Lewis Black on millennials who are unsure whether to vote

Lewis Black weighs in on millennials who are unsure whether they’re going to vote in November.

Black notes that some millennials are voting for marijuana legalization but might not vote for president.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • Bill_Perdue

    You’re pretending that this is a democracy and that there are differences between Democrats and their Republican brothers and sisters. It’s not and the only real difference is on gun ownership policy.

    I’ve exhaustively proven all that and you have nothing to offer except excuses for war, institutionalized racism and union busting.

    Voting is for people who can be easily gulled and that’s why, in spite of the claims of Dixiecrats, the number of people voting is steadily declining.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c2d5ca76c34298e0c59457e0c2e5b1eb19d14499c1306f493cb508a616dde5ac.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f9f682778bc314060c7dbc8302e1e184164651fae284cf14580301af2f9c6c92.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8086afdb0b07f25131741297528707d36c27bcbc7ef497cf1c27f7034a7e3bf9.jpg
    Stop dissembling. The use of torture, kidnapping and murder has always been part of US policy, domestic and foreign, but it was vastly increased by the Clinton regime and then escalated again by the Bush and Obama regimes.

  • esmensetoo

    I didn’t make any argument about “the reasons behind” the invasion of Iraq.

    My argument has been that voters voted for people who PROMISED to pursue that action.

    Invading Iraq was part of the Republican platform in 2000.

    And of course the reason that part of the country has been the focus of attention is because of oil resources. The Neo-cons were pretty explicit about that sort of thing.

    I didn’t vote for that policy — but many, many, many people did. I don’t believe that assuming they did so because they are stupid is helpful. It certainly isn’t an argument that gets you anywhere with people who, sincerely, and most likely actually, believe protecting our access to oil resources in that region is important FOR THEM in terms of their immediate economic interest.

    My argument was this, Hillary Clinton (and Bill Clinton as he demonstrated as president) did not support unilateral, unprovoked invasion of Iraq — just as she said at the time. The goal of her vote was ONLY to get UN inspectors back in to monitor the state of WMD in the country. Something she, as a Senator from a state that had just endured a devastating attack from invaders from another part of the region, knew her constituents wanted to be reassured about. Bush lied. Bush ignored the requirement of that vote — that he had to return to congress for another vote before invading.

    THAT was a huge difference between mainstream Democratic thought about war and mainstream Republican thought about the same subject. One party supported torture, unilateral warfare, “pre-emptive” invasion. The other didn’t. One party lied and deceived and proceeded with its pre-arranged plans without getting the authority it needed from congress.

    If you aren’t willing, when given a chance, to vote against the party that supports torture and pre-emptive war, you have no moral standing in ANY debate about the use of military force.

    You have checked out. You have shirked your democratic responsibility.

    One party wanted to, and still wants to, attack Iran unilaterally and preemptively. The other party has been working with Iran diplomatically.

    One party supports huge investment in renewable energy resources. The other wants no change except MORE military action to bully our way to control of the oil resources in a bloody and unstable region.

    If you won’t recognize such distinctions and vote with them in mind, you are just beating your chest and acting like a jerk. Because you can’t really give a damn about any of it.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The videos prove you’re not telling the truth.

    Your offhand dismissal of the reasons behind the US is attacks by the Clintons, the Bushes, Obama and Reagan against Arab and muslim states is as wrong as everything else you say and stand for.

    People who vote for mad dog warmongers enable the murder of well over a million civilians and thousands of GI’s. The same was true of the people who voted for the pigs LBJ and Nixon.

    Republican Senator CHARLES HAGEL: “People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America’s national interest. What the hell do you think they’re talking about? We’re not there for figs.” (Speaking at Catholic University, Sept. 24, 2007)

    Former Federal Reserve Chairman ALAN GREENSPAN, in his book The Age of Turbulence; Adventures in a New World: “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: The Iraq war is largely about oil.”

    Democratic Senator JOHN TESTER: “We’re still fighting a war in Iraq and people who are honest about it will admit we’re there over oil.” (Associated Press, Sept. 24, 2007)

    General JOHN ABIZAID, retired commander of CENTCOM: “Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that.” (Speaking at Stanford University, Oct. 13, 2007)

  • esmensetoo

    Too much X-Files, honey.

