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Democrats Have a Youth Problem

Democrats Have a Youth Problem

[This is a repost of a VIP column from last week. Sign up for VIP and get access to exclusive content! Use code SAVEAMERICA for a huge discount]

We here have highlighted the Left’s embrace of antisemitism in countless articles by now. (Countless, that is, because I refuse to count them, so lots, anyway.)

One thing I think should be made clear out of a (temporary) sense of fairness is that being antisemitic is not integral to being a Democrat, and of course not all antisemites are Democrats.

You may have noticed that most Democrat Members of Congress have been pretty strongly in support of Israel, although the support is weakening over time.

It’s weakening for a simple reason: these Members are very out of sync with their base, particularly the younger set who are not just hostile to Israel, but hostile to Jews in many cases. The split is so substantial that it threatens the Democrats’ prospects in the next election if Israel remains an issue during 2024, as it likely will to some extent.

It’s not difficult to notice that Democrats have a real problem on their hands. Jews, while small in number and frankly almost irrelevant as a voting bloc (they are highly concentrated in Blue areas outside Florida) have been a key part of the Democrat bases. They tend to be politically active, big donors and fundraisers, and are disproportionately represented in the media and other elites. They also have a significant presence in Congress.

This is not because there is a Jewish “conspiracy.” It is because Jews tend to become professionals and are politically active because history shows they must be, and because of religious reasons they tend to have a strong sense of what is now called “social justice.” Go to a Seder and you will see how social justice is baked into the Jewish soul. There is nothing like having your identity bound up with escaping slavery to do that.

Since 10/7 Jews have gotten a rude shock, as the younger Leftists have exhibited extraordinary hostility to Israel and in many cases all Jews, and shown a tremendous indifference to the horrors of the pogrom of 10/7. Before Israel responded in any way–as the bodies were still cooling–academics and college students began celebrating the attack on what they called “settler colonialism,” as if Jews deserved the horrors of rape, murder, torture, and kidnapping.

None of this had anything to do with Israel’s war, because there was no war against Hamas. Nor did it have to do with a fictional “occupation” of Gaza, because there was none. Gaza has been self-governed for almost 20 years.

It was about destroying Israel, which they consider to be illegitimate, and killing Jews, who they claim are oppressors.

Jews deserved it. That is and was their political position. Many of them explicitly said so, as has been documented here and elsewhere.

The Biden Administration initially stood foursquare behind Israel, and the dissents started rolling in from their own staff. Young political activists, who are both the footsoldiers of the current political class and the future of the Democrat Party have expressed outrage at Democrat support for Israel.

At the U.S. State Department, more than 100 junior-level diplomats signed what Axios described as a “scathing” memo that echoed the antisemitic pro-Hamas rhetoric being heard at demonstrations in the streets of American cities and on college campuses. It actually accused the president of “spreading disinformation” in his Oct. 10 speech in which he denounced the atrocities committed by Hamas on Oct. 7. It went on to advocate for not only a ceasefire that would leave an unpunished Hamas in place as the rulers of Gaza but actually endorsed the idea that there should be an exchange of “hostages” in which the Israeli men, women and children kidnapped by the terrorists would be treated as morally equivalent to Palestinians who have been convicted of murder.

The new generation of political activists have been indoctrinated to believe that their moral judgments are supreme, and even bureaucrats in the federal government feel perfectly justified in bullying their superiors who supposedly set policy. Many of these people have gone public with their criticism, a big no-no, and many more have been bashing their superiors behind closed doors.

The people at the top seem helpless to do anything about it. In the tradition of the newsrooms where radical reporters demand that management do their ideological bidding, young activists in the Democrat Party (same thing, really) refuse to follow policy.

Blinken signaled that he was worried about young Democrats who want to discard the alliance. “We’re listening. “What you share is informing our policy and our messages.” That promise, which seems to signal a possible shift away from support for the Jewish state, should alarm Israel and its supporters.

The same thing is happening in Congress, where staffers staged a walkout demanding a ceasefire in Gaza–often stabbing their own Members in the back.

They even staged the walkout wearing masks, in the new tradition of activists who express their moral courage by hiding their identity.

