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Stuff You Should Consume - May 8, 2023
Welcome to this week’s edition of “Stuff You Should Consume,”— a weekly compilation of interesting political content for Message Box readers.
“Young Voters Are More Moderate Than You Think” by Lauren Harper and Hugh Jones, The Liberal Patriot
Liberals still make up a minority of young voters. While you’re unlikely to hear it on the news, not only does the median young voter identify as a moderate, but the Harvard Youth Poll found that 18-29 year old Americans are a more moderate cohort than the public at large:
The largest group (44 percent) of 18-29 year olds identify as moderate, while Gallup has found that 37 percent of the general public share the same identification.
Young voters of color are more likely to place themselves in the middle than their white counterparts: 50 percent of African Americans aged 18-29 identify as moderate, along with 47 percent of Hispanics and 42 percent of white respondents. Finally, we are not a very conservative cohort: only one in four 18-29 year olds (24 percent) identifies as conservative, compared to 36 percent of the general public.
“Republicans’ Big Rich-City Problem” by Ron Brownstein, The Atlantic
The Democrats’ ascendance in the most-prosperous metropolitan regions underscores how geographic and economic dynamics now reinforce the fundamental fault line in American politics between the people and places most comfortable with how the U.S. is changing and those who feel alienated or marginalized by those changes.
Just as Democrats now perform best among the voters most accepting of the demographic and cultural currents remaking 21st-century America, they have established a decisive advantage in diverse, well-educated metropolitan areas. Those places have become the locus of the emerging information economy in industries such as computing, communications, and advanced biotechnology.
“Trump and Faith” by Seth Masket, Tusk
Trump still presents something of a puzzle. Some of the same religious figures who wanted Bill Clinton driven from office for failing to uphold his Christian obligations have been happy to turn a blind eye to Donald Trump’s own infidelities, his fairly recent support of abortion, and his lack of familiarity with the faith. How has he not alienated them? … The key takeaway I got was not that evangelicals view Trump’s faith as sincere or that they’ve forgiven his transgressions or they believe God uses flawed people or anything of that sort. Rather, they view Trump in transactional terms — he makes promises to them because he wants their votes, and he delivers better than most other would-be Republicans leaders do.
“DeSantis courts evangelicals with strict abortion law; opponents counterpunch in his backyard” by Sally Goldenberg and Meghan Messerly, Politco
Planned Parenthood is launching an effort to put abortion on the Florida ballot next year — setting the stage for a high-profile battle with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis as he prepares to run for president.
The move comes three weeks after DeSantis pleased up-for-grabs evangelical Republicans by signing a six-week abortion ban into law … Planned Parenthood and partner organizations intend to spend millions of dollars as they seek to gather roughly 890,000 valid signatures by Feb. 1 across a state that has become increasingly conservative. By comparison, a 2024 ballot initiative to legalize marijuana has already raised $30 million.
“We’re Watching the End of a Digital Media Age. It All Started With Jezebel” by Ben Smith, New York Times
Jezebel was, on one hand, a powerful early demonstration of how the new online identity politics could be a force for good. Just a few months after the site debuted, one of its editors, Dodai Stewart, turned up at a panel where she found women’s magazine editors — who would never admit to reading the hostile, seething Jezebel — nonetheless citing its statistics on the lack of Black models.
But the writers also soon realized they were playing with fire. Jezebel was feeling its way in a new world, one in which digital analytics had switched on the lights in the darkened room of distribution, leaving writers and their readers suddenly seeing one another clearly. They could speak to one another directly, first in the comments section and later on social media. This offered an approximation of intimacy and made it easier to identify with a writer — or feel betrayed by her. Small media dramas played out in public. Standard, unspoken operating procedures, such as Photoshopping away Ms. Hill’s freckles and laugh lines and relying on anonymous White House sources, were open to furious challenge. The results across media were more honest, diverse, combustible.