    Self-governance takes confidence. It’s amazing how easily people like you can be convinced to give up on self-governance — and handing the reins of power over to the people you claim to object to.

    Big Energy has done a good job of getting you to act in THEIR interest.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Your grasp of recent history is nil. Democrats and your Republican brothers and sisters act in concert to invade and interven in Iraq and every Arab and muslim nation from Morroco to Indonesia to steal oil and land. I proved that.
    If the DNC is paying you they’re wasting thier money.

  • esmensetoo

    Nonsense. I sure hope you are getting paid by the Republicans.

    If you were actually a progressive, you would hold George W. Bush accountable for SOME of the things he did, and not have to come up with this nonsense to let him off the hook.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The Clintons are rabid warmongers who lead the charge to invade Iraq and Afghanistna. The fact that they hemmed and hawed about it means aboslutely nothing.
    You Democrats are part of the right wing. So are Republicans. Grow up and learn some history. Start here: https://www.marxists.org/

    I come from a union family that goes back to the WFM and the IWW.

    Elections are irrelevant.

  • esmensetoo

    You grew up in a Republican household didn’t you?

    Well, that’s exactly the attitude the Right Wing wants you to take. Congratulations.

    I hope you are as old as I am because you won’t have to put up with a whole lot more of ever crazier conservatives having enough power to keep us from dealing with ANY aspect of modern reality because they either think the apocalypse is coming or they alternately think there is some political way to transport us back to the 1950s (as they imagined them — which of course isn’t anything at all like what that decade of high taxes, stronger unions, and massive public investment was actually like).

    If you aren’t that old (and if you are, surely by now you should KNOW BETTER) I hope there are many, many more of your own generation or younger with more sense — who WON’T let this opportunity to start pushing back on the conservative tide pass while they sit on their asses.

    Because if there aren’t you not only are never going to see any consensus for the things you say you want, you, and they, are going to wake up someday and discover that it is too late.

    You may even get a revolution. But really, with a nation that has gone all conspiracy minded, fantasy-driven and cynical and hopeless, that isn’t likely to turn out all that well except for a few.

    You think there;’s nothing worse than this? Ask the Germans and the Cambodians.

    They had quite effective “revolutions.” At least if your standard is body count.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Elections don’t change policy. Both parties are rightwing.

    Those are facts. Reality doesn’t care what you think.

    H Clinton is and was a rabid warmonger, racist and union buster. Nothihng you say will change those facts or the fact that voting for either party will mena more of the same.

    The Clintons were for the invasion and invented the lies about WMDs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkS9y5t0tR0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0f5u_0ytUs

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k4nmRZx9nc

    Bill Clinton is a war criminal and a mass murderer. He murdered half a million children.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4

  • esmensetoo

    As I have pointed out — the ELECTORATE has been more conservative than not over many decades. They have voted for conservatives to REPRESENT them.

    Starting in the 80s, the Southern Democrats who had been part of the Democratic coalition since before the Civil War started changing parties — a process that wasn’t completed until the Bush II administration, joining with Western Republican conservatives — supporters of Goldwater and Reagan — to form a powerful conservative coalition. Conservative Southern Democrats, for instance, voter with Republicans to support Reagan’s conservative economic policies, etc. No one in the liberal Northeastern wing of the Democratic party had a chance of winning a national election at that time. The Clintons were VERY progressive compared to the general tenor of the time — but the party still had moderate Southerners and Midwesterners who were more conservative, and conservatives were still gaining support in the Republican party (while moderate and liberal/Progressive Republican were disappearing from the party).

    It is only in this century that the Democrats have become, slowly but surely, a party of the liberal Northeast and an increasingly Liberal Western Coast. The conservative South is no longer part of its coalition, and it has lost moderate and conservative mid westerns too. The battle to turn swing states in the Midwest back toward their more LIBERAL roots are ongoing — but the reality is this; this year’s party platform AND its presidential nominee are the most progressive i9n more than HALF A CENTURY.

    Whether we have a more progressive future is up to the voters. Not Wall Street. Not the academics. But VOTERS — most especially young voters.

