In “The Young and the Economically Clueless,” (Wall Street Journal February 20-21, 2016) regarding the overwhelming political support of young people for Bernie Sanders, Daniel Arbess asks: “Why are young people voting against their own interests?”
The writer cannot answer the contradiction posed by his question because it is outside the economic realm. He is unfamiliar with two important sociological facts that are discussed in my last book, “Neither Left Nor Right”:
1. The primary determinant of an individual’s social and political thinking and behavior is his socio-political character structure.
2. The anti-authoritarian transformation of Western civilization that occurred around 1960.
This transformation, the result of the so-called ‘sexual revolution,’ was accompanied by the almost complete destruction of the authoritarian family and, with this, a dramatic shift to the left in the political thinking of mainstream Americans. This culminated, in 2008, with the presidential election of a full-fledged, pseudo/liberal communist, Barack Obama.
The clueless young were not in a position to have learned anything about the destructiveness of Obama’s or Bernie Sander’s socialism because, as the writer notes, the eldest of these young people were in elementary school when the Soviet Union collapsed. Moreover, they are generally clueless about the significance of historical events.
More importantly, these children are the product of the baby boomer generation that were growing up during the 60’s. Many of these were the product of broken homes and therefore had little or no parental, authoritative guidance in their development. What many of these offspring experienced was just the opposite, brattiness and rebelliousness in their parents.
Bernie Sanders, a self-claimed socialist, is the ideal role model as a leader for these helpless, clueless young people. Incapable of caring for themselves, Sanders becomes the all giving,”free lunch” father that, in their clueless eyes, will take care of them. The economic stresses that these young people face in today’s times merely intensifies their anxieties about the future, justifies their anger at the world and increases Sander’s attractiveness to them.