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Do Millennials Even Remember President Bill Clinton?
What is former President Bill Clinton's election endorsement worth to people who were toddlers or teens during his time in office?
2016 is all about the presidential election. Generational politics is, as some might say, a “yuge” issue this year. Millennials - Americans that today are between 19 and 36 years old - were key to President Obama’s win in 2008. And getting out the Millennial vote will figure prominently in the calculus of both Democrats and Republicans in 2016.
A key strategy for both Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton will be to receive the enthusiastic endorsement and active campaigning of key national leaders. Receiving the support of a popular sitting or former president has always been considered the gold standard of political endorsements.
Hillary Clinton has not one, but two, former presidents vigorously supporting her candidacy. President Obama is enjoying high approval ratings for a president in the last months of office and will clearly be a powerful source of support. However, as a sitting president he is also open to fair and unfair criticism that results from ongoing policy debate and events.
That leaves President Bill Clinton, who has the patina of a former president without the taint of current issues. Secretary Clinton is relying on her husband to get out the vote and fire up the base. A famously skilled and effective campaigner, former President Clinton will be a key asset on the stump – but will he fire up Millennial voters?
Although clouded by scandal, Clinton’s 1992-2000 term coincided with strong economic growth. The nation was host to a series of tech and Internet miracles, and general economic growth blossomed in that period. During the Clinton administration, nearly 22 million jobs were added to the US economy. Clearly, Secretary Clinton is going to leverage her husband’s economic success as a promise of things to come if she is elected. In fact, she has already announced that he would play a role in developing economic policy for her administration.
But do Millennials remember President Bill Clinton? While the economic numbers during his term are compelling, Millennials may not be able to connect the man to the stats. Generational cohort theory argues that a generation is not just a group of people of a certain age, but rather a cohort defined by shared experiences during a formative period of development. While events, new information and general context can affect a generation’s worldview over time, shared experiences during the late teens and early 20s are the key shaper of generational attitudes (and preferences) in later life.
What might generational cohort theory say about Millennial memories of President Clinton and his potential electoral influence? According to Pew, the Millennials, or those born between about 1980 and 1997, match the Baby Boomers in the number of eligible voters this year – nearly 70 million. If one divides the Millennials into a younger and older group, there are at least two political historical memories in what most political pundits are calling one generation.
The younger group was born between 1989 and 1997, making up adults that are now between 19 and 27 years old. Their memories of President Bill Clinton’s presidency are from when they were toddlers and pre-teens. If generational cohort theory is correct about when this group’s attitudes were forged (late teens to early 20s), these Millennials are very unlikely to have been imprinted by the Clinton Presidency - no more than the youngest Baby Boomers can claim to have been influenced by President Lyndon Johnson.
Even the oldest Millennials that are now between the ages of 28 and 36 years old may have difficulty remembering the Clinton White House years or the surrounding economic climate. Those Millennials now in their mid-30s were only 18 during President Clinton’s last year of office in 1998. For these older Millennials, the Clinton years are more likely to be based on a high school current-events project than a fond early adulthood memory.
Two insights might be drawn from some basic math and history. First, calling 70 million of anything (let alone voters) one group is foolhardy at best, an indicator of lazy thinking. Second, President Clinton might be an incredibly valuable asset in persuading younger voters to vote Democratic, but it won’t be because of his economic track record - which is a matter of history that few Millennials can recall firsthand. If Bill is able to help reach Millennial hearts and minds, it will not be by the past feats of his administration, but by his lasting power to connect with his audience.
This latter point goes to explain the success Senator Bernie Sanders has had in connecting with the Millennials. Sanders does not discuss history. He does not dwell on what may have worked before or point to a track record. Instead, he connects on what is urgent and salient to Millennials today. Despite having 74 years under his belt, he makes himself fit into the now by campaigning on issues such as jobs, student loans, income inequality, etc. – issues that touch voters whether they are 19 or 36 years old. Perhaps a lesson for both political consultants and marketers of all stripes is that generational marketing is important as long as your generation can remember and relate to your narrative. Will the Millennials give Bill Clinton a chance to play a major role in their own generational story? We will see in November.
Photo by Carolyn Cole Getty Images
Ever since we've had the technology, we've looked to the stars in search of alien life. It's assumed that we're looking because we want to find other life in the universe, but what if we're looking to make sure there isn't any?
Here's an equation, and a rather distressing one at that: N = R* × fP × ne × f1 × fi × fc × L. It's the Drake equation, and it describes the number of alien civilizations in our galaxy with whom we might be able to communicate. Its terms correspond to values such as the fraction of stars with planets, the fraction of planets on which life could emerge, the fraction of planets that can support intelligent life, and so on. Using conservative estimates, the minimum result of this equation is 20. There ought to be 20 intelligent alien civilizations in the Milky Way that we can contact and who can contact us. But there aren't any.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.