wrested political power away from the old planter elite, forming strong unions during the Great Depression and finally breaking away from British rule in 1967.

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley speaks during the opening plenary of the Global Action Climate Summit on Sept. 13, 2018, in San Francisco.
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley speaks during the opening plenary of the Global Action Climate Summit on Sept. 13, 2018, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Today, Barbados is a democracy that combines British and Bajan traditions of parliamentary supremacy, the rule of law and social justice. Prime Minister Mia Mottley leads the Barbados Labour Party, which prevailed over the Democratic Labour Party in this spring’s elections. She is the first woman to serve as prime minister.

This is not to deny the nation’s many social problems, especially since the collapse of the sugar industry during the 1980s and because of the lingering effects of the 2008 financial crisis. Rather, it is to recognize Barbados as an example of human endurance and solidarity within a pitiless world.

So watch what you say about “sh*thole countries,” Mr. Trump. At the present hour, tiny Barbados inspires as much hope as the mighty United States.The Conversation

About Today's Contributor:
J.M. Opal, Associate Professor of History and Chair, History and Classical Studies, McGill University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

8 November 2018

National Press Club Protests White House Treatment of Reporters

Jim Acosta Vs Donald Trump
Jim Acosta Vs Donald Trump (image via Mashable)
National Press Club leaders expressed outrage Thursday at President Donald Trump's escalating attacks on the press and the White House's revocation of a reporter's credentials.

Andrea Edney, president of the National Press Club, said the following:
"The president's personal attacks on reporters, especially on CNN's Jim Acosta, during a Nov. 7 news conference were unprecedented and beneath the dignity of the office.

The president and his aides have suggested they are aggrieved only by certain segments of the media, not all of it. But the Fourth Estate stands as one. An attack on any of us is an attack on all of us."

Barbara Cochran, president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute, a non-profit arm of the club that conducts press-freedom and professional-development programs, said the following:
"The press's job is not to report things as positively as possible but to report things as truthfully as possible. We make mistakes; but when we do, we promptly correct them.

Most presidents in our history have bristled from time to time at tough coverage. But no previous president has shut out or publicly demeaned individual reporters and news organizations. The First Amendment protects the press from government control precisely so that the public has access to information reported truthfully and unconstrained by fear of government reprisal."

Andrea Edney also said: 
"After the press conference, the president's performance was exacerbated by White House aides. They revoked Acosta's press pass without reasonable cause. 

Then, in a new low, they justified it by falsely accusing Acosta of inappropriately roughing up a female White House intern--and then sought to substantiate the charge by circulating a doctored video of the event."
Jim  Acosta has been in the White House press corps for five years
Jim  Acosta has been in the White House press corps for five years (image via BBC)
About The National Press Club:
The National Press Club, founded in 1908 and based in Washington, D.C., is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. 
Through its Press Freedom Committee, the club defends transparency and free expression around the world.
SOURCE: National Press Club
Bonus Image:
Mr Trump and The Media
Mr Trump and The Media (Image from Trumpton Facebook Page via

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US: Betsy DeVos' War on Workers Impeding Education's Mission, Union Says

