Hillary and her millennial problem
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Have you ever experienced one of those squirmy moments where you’ve had to listen to someone lie to you, knowing full well that it’s a lie? It can be excruciating. And it’s just as cringe-worthy watching someone try to sell themselves as being likable, hip, or worthy of excitement.  

Now that Bernie SandersBernie SandersProtect women's right to choose how and when they work Senate braces for a nasty debt ceiling fight Schumer leaves door open for second vote on bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE is out of the presidential race, this is exactly the position Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJill Biden takes starring role at difficult Olympics Club for Growth goes after Cheney in ad, compares her to Clinton Sanders to campaign for Turner in Ohio MORE finds herself in. Sanders, for all his crotchetiness, captivated the youth vote with his effortless swagger and a willingness to spit in the eye of all the established political blather that preceded him.


The Vermont senator won more votes among those under 30 than Clinton and Donald TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip MORE combined. In July, Sanders officially endorsed Clinton, a moment which I’m sure she pictured as the bomb that would finally burst the intractable bubble of youthful suspicion.  

But Sanders’ young supporters aren’t convinced. At the Democratic National Convention, thousands of them protested Clinton, many yelling “lock her up” at the mention of her name. 

This aversion may prove devastating for the Democratic nominee. Millennials could make up the nation’s largest voting bloc in November, and currently only 31 percent of them support Clinton. She remains incapable of galvanizing them. 

Unfortunately for Clinton, Sanders’s endorsement doesn’t solve any of the core problems preventing her from appealing to young voters:

She’s a career politician.

Clinton hasn’t worked in the private sector, or even driven a car, in over two decades. Saying she’s out-of-touch is an understatement. This isn’t to say such facts should be automatic deal breakers. Not driving a car since Wayne’s World was in theaters has nothing to do with whether or not she can do the job. But we’re talking about identifying with and inspiring voters, which is the only major question at the moment. 

Young people want to see something of themselves in their candidates. What are they supposed to focus on in Clinton? 

She’s inauthentic.

In 2016 authenticity is everything. Voters are sick of listening to politicians read scripted speeches from teleprompters. 

Young people loved Bernie because he was “real”; they believed that he could identify with their struggles. Clinton will never be able to pull that off. This is a woman who has collected $22 million in speaking fees and resides in two multi-million dollar mansions. She has no idea what it’s like to be a normal American.

She’s stiff and uncool.

The harder Clinton tries to be hip, the more she fails. So far her attempts to appeal to the youthful voting bloc are tantamount to her showing up at a house party with a ball cap on sideways and saying, “Hey dudes, rad party. Who’s got an awesome beverage that I can sip hardcore?”

Whatever you think of Obama, his hip charm is effortless. Sanders could walk into an auditorium full of kids and the atmosphere would experience a seismic shift more akin to a rock concert than a bunch of policy talk. I’m sure it’s tough for Clinton to look at them and think, I just can’t do that. It’s just not me.

She’s unlikable.

Often, Clinton isn’t even nice to her own supporters. She once coldly told an adoring fan who wanted an autograph, “Get to the back of the line.” And who can forget when she blew up at a Sanders supporter in public?  

Again, you don’t have to be likable to perform most duties of the presidency. But the presidency starts only after you get the masses to like you enough to vote you into the Oval Office.

She’ll say anything to get elected.

Identity matters to the youth, perhaps now more than ever. This is a huge part of seeing yourself in a candidate. However, we view politicians from a distance and have to decide who we think they are based on the words, ideas, and actions they present. When they’re consistent, we can at least make an educated guess, or tell ourselves that we’re doing so.

When a candidate flip-flops as much as Clinton, pinning down their identity is like trying to take a Rorschach test with wet ink that keeps sliding around the page. How are young voters supposed to know who she is if she doesn’t seem to know who she is?

Clinton has flip-flopped on gay marriage, support for TPP, campaign funding, gun control, and the list goes on and on. This is a person who claimed to dash into Bosnia under sniper fire, which, in her ludicrous version of LaLaLand turned out to mean there was an eight year-old Muslim girl there waiting to read a poem and nothing even slightly dangerous happened. At all.

When she argues for her values as a politician, well, I guess you just have to take her word for it, although I don’t know why anyone should at this point

How is she supposed to motivate these young people? It’s a strange position. Lacking a clear way to win through force of her personality, she must rely instead on the mistakes of her opponents. This is good news for Trump, who has made so many gaffes that they have proven utterly inconsequential. He just has to keep doing what he’s doing.

He’s loud, he’s anti-establishment, there are millions and millions of people cheering him (including millennials) wherever he goes. Like it or not, there are voters who see themselves in him.

Whatever he is, he’s authentic, and that is bad news for Hillary Clinton.

Tate is a conservative columnist and author of the new book, "Government Gone Wild: How D.C. Politicians Are Taking You For a Ride and what You can Do About It"

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