The right's insane sliming of David Hogg

If Republicans are trying to alienate themselves from a generation of voters, they're doing a bang-up job. Polls show...

Posted: Apr 11, 2018 6:32 AM
Updated: Apr 11, 2018 6:32 AM

If Republicans are trying to alienate themselves from a generation of voters, they're doing a bang-up job. Polls shows that young people, and especially young women, are fleeing to the Democratic Party in large numbers. And who can blame them? Too many politicians in the GOP, and their media mouthpieces, have insulted them, smeared them and pawned their futures in exchange for short-term gain.

The treatment of Parkland student David Hogg, 17, is just one obvious and egregious example. For having the audacity to say he believes the United States should have sane gun control laws -- in line with every other developed nation on Earth -- Hogg has been relentlessly attacked by right-wing media.

If Republicans want to have a prayer of attracting young voters in numbers sufficient to maintain their political control, they will need to show them through policies and behavior that they care about them. At the very least, they and their lieutenants might avoid trashing victims of the violence they've helped bring upon the country with their pro-gun policies.

Let's recall here that Hogg has entered the public consciousness as a result of being caught in a mass shooting during which 17 students and faculty were killed in minutes. He's a teenager, albeit a mature, charismatic, articulate one, but still, a young person who survived a serious trauma.

No matter, apparently. He's been the subject of obscene conspiracy theories, among them that he wasn't actually at the shooting or that he's a paid "crisis actor."

Conservative television and radio host Laura Ingraham tweeted disparaging comments about his college admissions status, and the outcry was significant enough that many of her advertisers pulled out of her Fox News show. And last month, Jamie Allman, the host of a nightly show on the Sinclair-owned ABC affiliate in St. Louis, wrote on Twitter that he was "hanging out getting ready" to sexually assault Hogg with "a hot poker." He has since resigned and his show has been canceled.

Hogg's classmate, Emma Gonzales, has been similarly smeared. A doctored photo of her tearing up the Constitution went viral (in the real photo, she was tearing apart a gun range paper target). A sitting US congressman, Iowa Republican Steve King -- who has also tried to make English the official language of the United States -- mocked her for not speaking Spanish.

Hogg, Gonzales and many of their classmates have received death threats after these right-wing attacks.

There's more.

While right-wing pundits are viciously attacking young people for having different political opinions, right-wing politicians are undermining these youngsters' futures. The much-hailed Trump tax cut is expected to raise the federal deficit to $1 trillion by 2020. As this becomes reality, you can expect conservatives to demand cuts to the social safety net, so that today's young have even less of a parachute.

Meanwhile, Trump's Environmental Protection Agency is hardly worthy of the name, determined as it is to wipe out environmental protections and deny that climate change exists. But it is young people who will ultimately face the slow-rolling devastation of harsh weather, lost homes, dirty air and water, and global conflict-- all fueled by humans who chose to continue abusing the Earth, long after we knew better.

It's young people who are watching their friends and classmates who have never known a home outside of America live in fear of deportation because of many Republicans' refusal to support Dreamers. And, of course, it's young women who must spend much of their teens, 20s and into their 30s trying to determine for themselves the number and spacing of their children, even in the face of right-wing attacks on contraception and their right to an abortion.

It is decent young men who recognize that the well-being of their families and communities rests on women's bodily autonomy, and see that attempts to circumscribe women's rights threaten a much broader landscape of happiness and stability.

It's also mainly young women who have the unfortunate experience of fending off sexual harassment, fearing sexual assault and sometimes experiencing both; it's young women who know their bodies are too often reduced by men to genitals -- the ones the Trump bragged about grabbing just because he could.

So is anyone surprised by the new Harvard poll showing that young people plan on flooding into the ballot boxes in November -- and that the surge is almost entirely Democratic? Some 37% of Americans under 30 say they will definitely vote in the midterm elections; just 23 percent said the same in 2014.

In California, 100,000 16- and 17-year-olds have preregistered to vote so that they can cast their ballots without issue as soon as they are of legal age. Republicans have other good reason to worry: Nearly 60% of millennial voters are Democrats, and some 70% of millennial women are Democrats, according to the Pew Research Center.

And while GOP voters have stayed overwhelmingly white, the Democratic Party has significantly racially diversified over the years. In a nation that is more diverse with every generation, that's bad news for Republicans.

The all-sides assault on the young, from media sliming to political undermining, may play to Trump's base of old white men now. Unfortunately for his party, time moves steadily forward, and as the old die out, the young grow up. Thanks to the GOP and their particularly nasty flying monkeys on Fox and online, our young have no reason to grow up anything but liberal.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 110592

Reported Deaths: 3171
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7731171
DeSoto655177
Harrison478481
Jackson429178
Rankin380086
Madison371092
Lee339279
Forrest292777
Jones281682
Washington250697
Lafayette241342
Lauderdale2329130
Lamar212038
Bolivar197775
Oktibbeha194154
Neshoba1795111
Lowndes173662
Panola164736
Leflore158786
Sunflower156749
Warren151854
Monroe143672
Pontotoc143019
Pike135555
Lincoln133954
Copiah133336
Marshall130026
Coahoma122836
Scott122729
Grenada119637
Simpson117648
Yazoo116933
Union113825
Holmes113060
Tate112339
Leake111839
Itawamba108724
Pearl River107456
Adams104042
Prentiss100919
Wayne97921
Alcorn94412
George93217
Marion92642
Covington90825
Tippah84820
Newton84227
Chickasaw81724
Tallahatchie81725
Winston81421
Tishomingo78640
Hancock76527
Attala76325
Clarke70948
Clay66621
Jasper66016
Walthall63427
Calhoun60912
Noxubee59516
Smith57716
Claiborne53016
Montgomery52723
Tunica51817
Lawrence48914
Yalobusha47914
Perry47522
Carroll45812
Greene44717
Stone44614
Amite41513
Quitman4096
Humphreys39916
Jefferson Davis39311
Webster36313
Wilkinson32920
Kemper31615
Benton3004
Sharkey27714
Jefferson26210
Franklin2283
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 152272

Reported Deaths: 2621
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22300372
Mobile14273314
Tuscaloosa9886132
Montgomery9615196
Madison895192
Shelby700260
Lee643066
Baldwin636967
Marshall425348
Calhoun408459
Etowah399149
Morgan393232
Houston362332
DeKalb313326
Elmore308152
St. Clair276742
Limestone268327
Walker264192
Talladega253634
Cullman223923
Lauderdale204340
Autauga198928
Franklin198131
Jackson197914
Russell18993
Colbert188927
Dallas184527
Blount182723
Chilton178731
Escambia170328
Covington164429
Coffee16299
Dale161551
Pike130112
Tallapoosa126986
Chambers126643
Clarke126116
Marion103929
Butler99640
Barbour9819
Marengo96421
Winston88613
Geneva8297
Pickens79317
Randolph79314
Lawrence78830
Bibb78513
Hale73729
Cherokee71414
Clay70312
Lowndes69827
Bullock63417
Henry6286
Monroe6259
Washington62012
Crenshaw58830
Perry5796
Conecuh55413
Wilcox55412
Fayette54012
Macon52819
Cleburne5207
Sumter46421
Lamar4555
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 66°
Columbus
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 65°
Oxford
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Starkville
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 61°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather