Why Mil­len­ni­als feel ap­a­thy for vot­ing

San Francisco Chronicle - Late Edition (Sunday) - - NATION -

As some­one who is a mem­ber of the Mil­len­nial gen­er­a­tion, I was in­trigued to read “Cure for chron­i­cally ap­a­thetic Mil­len­ni­als” (In­sight, Oct. 28). How­ever, I be­lieve the rea­son Mil­len­ni­als are ap­a­thetic about pol­i­tics and don’t see vot­ing as a civic duty is less that (as the writer states) we view vot­ing as a “pref­er­ence” and more that we see it as part of a sys­tem that is bro­ken and toxic. Since 2000, we’ve had two pres­i­dents who took of­fice be­cause of an an­ti­quated Elec­toral Col­lege, not be­cause they ob­tained a ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­lar vote. We’ve also seen con­gres­sional lead­ers refuse to hold hear­ings on twice-elected for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nom­i­nee, and the re­cent con­fir­ma­tion of a judge who was cred­i­bly ac­cused of sex­ual as­sault to this na­tion’s high­est court. Fur­ther­more, there’s an en­trenched po­lit­i­cal hi­er­ar­chy who have re­warded their rich cor­po­rate back­ers with un­nec­es­sary tax cuts, and who will re­sort to any tac­tic — in­clud­ing ger­ry­man­der­ing and voter sup­pres­sion — to hold on to the reins of power. With all of these oc­cur­rences in the past gen­er­a­tion, is it any won­der that Mil­len­ni­als feel ap­a­thy — and con­tempt — for pol­i­tics and vot­ing?

Michelle Wang, Moun­tain View

Help the suf­fer­ing

Re­gard­ing “State pris­ons de­fi­cient in treat­ing men­tally ill” (In­sight, Oct. 28): First, think about what it would be like to be in­car­cer­ated: the lone­li­ness, the fears, the nowhere to turn. Then think about liv­ing with men­tal health chal­lenges: the lone­li­ness, the fears, the nowhere to turn. It is in­con­ceiv­able to think that we put peo­ple in this dou­ble whammy sit­u­a­tion in the first place and then that the law only re­quires that they re­ceive help within 30 days. 30 days? That is like an eter­nity for some­one suf­fer­ing. The ed­i­to­rial’s last sen­tence gets it right: “The most hu­mane and least ex­pen­sive way to re­duce the prison bud­get is to pre­vent men­tally ill peo­ple from en­ter­ing state pris­ons in the first place.”

Vi­vian Im­pe­ri­ale, San Fran­cisco

Ob­jec­ti­fied women

Af­ter read­ing “Famed Mitchell Broth­ers strip club on mar­ket for $10 mil­lion” (Bay Area, Oct. 29), I won­dered: Should our city con­tinue to of­fer “adult en­ter­tain­ment” with strip­pers who give lap dances and “ca­bana vis­its” in this #MeToo era? Why en­cour­age male cus­tomers to ob­jec­tify women as sex ob­jects who will do their bid­ding? Such at­ti­tudes don’t help to re­duce in­ci­dents of sex­ual ha­rass­ment or as­sault. I hope the pur­chasers of this prop­erty will for­get that this lo­ca­tion was where (ac­cord­ing to The Chron­i­cle’s Steve Ruben­stein) “fa­bled porn star Mar­i­lyn Cham­bers cut her teeth and other body parts,” and find other uses — that don’t de­grade women — for its fu­ture.

Dorothy Van Horne, San Fran­cisco

True Amer­i­cans

Re­gard­ing “Good peo­ple de­serve some head­lines, too” (Bay Area Nov. 1): Otis R. Tay­lor Jr.’s col­umn brought tears of joy to my 79-year-old eyes. Af­ter daily read­ing about ar­ti­cles of di­vi­sions, by our “di­vider-in-chief ” Pres­i­dent Trump and his Amer­ica First Party, Tay­lor’s ar­ti­cle re­minded me who are the true Amer­i­cans who reach out to other Amer­i­cans such as Re­nee McGhee, bak­ing and sell­ing home cook meals to pay her rent.

Bill Ran­dle, Brent­wood

Trump’s re­spon­si­bil­ity

At a re­cent Mosi­nee, Wis., rally af­ter the dis­cov­ery of pipe bombs tar­get­ing prom­i­nent Democrats and jour­nal­ists, Pres­i­dent Trump said “Those en­gaged in the po­lit­i­cal arena must stop treat­ing po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents as be­ing morally de­fec­tive.” Af­ter the shoot­ing at a Pitts­burgh syn­a­gogue, Trump called on Amer­i­cans to “rise above hate and move past di­vi­sions.” Really? How hyp­o­crit­i­cal and disin­gen­u­ous. Trump cre­ated this hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment, con­stantly in­ject­ing words of ex­treme hate, scorn and di­vi­sive­ness into the po­lit­i­cal arena at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity. The pres­i­dent needs to ap­ply his words to him­self first and fore­most.

Steve D’Agati, Eureka

A cruel cha­rade

The cruel cha­rade from the White House cre­at­ing false fear of refugees from Cen­tral Amer­ica and the pro­posal to elim­i­nate birthright cit­i­zen­ship are to­tally con­trary to what this na­tion is about. This ad­min­is­tra­tion is a moral desert and can hardly claim any hu­man­i­tar­ian or re­li­gious prin­ci­ples. The Judeo/Chris­tian foun­da­tion from the book of Leviti­cus could not be clearer, “The alien who re­sides with you shall be to you as the cit­i­zen among you; you shall love the alien as your­self, for you were once aliens.” I be­lieve the Lord God is at the south­ern border look­ing for wel­come in the per­sons try­ing to es­cape vi­o­lence and poverty. What we do as Amer­i­can has eter­nal con­se­quences.

Rev. Jim Schex­nay­der, Oak­land

Chris Stew­art / The Chron­i­cle 2007

New own­ers of the Mitchell Broth­ers O’Far­rell Theatre, a fa­mous strip club, are en­cour­aged to find other uses for the space that don’t de­grade women.

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