Another revolt is one among Democratic Party congressional staffers. According to the Times, more than 100 of those who work on the Hill for the Democrats staged a theatrical walkout from their jobs in which they delivered 10,000 blood-red, pink, orange and yellow carnations—the number of Palestinian civilian casualties claimed by Hamas—were laid on the base of the steps of the U.S. Capitol. The stunt, carried out by staffers wearing masks so as to loosely conceal their identities, was on behalf of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, which, they claimed, Democratic voters are clamoring for.

There is a huge generational divide in the Democrat Party now, with the older generation using their position to skim off the top of a capitalist system they claim to dislike but almost openly use to enrich themselves and their friends. When push comes to shove they will vote their consciences, but mostly they are members of an Establishment uniparty that is dissolving as Republicans become more ideological.

The next generation is ideological to the core. They aren’t Democrats first, but Leftists.

But just as the ranks of grassroots Democratic activists in deep blue states tilt hard to the left, the same is true for staffers on the Hill and at Foggy Bottom. This group is largely the product of elite educational institutions where intersectional ideology predominates—the notion that falsely analogizes the Palestinian war on Israel to the struggle for civil rights in the United States. Immersed in the toxic myths of critical race theory that mislabels Israel as a “white oppressor” and “apartheid” state, young Democrats are shocked by the way that the aging leaders of their party, like Biden, cling to policies they consider a vestige of America’s past. So it comes as little surprise that following the lead of woke academics who spew antisemitic rhetoric, they are aligning themselves with a viewpoint that sides with the Hamas terrorists against the Jewish state.

Republicans have been plagued by their own divides, and until Donald Trump is off the scene there will always be the “Only Trumpers” vs everybody else divide in addition to the other conflicts. Most of these conflicts are more personality-driven than ideological, with the actual ideological divides usually quite modest.

For Democrats that is not true; the generational divide is larger than it appears. Decades of ideologically-driven education have created a hyper-political class of activists whose identity is entirely wrapped up in their politics, to the point that young people are actually getting surgeries and taking hormones to express their “true selves.”

This is how you get “Queers for Palestine,” an apparent contradiction that embodies a deeper unity in their view–they see the world solely in terms of oppressed and oppressor, as they have been indoctrinated, and the older generation (which created the propaganda machine that is turning against them) are suddenly finding out that they have created monsters.

As the Times has already noted, while Republicans remain lockstep supporters of the Jewish state during this crisis, Democrats are splintering over Israel. This is costing Biden support among left-wing activists and minority voters who make up his party’s base. The collapse of Democratic enthusiasm for his re-election is widely attributed not so much to concerns about Biden’s age as it is to his support for Israel.

That explains why Biden and Blinken have backtracked on their pro-Israel positions as they make contradictory appeals for Israel to slow down or halt their assault on Hamas altogether, even as they continue to back the idea of Hamas being eliminated. And as the war against Hamas drags on with Israeli forces methodically taking out the terrorist group’s strongholds, it seems only a matter of time before Biden caves to his left-wing critics and seeks to use American leverage to halt the anti-Hamas offensive.

Unfortunately, I can’t bask in schadenfreude, because the Democrats’ youth problem is ours too. Many of these moral monsters are actually going to have power–in fact, they are powerful already in public schools, DEI bureaucracies, and academia. Soon they will have real power in Congress.

Is there anything we can do?

Well, obviously, we have to make it as obvious as possible that these people are monsters. People in politics already know this, but the rest of the country is only slowly waking up to the fact, and most of those still think it is only a fringe.

But the Democrat establishment itself bears the greatest burden, and I am skeptical they have the strength or the will to confront the youth vote. Democrats were destroyed in the late 60s by a similar problem, and it took until Bill Clinton to get back on track. Carter didn’t solve the problem–he was elected because of inflation and Watergate, and his presidency didn’t reform the Democrats.

The United States was saved by Ronald Reagan, and certainly, many people see in Trump the chance for a new Reagan. I disagree–Reagan was likable, and Trump is not. The media tried to destroy Reagan but he simply didn’t scare the average American; Trump even annoys many of his supporters and does nothing to bolster the Party–which is necessary to create a new coalition that survives him.

America has been blessed in the past by the right man coming at the right time, and I see in DeSantis the potential to be that right man.

History does not always repeat itself, but it can rhyme. Let’s hope that 2024 looks more like 1980 than it seems it will right now.