    You can offer all the excuses you want, but NOTHING you complain about changes if people who want to a see those changes don’t VOTE.

    Protesting is a way to advertise your views. But voting is the only way to change the political direction of the country.

    If you think the Democrats aren’t progressive enough for you now, and refuse to vote, you won’t be listened to. Because you chose to give up the only real power you have, the only power that matters.

    The political establishment doesn’t care what you think — it only cares what you are willing to vote for.

    If people who say they want universal, single payer refuse to vote for the only person in the race who has a history of support for that, because there hasn’t been enough support for it in the past, then they won’t get further reform that can lead to it. (Before we can have single payer we need to have the facilities that can provide the care. We don’t have that today. We will never have it if you won’t vote for the only person in the race who understands that and the other problems that have to be solved as we work toward that goal.)

    Taking apart the military industrial complex is another, even more, complicated problem that, because its supporters have so cannily made it an important part of every state and regions economy, will take time to resolve. One reason why even Bernie has consistently voted for big defense budgets.

    But I suggest, when trying to decide which of the candidates with a chance of being president you might vote for, you NOT choose, by default, the one whose advisers are many of the same people who got us into the Iraq war. And that you look honestly at what Clinton said about her vote — which was NEVER for military action, as her speeches at the time made clear, and remember this — when she voted to give Bush what he claimed was all he wanted, leverage to get Saddam to let the inspectors back in, it was with the understanding that the measure she voted for REQUIRED the President to come back to congress for a second vote before taking military action. A requirement Bush did not honor.

    Why didn’t he?

    Because he claimed that the 1998 “Sense of the Congress” vote, that committed ANY American president to using military action to “liberate” Iraq from Saddam, already provided him with congressional authority to do so. Clinton wasn’t in the Senate in 1998, but Bernie Sanders was in the Congress — and he voted to give the President that authority. Perhaps because he knew that Bill Clinton would NOT use it (Clinton was the President who didn’t take our Osama Bin Laden when he “had the chance” as conservatives say, because doing so would have meant also killing 300 innocent people, which, if he had done so, he said, would have made him “no better” than Bin Laden himself.

    A lot of what people blame the Clinton’s and Obama for are things that developed over decades before any of them held any office or power that could affect these policies. And whatever power they have had has never been anything but very partial.

    But, if you want to see change in the right direction, you would never let a man like Trump, especially not with a Republican congress, anywhere near the presidency.

    And the woman whose husband, as president, CUT military spending, who herself spoke out AGAINST invading Iraq (look it up), and whose emphasis has always been on tackling social issues that have been neglected over the last 50 years of increasingly conservative rule, is certainly a better step in the direction you say you want to go than the other guy — who will leave those issues in the hands of the most extreme elements of the foreign policy and military establishment. (Which you would know if you had been paying attention.)

    Your arguments aren’t going to change that

  • Bill_Perdue

    Both parties are right wing and to equal degrees. Both embrace wars of aggression, oppose ENDA, oppose the right of abortion on demand irrespective of age, both have racist policies regarding open immigration of working people, oppose civil liberties and are led by union busting scabs like Carter, Reagan,

    This is not a democracy (That’s fact, not opinion.).

    Socialists like myself urge building mass movements like the fight for a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage, BLM, etc. to compel change by the creation of a workers government.

    Anything else, especially the approach of legitimizing the regime o0f the rich, is mistaken and totally unproductive.

  • esmensetoo

    BS. Conservatives took over the government at the BALLOT BOX. And not because they had some magic brainwashing tools.

    VOTERS voted for the situation we now have that young people have every reason to be angry about. Because every downside of what we have been doing has been pushed off onto them.

    Voters can undo it. There is especially no excuse for a generation as large as the Millennials.

    This is the reality: the old and affluent vote. And they tend to vote for conservative policies that protect their assets. They want tax cuts. They want spending cuts. And that is EXACTLY what they got.

    But taxes, contrary to what affluent heirs and oldsters have been telling themselves, to mitigate their guilt, aren’t a transfer of wealth between individuals. They are a transfer of resources between generations.

