No drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes. That was my life-altering takeaway from Trump’s speech to millennials last night. The all-knowing father of three predicted that this singular piece of wisdom would be the most remembered anecdote for people my age (us wild and crazy twenty-somethings) and lo and behold…
“How many people here are old enough to vote?” Trump asked the crowd in a highly patronizing tone. Nearly every hand shot up. “Now I’ll work a little bit harder,” he quipped, seemingly surprised that millennials are, in fact, all of legal age (which is 18, should he forget).
As many millennials as Baby Boomers are eligible to vote in this election. Perhaps someone should have told Donald Trump a bit about our all-important generation of 18 to 35-year-olds before his speech to my peers in Columbus, Ohio.
“Let’s just have a good time,” it was evident from the get-go that Trump did not take the forum seriously. He smiled and laughed, telling the audience “I love you too” when they praised him, and shaking his head “Oh boy… so young and so jaded already” when the crowd launched into chants of lock her up.
It wasn’t his typical yuge rally because Trump “is getting tired of the 15–20,000 people” fueling his ego, waiting on his every word, and agreeing with whatever claims he asserts, regardless of degree of truth or ostentation. Yeah right. Finding a few hundred Trump-supporting millennials in progressive Columbus could not have been an easy task, but that didn’t faze The Donald; he chose to hold the event in a “beautiful, nice, small, tight room.”
Trump painted an extremely negative, uninspiring, off-putting picture of the United States today. ICYMI:
— “Tremendously bad things are happening”
— “Our country is going wrong”
— Crooked Hillary is a criminal who acid washes emails (Yes, that’s a thing. And Trump says it’s prohibitively expensive for all of commonfolk.)
— She sells out the future of young Americans to enrich her donors
— “It’s very very hard for young people”
— President Obama is incompetent and Hillary is, of course, crooked
He then went on to make grandiose promises:
— “Big big jobs”
— Lower costs of college
— Some solution to the student loan crisis
— A booming and thriving economy for young Americans
— Safer communities
— Cutting taxes “big league” (for everyone, including the billionaires)
— Leaner government
— Affordable child and healthcare
— A country that is gonna be “so strong, so powerful, so rich”
“We are the campaign of change: we will deliver jobs, opportunity and justice for future generations,” Trump read uninspiringly from a teleprompter for the bulk of his speech. He repeated that he wants this race to be about the issues and policies affecting daily life, yet a track record of personal attacks, random tangents, and lack of mastery over the issues prove otherwise.
I appreciate that Trump doesn’t want skyrocketing student debt, or national debt for that matter, to “be an albatross around [my] neck for the rest of [my] life,” but his comments were lackluster and lacked any actionable specificity, aside from disjointed tirades about bullying and cutting deals to cut costs.
Apparently, Trump’s is the campaign of truth. I must have missed something along the way, eh? He damned ‘political correctness’ as a terrible term and vowed to fight the present extreme censorship “to force free and respectful dialogue,” of which I remain unconvinced he is an expert, given his erratic temperament and discriminatory, if not predatory behavior.
“A vote for me is really a vote for you,” he concluded cheekily. Trump doesn’t have a clue what matters most to my generation, nor do I believe that he cares. Sorry, I’m not buying it — and sincerely hope that my fellow millennials see right through that weak facade.
FYI Ending a speech to young adults by telling them to “say hello to your parents” is rather condescending and probably not the best way to earn our valuable and very-much-grown-up votes.
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