The American Federation of Government Employees, which is the exclusive representative for Department of Education workers nationwide, says Congress needs to take a close look at Secretary Betsy DeVos’ sweeping restructuring plan for the agency
The American Federation of Government Employees, which is the exclusive representative for Department of Education workers nationwide, says Congress needs to take a close look at Secretary Betsy DeVos’ sweeping restructuring plan for the agency
The Department of Education's ability to effectively serve students, teachers, and taxpayers is suffering as Secretary Betsy DeVos continues to wage war on her own workforce, says the union representing nearly 4,000 Education employees.
The American Federation of Government Employees, which is the exclusive representative for Department of Education workers nationwide, says Congress needs to take a close look at Secretary DeVos' sweeping restructuring plan for the agency, which is being pushed through even as the department continues to break the law by enforcing policies that violate workers' rights.
"Betsy DeVos is hellbent on destroying the Department of Education from the inside out," AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.
"First she trashed our labor contract – eliminating commonsense policies that promote telework and continual learning, preventing employees from resolving workplace grievances or management concerns, and evicting union representatives from the worksite," Cox said. "Now she is pushing through a sweeping reorganization that will result in many employees being displaced or moved into other jobs without the proper training or experience."
In July, an investigator with the Federal Labor Relations Authority found merit in the unfair labor practice charge that AFGE filed in March after Education Department management walked away from the bargaining table and imposed its own illegal management edict. Yet the department has refused to comply with the FLRA's finding, which cannot be enforced due to the agency's vacant General Counsel position.
Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos (image via
The tactics being used by Secretary DeVos and her management team to gut employees' rights and union protections are even more severe than what was later proposed in President Trump's three anti-worker executive orders, the bulk of which were overturned by a federal judge in August.
"Secretary DeVos is undeterred and single-minded in her quest to decimate the Department of Education by making the agency such a miserable and untenable place to work that even the most dedicated employees will quit," Cox said. "We need Congress to step in now before more harm can be done."
The turmoil within the department is clearly having a negative impact. The latest governmentwide survey shows that employee satisfaction at the department has plummeted, with just three in 10 employees saying they are satisfied with their senior leaders' policies and practices and just four in 10 saying they highly respect the department's leaders. 
Only 39 percent of employees think the department's senior leaders maintain high standards of honesty and integrity, down from 53 percent just two years ago. 
And on the question of whether senior leaders support work/life programs, just 37 percent said yes, down from 66 percent in 2016.
"When you make it harder for employees to come to work and do their jobs by taking away telework and flex schedules, when you fail to honor labor agreements providing for child care and employee training, and when you attempt to silence employees from reporting discrimination or sexual harassment, you create a toxic climate that is making it very difficult for employees to effectively do their jobs," Cox said.
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2 November 2018

Paul Orwell, Author Of "Sad! Donald 'Biff' Trump Is President", Predicts Donald Trump Will "Rectify" Midterm Results

Donald Trump
Donald Trump (via
Author Paul Orwell predicts that after losing the House in the midterm elections, Big Trump will—using the language of 1984—make a flurry of decrees to confuse opponents and implement his manifesto.
"As we saw in 2016, when confronted with facts, Big Trump will simply deny them. Instead he will shirk his responsibilities, shift the blame, and attempt to rectify the record, declaring victory after suffering a defeat, and making several day orders, some of which may be blackwhite or contradictory.

Big Trump has many times spoken of mutability and shapeliness of truth and I predict that he will appoint Alex Jones to the Ministry of Truth (formerly the National Archives and Records Administration). Jones will revise the historical record according to a newly-implemented truth-fake axis. The Records Department (Recdep) at 1515 Pennsylvania Avenue will increase its supply of corrected information to media organs in the United States of America. In all media, "fake news" will be replaced with goodthink.

Memory holes will be widely distributed to State Governments so records of election results can be conveniently disposed of."
Alex Jones
Alex Jones (via
More "Predictions" From Paul Orwell:
  • At the Ministry of Love, General Sessions will be declared an unperson and replaced by Stoogey Graham.  
  • Michael Moore, Jimmy Kimmel and Chris Hayes will be declared Enemies of the State.  
  • Books by Stephen King will be burned.
  • Comrade DeVos will introduce the zero-sum game into the school system which will deprecate facts and learning, and emphasize the importance of winners and losers. 2 + 2 = 5 will also be taught.
Big Brother's face looms on giant telescreens in Victory Square in one of several scenes of Michael Radford's 1984 film adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Big Brother's face looms on giant telescreens in Victory Square in one of several scenes of Michael Radford's 1984 film adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. (Via Wikipedia)
  • Comrade Sanders will introduce a Two-Minute Press Hate (distributed by State-Sponsored Fox News via telescreens to proles) immediately prior to White House briefings.
  • Kanye West will head the Ministry of Truth's Fiction Department, pornosec.
  • The Department of Homeland Security will be renamed The Ministry of Peace and tens of thousands of Peace Officers will be hired and despatched to the borders. "There will be so much love out it won't be believed! Incredible!!" Big Trump announced. Anyone who crosses Oceania's borders without correct documentation will be transported to joycamps.
  • The war with Eurasia will be declared over. Simultaneously, a new war with Eastasia will be started. Eastasia will be the enemy and will always have been the enemy.
  • There will be changes to Newspeak itself. The period will be deprecated in favor of single exclamation mark (neutral), double exclamation mark (good) and triple exclamation mark (doubleplusgood). In addition "bigly" will be officially added to Newspeak (adverb, super big), as will "yuge" (adjective, bigger than "bigly.")
About Paul Orwell:
Paul Orwell, a writer and businessman, has lived in New YorkMoscow and Washington DC and yearns for an era where Newspeak is abolished and the world can return to political conversation and bi-partisan compromise.  
⏩ He is the author of "Sad! Donald 'Biff' Trump is President".
"Sad! Donald 'Biff' Trump is President" - Title Block
"Sad! Donald 'Biff' Trump is President" - Title Block (via Amazon)

SOURCE: Oceania Press
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Donald Trump
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30 October 2018

Satirical Christmas Stories Featuring President Trump Launched On Kickstarter

"The Christmas Hoax" (Trump's 24 Days of Christmas)
"The Christmas Hoax" (Trump's 24 Days of Christmas)
President Trump is one of the most controversial people in the world right now. No matter what he says or does, someone has something to say about it. As a result of this controversy, a new collection of Christmas stories has been published by We Just What, Inc.
"Trump's 24 Days of Christmas" is a collection of 24 children's stories written from the point-of-view of United States President, Donald Trump. As such, the stories have a political angle, though it's only visible to adults as well as older children who have learned about politics.
The book is rated PG - Partisan Guidance Suggested! The 24 stories take a fun look at the news stories we have been bombarded with over the last 2 years. However, the stories are never judgmental. The stories can be read to children by parents or parents can choose to let the children read the stories out loud.
"This is a great tradition to start," comments the author of the books, Amin El-Gazzar. "Children can read a different story each night leading up to Christmas morning. And parents can start a fun conversation with their kids about the craziness going on all around us."
The stories are entertaining, with tales of what's going on at the North Pole. The character lineup throughout the stories includes Santa (as President Trump) and Mrs. Claus (as the First Lady), his head elf (Layla – as Kellyanne Conway), the reindeer, some penguins, and plenty of elves who have a lot of responsibilities in order to get ready for Christmas Eve when Santa takes to the sky in his sleigh to deliver presents.
"Pledge allegiance to the flag of the North Pole..." (Trump's 24 Days of Christmas)
"Pledge allegiance to the flag of the North Pole..." (Trump's 24 Days of Christmas)
The book will be just as popular with adults as it will be for kids. "I'd highly recommend any adult to get their hands on the book just to place on the coffee table. It's definitely going to be a conversation starter," comments Amin El-Gazzar.
Trump's 24 Days of Christmas
Trump's 24 Days of Christmas
A Kickstarter page has been created to help get the necessary funding. Whether you love or hate President Trump - anyone will enjoy reading the book and they can choose to fund the project for any amount. 

By choosing to fund the Kickstarter, it also enables people to reserve their copy of the book to ensure that they have it in their hands by December 1, 2018.

For those who are interested in the Kickstarter, the launch is happening now. Visit theKickstarter page at The goal is to get all of the funds in place as early as possible so that the book is live in time for the Christmas season.
SOURCE: We Just What, Inc

18 October 2018

New Book by Paul Orwell Compares Back to the Future Bully Biff Tannen to President Trump

"Sad! Donald 'Biff' Trump is President"
"Sad! Donald 'Biff' Trump is President" - Front Cover
A new book from Oceania Press will be released on Back To The Future Day – this Sunday October 21st – which ponders whether Donald Trump, or perhaps The Russian Government, used a time-travelling DeLorean to influence the 2016 Presidential Election.  Debate performances, punchlines and information leaks could have been tweaked after-the-fact to cause the upset win.
The book compares the character of bully Biff Tannen from Back to the Future II to President Trump (referred to as "Biff" Trump in this book) who share physical characteristics (hair, height) as well as the number of wives, a similar business history, and belligerent personalities.
The book's conclusion is that time travel is fanciful but the comparison between the two men is not.  While Biff Tannen did use time travel in Back to the Future II, it was thick skin, stubborn persistence and showmanship that put Donald 'Biff' Trump into the White House.
Author Paul Orwell draws striking similarities between Biff Tannen and "Biff" Trump and bemoans "the transition from issue politics to 'death by tweet.'"  "We shouldn't have to wake up and wonder who the president is going to bully today," he adds.
The book is critical of Trump but not of Republican politics, and loaded with scene and theme references from the beloved movie series. It discusses why Trump's message resonated with small-town America (Hill Valley, in the movie series).
Donald Trump on women: "You have to treat 'em like s**t"
Trump's well-known quote about women (spoken to friend Philip Johnson, according to New York Magazine) and the other various allegations of Trump's interpersonal misbehavior are compared in the book to the behavior of Biff Tannen, who sexually assaults Lorraine McFly in Back To The Future I and mistreats her in Back to the Future II.  
The book asks the question: why do we tolerate this behavior from a President when we cannot tolerate it from a movie character?
There are also chapters on President Obama's humiliation of Trump at the White House Correspondent's dinner in April 2011, and how President Pence would be a very different President.
⏩ "Sad! Donald 'Biff' Trump is President" is available as a book and ebook from on Back To The Future Day, October 21st, the day Marty traveled in time in the movie series.
  • Back to the Future is the 14th highest grossing (US) movie trilogy of all time and it stars one of the most famous bully characters - Biff Tannen - in movie history.  
  • Screenwriter/producer Bob Gale is on the record (Daily BeastOctober 21st, 2015) as saying that the character of Biff Tannen in Back to the Future II was based on the Donald Trump of the late 1980's.

