fbpx
Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Community Advocates’ Op/ed in today’s Times

Enjoying this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Community Advocates' consultants Morley Winograd and Michael Hais, authors of seminal books on the millennial generation (Millennial Makeover, Millennial Momentum, and Millennial Majority), wrote this piece for Community Advocates and the LA Times.


 

President Obama, the millennial whisperer
By Morley Winograd and Michael Hais*

President Obama will be seen by historians as the first president to bring millennial values to the challenges of the Oval Office. He isn't a millennial (in fact he has two millennial children), but his leadership style and beliefs reflect America's largest and most diverse cohort. And while much of the rest of America is divided on how well he has performed as the nation's 44th president, Obama has won overwhelming approval from the millennial generation, born 1982-2003.

More than three-fourths of millennials (77%) approved of Obama's job performance in a mid-December Pew Center survey, surpassing even the previous high mark the group gave him – 73% – just after his first inauguration in 2009. For much of his administration, millennials were only marginally more positive about the president than the rest of the population, but once his departure from office drew closer and the contrast between him and either of his potential successors – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton – became clearer, millennial approval of the president's job performance shot up by about 15 percentage points, accounting for just about all of the increase he has enjoyed in his final year in office.

Some of the enthusiasm stems from millennials' perception that Obama tackled the issues they care about most. Almost half of millennials (46%) credit the president with making significant progress “toward solving the major problems facing the country,” a far greater percentage than for any other generation. Only 10% of millennials, compared with 30% of older generations, think he made things worse.

Millennials will represent more than one out of three Americans by the end of this decade.
Millions of millennials have health insurance because Obamacare allowed them to remain on their parents' plan. Theirs is the only generation in which a majority tell pollsters they support the Affordable Care Act. Millennials in particular have also benefited from Obama's initiatives to reduce the interest rates on student loans and allow millions to convert loan repayments to a percentage of income rather than a more onerous flat amount. In addition, the president's improved job-performance marks, especially their latest rise, reflect improvements in the economy that millennials now see in their incomes.

But more than any specific benefit, millennials appreciate the way Obama has championed their causes and created a more tolerant America.

One in five millennials has an immigrant parent, and most in the generation credit the president with trying to find a comprehensive solution to the immigration issue, especially for the youngest “Dreamers” who found new hope under the president's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order. By carefully building a foundation of support of gay rights, Obama's leadership also helped enshrine same-sex marriage among our constitutional protections. According to Pew surveys, close to three-quarters of millennials view immigrants and immigration positively (76%) and support gay marriage (73%); less than a majority of older age groups agree.

Finally, Obama's daily demonstration, as our nation's first African American president, that race should not be a barrier to achievement has reinforced millennials' desire to include everyone in the group and to celebrate their own diversity. In fact, some of the president's finest millennial “whisperer” moments happened when he addressed the question of race in America, including his eloquent speech on the topic as candidate Obama during the 2008 Democratic primary. In an interview with NPR, he couched his answer to a question about political correctness with a defense of tolerance that fits millennial attitudes: “Don't go around just looking for insults,” he said, quoting advice he has given his daughters. “You're tough. If somebody says something you don't agree with, just engage them on their ideas.”

It's not surprising that the same set of Americans that overwhelmingly approve of Obama would disapprove of the man who will replace him as president on Jan. 20. Already 64% of 18- to 29-year-olds disapprove of Trump's performance as president-elect, the highest disapproval rating of any age group in Pew's January survey.

Millennials will represent more than one out of three Americans by the end of this decade. Despite Trump's electoral college win in November, it seems likely that millennial attitudes will dominate American political discourse and policy decisions in the coming years. It's not clear now how much this generation's demographic and political importance shaped Obama's presidency and how much the cause and effect ran in the other direction. But it is clear that the optimism the president expressed in his farewell address is based in large part in his faith in his children's peers:

This generation coming up – unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic – I've seen you in every corner of the country. You believe in a fair, just, inclusive America; you know that constant change has been America's hallmark, something not to fear but to embrace, and you are willing to carry this hard work of democracy forward. You'll soon outnumber any of us, and I believe as a result that the future is in good hands.

And with that the country's first millennial president left the stage.

*Morley Winograd and Michael Hais are co-authors of “Millennial Makeover, Millennial Momentum and Millennial Majority.” They wrote this essay in association with Community Advocates, Inc. in Los Angeles.

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Latest Articles

Steven Lowenstein, Distinguished Jewish Historian and National Book Award Winner, Dies at 75

Steven Lowenstein, a distinguished Jewish historian and accomplished social worker died on May 31, the 8th day of Sivan at the age of 75. Born...

