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Why Did Gen Z Turn Out to Vote for Democrats and Against Their Own Interests?


BY: AUGUSTE MEYRAT | NOVEMBER 16, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/11/16/why-did-gen-z-turn-out-to-vote-for-democrats-and-against-their-own-interests/

girl in red sweater holding her phone sitting next to a girl friend
No one challenges the kids, so they grow up soft and slow, making them the perfect sheep to be manipulated en masse.

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AUGUSTE MEYRAT

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There’s plenty of blame to go around for the disappointing results of the last week’s election: the current post-Covid rules (or lack thereof) for voting, mismanaged ballot collection and counting, Republican leadership, and American voters. Naturally, all of these factors played a role in helping a party that has failed on multiple fronts to stay securely in power.

However, one major reason for Democrats winning was Gen Z voters coming out in large numbers to vote for them — though this was not quite as big a reason as Democrats believe. This cohort was responsible for electing cognitively impaired man-child John Fetterman and incompetent shrew Kathy Hochul as well as reelecting Covid tyrant Gretchen Whitmer. Less unsurprisingly, they’re also responsible for supporting the legalization of marijuana and expanding abortion.

Why did these young people feel motivated enough to go and vote against their interests and keep the country on a downward trajectory? Do they like rising crime, high inflation, mass illegal immigration, homeless encampments, high gas prices, and a shrinking economy? Did they really think Biden would pay off their student loans? Are they just brainwashed zombies who comply with the narratives of TikTok?

Based on my extensive experience as an English teacher, I would say that yes, the average Gen Z American is largely indifferent to important issues that affect the country, even ones that affect their general quality of life. Every day, I witness their lack of reasoning skills and personal drive. This in turn causes them to be disturbingly introverted and handle most of their interactions with people through social media. Many have no real community or deep-seated beliefs and act more on feelings than principle.

Instead, they spend most of their waking life on the internet, consuming mindless content and dreaming up fake personas for themselves. And as a result, they are largely immaturelonely, and neurotic.

This much is argued by writer and former English professor Mark Bauerlein, who writes that Gen Z, “will be the most conformist cohort in American history, already favoring cancellation more than any other age group, and politics will be a primary mode of grouping.” This generation is told what to think by various online influencers, and they passively comply. Because of screen addiction, they will never learn to think or act for themselves, nor will they ever really want to.

The propagandizing effect of heavy social media usage cannot be overstated. For young people, nearly every narrative and social phenomenon now originate from the internet. This means that it’s the dumb and disturbed “influencers” online, not parents or teachers, informing this next generation about politics, economics, and culture. And the algorithms of popular social media sites are designed to curate and amplify this same defective messaging a million times over. The subversive effect on people with still-developing frontal cortexes is not all that different from the “Ludivico technique” in “A Clockwork Orange” in which criminals are forcibly bombarded with images and music in order to condition them against misconduct.

Why is Gen Z so glued to their screens? Two friends and fellow teacher-writers Jeremy Adams and Shane Trotter have examined this question in depth. In his book “Hollowed Out,” Adams argues how the breakdown of family, schools, and the culture at large has left today’s young people morally and intellectually adrift: Not working? Not supporting oneself? Playing video games all day on somebody else’s dime? Not feeling a crumb of shame about it — even describing such a state as happy? That is hollowness.

The many norms and standards (these things that would “fill in” a person) that used to be reinforced by their parents, pastors, teachers, politicians, entertainers, and artists simply aren’t anymore. Should it surprise people that the kids carelessly withdraw from the world and play on their phones?

In Trotter’s book “Setting the Bar,” he attributes the failures of Gen Z to low standards and a permissive parenting culture that coddles kids:

The typical modern youth experience — from the school environment, to the parenting norms, to the broader cultural value structure — is ingraining limiting beliefs and destructive habits that leave our kids ill-equipped for the challenges that lie ahead of them.

No one challenges the kids, so they grow up soft and slow, making them the perfect sheep to be manipulated en masse.

Adams and Trotter demonstrate how circumstances have turned many Zoomers into sad, confused individuals doomed to have an impoverished adulthood. Instead of receiving lessons on independence, critical thinking, and disciplined living, too many of them are protected from all forms of adversity and given an iPad to keep them pacified. This treatment insulates them so much from reality that they never come to know themselves and are bored to the point of despair.

Ironically, understanding this dark reality may be the key to generational reform. True, it might be easy to agree with Bauerlein that Gen Z is hopeless and will probably bring the rest of the nation down with them, but this theory assumes that the Gen Z lifestyle is actually sustainable. The students in my classes all share a natural desire to be better people. I do what I can to offer them a way out; that is, I talk to them and push them to do more. At first, they resist and resort to their phone for comfort but this attitude changes when they feel the profound joy of actually learning and accomplishing something. 

