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Millennials see a more diverse, unified future for American politics




Mary Perez and Kelsey Brewer
Mary Perez and Kelsey Brewer

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More than half of voters under 30 cast ballots for Hillary Clinton in this election; nearly 40 percent voted for Donald Trump.

Divided though they may be, Millennials and Generation Z will wield considerable political power in the coming years.

So what do they make of the current political landscape, and what do they hope for the future?

Take Two asked two.

Mary Perez

Mary Perez
Mary Perez
Austin Cross

Mary, you've been our resident young-Republican for over a year now, and you've been a never-Trump person from day one. Donald Trump is now the president-elect and Republicans run the House and Senate. How are you feeling about the state of your party right now?

On the morning of November 9th, I thought I was going to wake up to President Clinton, but I was so wrong.

I feel a lot of ambivalence. I'm happy that I don't have to endure four years of Secretary Clinton as president, but also, a bit concerned about what President Trump — I'll have to get used to saying that — what President Trump will look like for the next four years.

I am happy that the House and Senate remain in the control of the Republican Party, and I hope that Speaker Ryan and Mitch McConnell will work across party lines and create actual change. 

There's one thing that commentators have mentioned over and over: that both parties have, to one degree or another, lost touch with their bases. If you were asked for a prescription for reforming and revitalizing your party, what would you recommend? 

Part of me thinks we need to remain unified as a party, but I also think we need to continue to promote diversity and inclusion without alienating the white, blue-collar voters who feel like they don't have a place in the Democratic Party.

We need to make sure that our party represents all Americans: all Americans of color, all Americans of class, and I think going forward in 2018, we have to make sure that we're going to hold our Senate and our House leadership, and maybe in 2024 run a candidate like Marco Rubio again who might appeal to a different, diverse demographic of voters.

Kelsey Brewer

Kelsey Brewer
Kelsey Brewer
Austin Cross

What was the biggest thing that you think Democrats underestimated this race?

I think the first one is we expected millennial voters to come out much stronger than they did. I think the surprise demographic was white women. That was a group that, historically, had gone for Obama both in 2008 and 2012. Not only did she lose that demographic, she lost it by about 10 points, basically guaranteeing that she was not going to be president. 

What do you think happened there? 

It's a combination of things. I think they may have taken that demographic as a granted, playing on the historical nature of a Hillary Clinton run as the first female candidate of a major party.

I think the other piece that Democrats have to work on moving into 2020 and even 2018 is beginning to talk about things like classism as much as they talk about things like racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, because I think that, for some white voters, they don't see a place for themselves in the Democratic Party because there isn't that conversation about issues that directly impact their lives.

We have to start speaking to the issues that turn them out and, unfortunately, that's what Donald Trump did very successfully.

Press the blue play button above to hear the full conversation. 

(Questions and answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.)

Mary Perez, A Martinez and Kelsey Brewer
Mary Perez, A Martinez and Kelsey Brewer
Austin Cross