We Must Sweep Away the Racism Along with the Broken Glass

Jews know that broken glass always means more than one thing.

Shakshuka: The Breakfast of Kings

The bright azure and gentle waves of the Mediterranean beckon from beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows but there is a more tempting challenge from where...

ADL Report Highlights Extremist Groups Participating in George Floyd Demonstrations

On June 1, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a report highlighting the various extremist groups infiltrating the protests and commenting on them against the...

Jews Are Fasting to Honor George Floyd

"There will be no point in the day that I will not be thinking about George Floyd, Antwon Rose Jr., and my black friends and neighbors."

Downtown L.A. Jewish-Owned Bike Store Looted

Yehuda Masjedi, who lives in Pico-Robertson, turned off his phone in the run-up to the Shavuot holiday on May 28. When Shabbat ended, he...

Local Organization Sets Up Fund for Looted, Jewish-Owned Stores

As looters made their way down Beverly Boulevard during the George Floyd protests on Saturday May 30, they broke into Jewish businesses, sprayed graffiti...

My Shabbat of Shattered Glass

On Shabbat morning May 30, my father, a proud Jew, woke up to see six missed calls telling him his store was looted.

Home Shalom Monday Message #10

Home Shalom is dedicated to raising awareness of domestic abuse in the Jewish community, encouraging every synagogue and Jewish institution to become a safe...

‘We Will Not Sit Idly By’: Jewish Organizations React to Demonstrations Over George Floyd’s Death

Multiple Jewish organizations have released statements reacting to the demonstrations occurring all over the country and in the Los Angeles area after the death...

Culture

Steven Lowenstein, Distinguished Jewish Historian and National Book Award Winner, Dies at 75

Steven Lowenstein, a distinguished Jewish historian and accomplished social worker died on May 31, the 8th day of Sivan at the age of 75. Born...

Shakshuka: The Breakfast of Kings

The bright azure and gentle waves of the Mediterranean beckon from beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows but there is a more tempting challenge from where...

My Shabbat of Shattered Glass

On Shabbat morning May 30, my father, a proud Jew, woke up to see six missed calls telling him his store was looted.

Singer Dua Lipa Shares Instagram Post Calling the Israeli Gov’t Fake Jews

British singer Dua Lipa shared a now deleted Instagram post on May 31 calling Israeli government officials fake Jews and accusing the United States...

When A Jewish Girl Enters a Church

Jesus' looming, bloody statues, paintings and depictions of him on the crucifix, dripping blood from the places where the nails went in always scared me.

Latest Articles
Latest

Steven Lowenstein, Distinguished Jewish Historian and National Book Award Winner, Dies at 75

Steven Lowenstein, a distinguished Jewish historian and accomplished social worker died on May 31, the 8th day of Sivan at the age of 75. Born...

We Must Sweep Away the Racism Along with the Broken Glass

Jews know that broken glass always means more than one thing.

Shakshuka: The Breakfast of Kings

The bright azure and gentle waves of the Mediterranean beckon from beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows but there is a more tempting challenge from where...

ADL Report Highlights Extremist Groups Participating in George Floyd Demonstrations

On June 1, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a report highlighting the various extremist groups infiltrating the protests and commenting on them against the...

Jews Are Fasting to Honor George Floyd

"There will be no point in the day that I will not be thinking about George Floyd, Antwon Rose Jr., and my black friends and neighbors."

Hollywood

Harvey Weinstein Accused of Sexual Assault by 4 More Women, Including Minor in New York Lawsuit

A new lawsuit filed against Harvey Weinstein in New York city accuses the former film producer of raping four women, including one who was...

Lil Dicky Is the Larry David of Rap in His Show ‘Dave’

If you haven’t heard of the comic rapper Lil Dicky, and you are at least tangentially interested in rap or comedy, you should familiarize...


‘Love & Stuff’ Sees Life, Death and Motherhood Through a Jewish Lens

How do you cope with both the death of a parent and the artifacts she left behind, while preparing to become a mother yourself...

Podcasts

Pandemic Times Episode 49: Civil Unrest Takes Over the Pandemic News

New David Suissa Podcast Every Morning. Reflections on the violent protests that have swept the nation in the wake of another police killing. How do we...

Never Have We Ever Applauded Mandy Patinkin’s Twitter and Criticized Seinfeld

Erin and Esther are still wading through the content rapids, wearing their masks and pickling in their preferences. From adoring Mandy Patinkin's Twitter videos...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

x