Conservatives can shake their heads at today’s young adults refusing to grow up, or they can actually try to reach these kids. It’s not like they want to be lonely, ignorant, or “neurodivergent.” And most, if they’re being honest, don’t want to be slaves to their smartphones. Rather, like everyone else, they want goodness, beauty, and truth. They want loving relationships, authentic experiences, and some degree of mastery over their emotions and impulses. Above all, they want meaning.

If they have those things, then they will stop voting for corrupt mediocrities and suicidal social policies. More importantly, they will stop wasting away their lives on frivolity and enjoy a fruitful and fulfilling adulthood. Although election results are technically a political matter, what they reveal about voters is a cultural and moral one. We should treat this midterm as the Gen Z cry for help. It’s time for us to go out and save them.


Auguste Meyrat is an English teacher in the Dallas area. He holds an MA in humanities and an MEd in educational leadership. He is the senior editor of The Everyman and has written essays for The Federalist, The American Conservative, and The Imaginative Conservative, as well as the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. Follow him on Twitter.

REVEALED: New York Times Asked Communist Chinese Tech Company To Censor Americans


BY: SHAWN FLEETWOOD | AUGUST 16, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/16/revealed-new-york-times-asked-communist-chinese-tech-company-to-censor-americans/

New York Times building

The New York Times asked TikTok, a social media app with known connections to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), to censor American users sharing election integrity concerns on its platform.

In a recent article titled, “On TikTok, Election Misinformation Thrives Ahead of Midterms,” Times writer Tiffany Hsu details how “TikTok is shaping up to be a primary incubator of baseless and misleading information” ahead of the 2022 midterms, with the issue of voter fraud being a prominent topic shared across the platform. Buried within the article, however, Hsu tacitly reveals that as a result of the Times reaching out to the CCP-connected company, TikTok began censoring users from using a popular hashtag associated with fears about election interference.

“Baseless conspiracy theories about certain voter fraud in November are widely viewed on TikTok, which globally has more than a billion active users each month,” the article reads. “Users cannot search the #StopTheSteal hashtag, but #StopTheSteallll had accumulated nearly a million views until TikTok disabled the hashtag after being contacted by The New York Times.”

Hsu goes on to note the platform’s failure to address the spread of “misinformation” in foreign elections, citing those in France and Australia as examples.

“The app [also] struggled to tamp down on disinformation ahead of last week’s presidential election in Kenya,” Hsu wrote, referencing a report by Odanga Madung, a researcher for the Mozilla Foundation. “Mr. Madung cited a post on TikTok that included an altered image of one candidate holding a knife to his neck and wearing a blood-streaked shirt, with a caption that described him as a murderer. The post garnered more than half a million views before it was removed.”

As reported by Federalist Senior Contributor Helen Raleigh, TikTok “is owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based internet company” and “collects an enormous amount of data on its users, including IP addresses, browsing history, and biometric information.” While ByteDance argues that American user data “is safe because it is stored on U.S. soil,” China’s national intelligence law mandates that “all Chinese tech companies must turn over any data they collect if the government demands it.”

“[A] recent BuzzFeed News report, based on leaked internal TikTok meetings, shows that ByteDance’s Chinese employees have repeatedly accessed nonpublic U.S. user data,” Raleigh said. “One employee of TikTok’s trust and safety department said in a September 2021 meeting that ‘Everything is seen in China.’”

The actions by the Times to push TikTok into censoring Americans isn’t the first time the news outlet has played footsy with the CCP. Late last year, the Times faced public backlash after purportedly downplaying the role Chinese leader Xi Jinping played in the genocide of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region of China.

“For unknown reasons, the New York Times appears to have intentionally withheld documents that directly linked top Chinese Communist Party officials, including General Secretary Xi Jinping, to the ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region” wrote Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio in a letter to New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger. “In those now-released ‘Top Secret’ transcripts — documents that the New York Times has allegedly had in its possession since at least 2019 — Xi explicitly authorized changing local counterterrorism laws, rounding up and sentencing Uyghurs, the use of forced sterilization, and the use of slave labor in Xinjiang.”

The paper has since denied such accusations, with Assistant Managing Editor for International Michael Slackman claiming Rubio was “simply wrong on the facts.” But a pattern seems to be emerging.


Shawn Fleetwood is an intern at The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood

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SHAWN FLEETWOOD

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The Trump Purge Makes Living In America More Like Living In China 


The Trump Purge Makes Living In America More Like Living In China 

After the terrifying ransack of the U.S. capitol Wednesday during a Donald Trump “stop the steal” rally, big tech companies are joining leftist elites in the media and government in their effort to squash the Trump movement once and for all. Seizing on the backlash from the riot, they have seamlessly banned President Trump from TwitterFacebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

What happened at the capitol was an embarrassment for our country. Now, the hypocritical outcries from Democrats, who proudly condoned left-wing Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters as they terrorized American cities all summer, are ushering in a great reckoning.

