It’s easy to hear expats in Panama complain about life back in the US: the Bush so-called “Patriot Act” which Congress and Obama have not only supported but interpreted in even more anti-patriotic ways offering up traditional US American freedoms as trophies to terrorism in the name of “national security”; how the US has become a country living in fear [FDR: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”; how curt and militaristic the airport “Welcome to America!” has become when you go “back home” to visit; and “Obama Care” – if one more person tells me how “bad” or “good” it is I will throw up on the spot! There are those who still believe that a black man riding on a white horse would save the US from self-destruction, and those whose life revolves around FOX “news” [Yes, it’s available in Panama.] who think that had McCain, Palin, Romney (and who was his running mate?) had been elected, the US would be so, so much better. Palin’s foreign policy experience [Remember? Even though she’d never had a US Passport she “could see Russia” from Alaska.] would have trumped Obama/Clinton’s bungling.
Some folks love romping in this stuff like pigs in the mud, and others, while still concerned about life in the US, it’s direction or lack thereof, and the implications for grandkids, just enjoy being away from it all in Panama. Bob Adams, who has a great Web site called RetirementWave.com, says that if you’re coming to Panama to live as an expat you need to pack all that negative, political stuff that has nothing to do with your new life in Panama and leave it back where you came from.
But there is no question that things are changing in the US. I found this article about Clinton’s potential White House bid that included some very interesting material developed by the highly respected Pew Research organization …
In March this year, Pew published a social trends survey which concluded that the Millennials were “forging a distinctive path into adulthood”. They did not join political parties or churches, lived largely beyond the corporate world, and were mostly broke but still had hopes for their future.
“Now ranging in age from 18 to 33 ½,” the report found, “they are relatively unattached to organised politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry – and optimistic about the future.
“They are also America’s most racially diverse generation. In all of these dimensions, they are different from today’s older generations. And in many, they are also different from older adults back when they were the age Millennials are now.”
Pew found that 50 per cent of Millennials now describe themselves as politically independent, but if they do back a party, it will be the Democrats. They hold “liberal views” on issues such as same-sex marriage and the legalisation of marijuana. Forty-seven per cent of children born to Millennial women are born out-of-wedlock.
They seem to be living differently and adopting different views and values partly because they have had to: they are the generation launched into a global recession with an unprecedented amount of college debt and few job prospects, the first generation to realise that the American Dream is going to remain just that.
They do not want to drive big cars or buy suburban mansions; they repopulate cities (when they can afford to leave the nest at all) and ride bicycles.
Perhaps most significant is that they are adapting to America’s rapidly shifting racial balance. Whites will cease to be an overall majority in America sometime around 2045. That projection is behind the anti-immigrant, right-wing rage of the Tea Party and its related militias. But it bothers the new generations of pink, brown and black Americans less and less.
In short, it is the Millennials who have helped consign the Republican politics of division – “Vote for us or your daughter will marry a black man!” – to the dustbin of history.
It has been calculated that Millennials will not have the majority of votes for another 20 years, and so will not have control of Washington until 2035.
But they have been a rising power since the first of them turned out for Barack Obama in 2008, and their share of the vote will go up in every cycle. [Charles Lawrence THE WEEK]