Hello TYT army! My name’s Clifton Church, and I’m aggressively considering running for president as a Democrat in the upcoming primaries. To start with, I’m what most people would call an “elder millennial”, born the same year the Nintendo Entertainment System was released in New York City as part of a soft launch to see if the hardware would garner interest following the video game crash of the late 70’s-early 80’s. I tend to joke that I’m a punk rock Mister Rodgers, in that I can be kind and caring for those who deserve it, but also have no qualms with calling out when and where failures are occurring and holding people accountable for those failures. It’s for that reason I have the time to come to you guys to prevent me from making the biggest mistake of my life and attempting to run for president, as I just today was fired for calling out the shortcomings of my direct managers at my previous job. Beyond that, I’m a geek, a “gamer”, an introvert, and have undiagnosed ADHD. I know, exactly the qualities you want in the leader of the free world.
Considering that I’m sharing these early thoughts here, with the TYT army instead of some other place, I’m sure you can anticipate what my platform would be overall. Ronal Regan ended a decade of pro union government and established the idea of “trickle down economics”, where those at the top of a corporation get all the money they want under the assumption that it will be spent in the American economy, spreading that wealth to more and more companies and allowing it to contribute to the wages of more and more people than would have been possible if we were paying the middle class a standard living wage. This is not how this economic change actually influenced the economy, as the wealthy are more interested in seeing the number in their bank account go vroom instead of the health and wellbeing of their own employees and the health of the economy overall. They horded the money, except that amount they decided to “reinvest” into the government, greasing the pockets of politicians until Bill Clinton signed Citizens United into law, one of the best dystopian names you can imagine. This allowed corporations to invest endless amounts of cash into the political representatives that were willing to play by their rules instead of representing their constituents, resulting in the modern, late stage capitalism we find ourselves in now. Where corporations will abuse and shorthand their employees to create a minimally viable product to sell to consumers at much higher prices than they should need to pay, because at this point the American citizen is seen as nothing more than a wallet for corporations to take money from. My tenure as president would be spent continuing to shine a light on every time any elected representative chooses to support corporations above the American people, so that the worst offenders can be shamed and expelled from their positions to make room for those who do want to help people first and foremost, hopefully leading to a point where Citizens United can be overturned.
Another thing I would want to shine a light on during the course of my campaign is how millennials are changing the status quo everywhere they go. This analogy would start by shining a light on Colin Kaepernick and how he changed the way football is played in that a running quarterback is now seen as a necessity, and teams have changed their defensive line to be better prepared for the running quarterback. It would then shine a light on Ross Chastain of NASCAR fame, who in 2022 decided to use a move he had practiced in his old Gamecube NASCAR game as a kid where he rode the outside wall at high speeds resulting in him being able to move up 6 positions and keep himself in the running for the playoffs. These are moments where the outside the box thinking coming from millennials is leading new and different ideas into fields that didn’t seem to have the opportunity for change. Then contrast those stories with the state of American politics over the last 50 years. From my perspective, it doesn’t feel like the political playbook has changed since trickle down economics became the norm in America, and I think that’s for good reason. The corporations now how to control and manage the political game based on that old rulebook, and since there has been no way to play against the monsters of print media, radio, and TV, nobody has played the game any different.
But “the old guard” is just that. Old. All millennials have grown up in a world where technology has advanced at an incredible rate, and since we went from being children with x86 personal computers that had both 5" and 3.5" floppy drives to adults with computers in the range of 8000x faster than those early computers that also have the ability to reach every other computer over The Internet™, we understand the technology better and can use it in way that “the old guard” will be unable to compete with.
Finally, with any new, young politician, the biggest concern from the older generations is “how will this guy affect my life?” Remember when I called out specifically that I was an Elder Millennial? I can use that to remind boomers that I spent five years in the 80’s. I remember when you were sent outside and told to be home before dark. I remember when you called the house and prayed to get your friend or one of their siblings instead of their parents. I can bridge that gap between the old style of politics when needed and the new meme fueled, TikTok dance, YouTube documentary, reddit filtered chaos of modern communication. Fireside chats? Twitch streams, at least weekly. Knowing to set up the 5 second clips that the mainstream news will play, but lining it with enough intrigue that anyone who follows clickbait headlines will have to find out more about me.
As a final thought, our government was formed nearly a quarter of a millennium ago, in a time where information could only move as fast as your horse could run. I can jump on Twitch and watch DarkViperAU, an Australian, play Grand Theft Auto V, and interact with him in near real time. Times have changed, and we need leadership that can adequately acknowledge that and is prepared to handle the bugbears involved in codifying law to handle these changes. Especially as we watch AI advance, threatening to start taking many of the last jobs the middle class has available to them. Corporations would rather pay a one time fee to install an AI algorithm to handle their customer service complaints than humans, which require a paycheck, and time off, and to be treated with respect. If we don’t have someone leading our country who is ready to be the champion of the middle class, then I have a feeling Google searches for “guillotine assembly instructions” will see a significant uptick in the back half of the 2020’s.
Revolution is coming. The wealthy have two choices: let someone like me reclaim a lot of the wealth they have stolen over the past 40 years from the middle class and redistribute it through middle class focused policies and programs, or be Les Miserables’ed.
Or maybe they’ll just Kennedy me. I wonder what I’m worth on the dark web. I should set up a computer to access the Tor network from…