"Sad! Donald 'Biff' Trump is President" - Title Block
"Sad! Donald 'Biff' Trump is President" - Title Block
About Paul Orwell:
Paul Orwell is the pen name for a businessman who admits to benefiting from Republican tax cuts. He's an immigrant, but the kind the US President currently welcomes to the country. Orwell has lived in London, New York, Moscow and Washington DC, and yearns for an era where political conversation and bi-partisan compromise are possible.
SOURCE: Oceania Press

16 October 2018

US: Three Generations "Fearful" About Future of Democracy

AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
New survey results find that a strong majority of Americans from three generations say the country is headed in the wrong direction and say they are "fearful" about the future of democracy in America. 
The poll from AARP and the Association for Young Americans (AYA) also found that Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers agree that the top issue facing the country is "honesty in government."
AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
The national survey of 4,862 adults representing three generations comes just weeks before the pivotal midterm elections when control of Congress and governorships in three dozen states are up for grabs. AARP has been mounting a major campaign called "Be the Difference. Vote," which is designed to drive voters to the polls on Election Day.
"These poll results show how concerned all Americans are with the current state of politics," said AARP's Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. "With the midterm elections just a few weeks away, voters will have the opportunity to hold candidates accountable and make them pay attention to the issues that matter to them and their families. People need to realize that their vote counts."
AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
Overall, 64 percent of those surveyed said the country is headed in the "wrong direction" and 62 percent said they are "fearful about the future of democracy in America." 
When asked to rank the importance of 18 issues facing the country, the No. 1 issue selected by each of the three generations was the same: honesty in government. It was ranked ahead of jobs, health care and access to education.
AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
AARP and Association for Young Americans Three Generations Survey
While midterm elections often see low turnout, the AARP/AYA Three Generations poll found that strong majorities from across the age spectrum are planning to go to the polls on Nov. 6. Overall, 70 percent of those surveyed said they were "very likely" to vote in the midterm elections, including 55 percent of Millennials, 70 percent of Gen Xers and 83 percent of Baby Boomers.
Ben Brown, Founder of AYA, said, "We want Americans to really understand that their votes count. Association of Young Americans particularly wants to see more Millennials vote, but not just be politically active on Election Day, but every day, because the data shows that they're fearful for our democracy and find honesty in government the number one issue."  
The survey was the third in a series from AARP and AYA on a wide variety of issues facing Americans. Earlier results found shared concern across the generations about the level of student loan debt and anxiety about finances in the future. These survey results do not necessarily reflect the policy positions of AYA or AARP.
AARP's "Be the Difference. Vote" campaign is designed to encourage Americans to make their voices heard at the ballot box this fall. 

For more information on AARP's "Be The Difference. Vote" campaign and to pledge to vote in this year's elections, go to
"Be The Difference. Vote" - Logo
"Be The Difference. Vote"
⏩ The poll was conducted by NORC's AmeriSpeak nationally representative online panel for AARP from July 10, 2018 to August 7, 2018, with 4,862 adults between the ages of 18 to 74 encompassing Millennial, Generation X, and Baby Boomer adults. 
  • The margin of error is +/- 2.01 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. 
  • The sample includes nationally representative samples of African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans.


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