    The young flip out on cynicism, or indulge in laziness, apparently. Understandable in the Boomers who came of age in affluent times and had no clue as to where catering to the old and rich was leading us.

    So what did we get when we forgot that fact in order to give the VOTERS, the old affluent people who bothered to show up, what they want: Tax and spending policies that served the interests of affluent older and retired workers hoping to protect asset gains earned in the post-war boom from inflation. Which in turn, of course, served the interests of wealth. But it didn’t serve the interests of of the future.

    The rich will and have always been with us. But they will never out-number us — unless those who don’t see their interests aligned with those of the wealthy choose not to participate.

    Which is what you are arguing for. Checking out.

    Well, you can’t afford to.

    The Boomers came up in affluent times, and they expected to get an inheritance from even middle class parents. Too few of them saw it coming. Their own voting participation rates were horrid.

    Millennials CAN see exactly what the inheritance of that conservative turn has been.

    There is a saying in the ad world; “the worse thing that can happen to a bad product is good advertising.” Why? Because good advertising gets people to try it — and experience kills it.

    YOU KNOW WHAT IS WRONG.

    But you are wrong to think you can’t do anything about it.

    Of course, if you don’t even want to try….

  • Bill_Perdue

    You’re wrong on just about everything you said. This is not a democracy. “A new scientific study from Princeton researcher Martin Gilens and Northwestern researcher Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.
    Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often. It’s beyond alarming.

    As Gilens and Page write, ‘the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.’ In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.” http://mic.com/articles/87719/princeton-concludes-what-kind-of-government-america-really-has-and-it-s-not-a-democracy

    The Revolution of 1775 to 1783 was run by and for the rich and the government set up as a result of the rebellion by the rich, although widely supported by workers and farmers, was never a democracy. All we got out of it was the Bill of Rights and Democrats and their Republican brothers and sisters have been hammering away at it for decades. FISA, the Paytriot Act, Trumans witch hunting, militarizing the police and hundreds of local and state repressive laws limiting free speech and freedom of assembly are just some of the examples.

    People like me, and there are millions of us, want socialized medicine and socialism. People like you settle for inadequate reforms that are shot down by ruling class politicians like Trump, Obama, the Bushes, Carter, Reagan and the Clintons.

  • esmensetoo

    Sorry, this is democracy and whatever brilliant idea you have about how the world SHOULD be there are never going to be enough people who see it EXACTLY your way to give you everything you want.

    Boo hoo.

    You have a choice between two flawed people. One of those choices will NEVER be your idea of the perfect choice.

    Hillary Clinton has ALWAYS SUPPORTED UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE AND SINGLE PAYER. As she even explained to the bankers in that speech everyone is acting sop childish about.

    But, you know what they say…if wishes were blah blah blah we’d all do something or other

    So, you know what, as people who take self-governance seriously, we understand that on huge issues like that, with so many people opposed (for whatever stupid reason — and I’m talking about voters who don’t need to be brainwashed by the 1% to embrace ideas that they don’t think work for THEM, not matter how much harm they do to others) — out of their own self-interest or lack of experience or religious or weird ideological reasons to one thing or another, even things that seem to make very good sense to you, it takes patience and persistence and effort to accomplish big, life and society changing things. So you take what steps you can in the right direction and don’t give up.

    People like you are giving up on everything — before you even get started.

    When you say there is no difference between a candidate who has worked to get health care services to those who lack them for her entire adult life, and a man who couldn’t care less and represents a party that does not BELIEVE IN UNIVERSAL health care, you are talking nonsense.

    When you say there is no difference between a party that professes its belief in climate change, that embraces science, and one that not only doesn’t believe in climate change and science but actually is filled with people who GENUINELY EANT THE GOVERNMENT TO DO THINKS THAT WILL BRING ON THEIR FANTASY OF THE “END TIMES” — you are talking dangerous nonsense.

    I suggest you spend a little more time thinking about the issues you claim to care about.

    There has never been a glorious revolution that worked out well for most people. Because ideologues really don’t make good rulers — they want everything their own way. And that is always tyranny.