The Jan. 6 demonstrators, the vast majority of whom were peaceful, were there to protest legitimate claims of election irregularities and voter fraud. But Google-owned YouTube doesn’t want you to know that. They announced Thursday that they will ban all videos about voter fraud in the 2020 election.

The one free speech haven, Parler, Apple is keying up to ban from its app store and bar from iOS devices, claiming content on the website contributed to the capitol unrest. Google has already jumped the gun, banning Parler yesterday.

Every corner of the Trump movement is being publicly purged from the internet. Thursday, Shopify stripped all online stores for President Trump, including the Trump Organization and Trump’s affiliated campaign account.

Anyone who has supported the president is in for it, as well. Rick Klein, the political director at ABC News, in a now-deleted tweet said that getting rid of Trump is “the easy part.” The more difficult task will be “cleansing the movement he commands.” Democrats have already created a “Trump Accountability Project,” an enemies list to ban, cancel, or fire anyone who staffed, donated to, endorsed, or supported President Trump and his administration.

Trump subverted the elites who run our country. He took on big pharma and China. He negotiated, renegotiated, and destroyed trade deals in his mission to put America and American workers first. He went to war with critical race theory institutionalized in our schools and in government.

He stood for things that those who run our biggest corporations and hold our highest government positions detest. For virtually his entire presidency, they tried everything to delegitimize his administration, beginning with the now-debunked Russiagate. Trump showed their corruption, and now he will pay.

The man, the administration, and his supporters will likely go down in history books as delusional and dangerous. Why? Because the left has a monopoly on power, so they can control what people see and therefore think.

As the left’s arbiters of “truth,” big tech has been banning users they don’t agree with and suppressing stories like The New York Post’s blockbuster investigation into Hunter Biden‘s laptop and sketchy deals with foreign governments and companies with ties to the Communist Chinese government. With the help of their partisan “independent fact checkers,” big tech and the media made sure average Americans never knew about this before they went to the polls.

Following the riot among Trump supporters in the capitol, Facebook removed President Trump’s video calling for peace and rule of law, claiming it instigated violence. Then Facebook de-platformed him. Trump’s speech didn’t fit the narrative that he was a pro-violence, lawlessness insurrectionist.

This disturbing reality we live in, where one political party now has the power to control the narrative in all aspects of our lives — school, work, social media, and government — might make us feel eerie echoes of living under Chinese Communist Party influence instead of in the United States of America.

Perhaps what’s most troubling, and something that we might not have even considered in the chaos of the last few days, is the long-term impact this will have on American children. Generation Z or Zoomers, aged 13 to 21, may be one of the first generations that is more influenced by what they see and read on social media and the internet than what they hear at the dinner table from mom and dad.

A Business Insider’s poll found that 59 percent of Zoomers listed social media as their top news source. While technology used to serve as a way to make information accessible, a way to have the world at your fingertips with just a quick search, it has become something much different. It is teaching the youngest and most impressionable among us that suppression is normal and personal censorship is an important survival mechanism.

Children are being taught to watch what they say and think, lest they be labeled a racist, white supremacist, homophobe, or xenophobe. Indeed, making a pro-Trump TikTok video can get your college admission rescinded and subject you to intense personal harassment. A three-second insensitive or politically incorrect Snapchat video from 2016 can get you featured in a New York Times article and your college admission rescinded, and subject you to bitter bullying.

For young people today, it’s becoming normal to see political leaders in our country deemed “dangerous” to be ousted from public platforms and ostracized from society. They watch their parents self-censor at work, fearful of backlash from employees or coworkers that could get them fired.

Americans used to support the right of people to hold and express opinions others disagree with. Yet the newest generation believes feelings are more valuable than freedom. Study after study finds that younger people are more supportive of limiting speech than are older generations.

A recent survey found that an overwhelming majority of students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison think the government should be able to punish “hate speech.” Of course, “hate speech” is simply the left’s ambiguous term for anything veering from the leftist orthodoxy on issues such as abortion, sex, race, and immigration.

Silicon Valley oligarchs have an agenda. They aren’t platforms, they are publishers, which should nullify the privileges they enjoy under Section 230. Will the Democrats who are now running our government do anything to stop big tech tyranny? Of course not.

This problem is not going away. America’s ethos of free speech and expression is going extinct at the hands of big tech and the leftists controlling media and government.

The U.S. Capitol riots are over, thanks to law enforcement. However, the censorship that followed has created a dangerous precedent.

For young people, their “normal” is beginning to feel increasingly like it’s heading towards life in China. It’s less free and tolerant than the America their parents grew up in. Imagine how much worse things will be when today’s youths are running the country.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Evita Duffy is an intern at The Federalist and a junior at the University of Chicago, where she studies American History. She loves the Midwest, lumberjack sports, writing, & her family. Follow her on Twitter at @evitaduffy_1

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