    Our own “revolution” was no such thing. It was in NO WAY an ideological uprising of “the people.” It was a bourgeois rebellion — a bunch of middle class business men and affluent land owners who thought they could handle their own affairs better without having to deal with the dictates of a distance government — who saw more reasons to break their ties with the mother country than to keep them.

    It worked because it was pragmatic. And it has continued to work for the same reason.

    So, be pragmatic. It is exactly what our system expects of you. And needs from you. Things are never going to be perfect. But some things are CLEARLY better than others.

    And if you truly believe any of the things you wrote, you should be able to easily see, in this election, which candidate and party is immensely better than the other.

  • Libertarians don’t care that Johnson is clueless. To them a president who sits back and smokes pot while the “free market” fixes everything is ideal.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Why would they vote if there are no socialists on the ballot?

    Trump = H Clinton, Democrats = Republicans and all are in a downhill stampede to the bottom.

    Both oppose ENDA.

    Both candidates and parties promote wars of aggression that kill Arab, muslim and Latin civilians and American GIs by the thousands.

    Both candidates and parties promote working with reactionary allies who engage in torture and murder.

    Both candidates and parties oppose socialized medicine, the only realistic approach to the US health crisis.

    Both candidates and parties endorse border racism and reject the campaign to bring killer cops to justice.

    Both candidates are part of the predatory 1% and are tools of the banksters, the .01%.

    Both candidates and parties are anti union, support more deregulation and are enemies of the working class.

    Vote against Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians and for socialists and good referendums or write in Chelsea Manning or just sit it out. There are no Democrats, Republicans or Libertarians who deserve the votes of decent people.

    In Nevada vote for Question Two, to permit the sale of marijuana.

  • UncleBucky

    YEAH. What BeccaM said!!!

  • UncleBucky

    YEAH! What Lewis yelled!!!!

  • Stupid morons… It’s no longer any kind of hyperbole to say that if Trump is elected, there very likely will be no more elections ever. The reason? Because Trump is already saying he will respect only an election outcome in which he is declared the victor. Because he despises democracy that much, he’s on the verge of urging a coup to install him if the outcome isn’t him winning. Because in his every pronouncement and boast, he clearly believes he doesn’t need the other two branches of our federal government and wants to use law enforcement to round up and imprison those who speak “unfairly” against him. Because he has said there will be a ‘deportation force’ which will round up millions and kick them out…and you’re a fool if you think he’ll stop at just the undocumented immigrants. Because he’s already vowed to imprison, without charges or trial, his political opponents, starting with the woman running against him as the Democratic party candidate. Because he’s vowed to torture prisoners and is eager to use nuclear weapons.

    And right now, there is only one candidate standing between us and that nightmarish future.

    That candidate is not Johnson — who time and time again proves just how clueless he is, and seems inadvertently to be a poster boy case against grass legalization. Nor is it Stein, who stands for a few of the right things, but is also completely unqualified and more than a little unhinged…plus she seems to love Russia as much as Trump does.

    Not since the election of 1860 has there been one in which the very idea of America itself — a Constitutional democratic-republic, governed by laws — threatened to become undone and tossed onto the dustbin of history.

    Seriously, don’t be like those self-absorbed assholes in the UK who thought their ‘Brexit’ protest vote wouldn’t actually hurt anything, but now are being forced to realize the borders they just voted to close will do more to keep them penned in on their little island than anything else.

    If toking really is that important… fuck. Okay, let’s go there. As with gay rights, the social trends are already there for legalization. Clinton herself has indicated she’d be willing to consider easing the laws. On the other hand, Trump claims to be a tee-totaler who has never used drugs (the phentermine rumors notwithstanding). Think HE is going to let you use MJ? This is the guy who wants to completely unleash the police and make them his.

    The choice right now is clear. The madman…or the woman you don’t like. (Or do like, whatever.) Choose the madman and that’ll be it. Choose the woman and in four years, there’ll be another chance to make another choice. In no scenario ever will Johnson or Stein be elected…and right now, a vote for either of them IS a vote for Trump.

    As Keith Olbermann said today in one of his marvelous Closer videos — and I agree — I’d rather a 3rd George W Bush term than five minutes of a Trump presidency.

    https://twitter.com/KeithOlbermann/status/784104366504566784

  • BearEyes

    well said

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