Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
A month after the Parkland shootings, a Quinnipiac poll showed that voters 18-34 were much less likely to support either an “assault weapons” ban or a ban on the sale of “semi-automatic rifles”.
80% of voters 65 years of age and older supported an “assault weapons ban”, but those 18-34 split over it. A majority of voters 65 and over backed the “semi-automatic rifle” bans, but a majority of 18-34 voters opposed it.
The Washington D.C. March for Our Lives rally was billed as a way for the next generation of youth to speak out. But only 10% of the crowd that cheered the bizarre drama club antics on stage was under 18.
The average age of the adults was 49 years old.
That’s young compared to the median age of the CNN primetime viewer: 60 years old. The media hype for the March was a cable news phenomenon. Few millennials even watch cable news.
Why would they show up for a media circus whose audience is approaching retirement age?
70% of the March for Our Lives attendees were women. 89% were Hillary Clinton voters.
The analysis by the University of Maryland sociology professor who conducted the survey found comparisons to the Million Moms March and the Women’s March. That’s not too surprising.
The March for Our lives permit application filed with the National Park Service lists Deena Katz, the co-executive director of the Women’s March Los Angeles Foundation, as the “Person in Charge of Event”. The application papers for the March for Our Lives Fund describe her as the group’s president.
Katz graduated from UCLA in ’88. She’s not the voice of the youth or a new generation.
Another of the Fund’s directors, Melissa Scholz, became involved in another political organization after meeting at the Women’s March. It wouldn’t be too surprising if a number of other directors also had participated in the same anti-Trump rally. And most of the new protesters at the March for Our Lives rally weren’t there to demand gun control. Only 12 percent of them had turned out for gun control.
42% were motivated by Trump.
March for Our Lives was just a rebranded version of the Women’s March with some teen acts.
But the audience wasn’t really there for them. Like the Women’s March, it consisted of Hillary fans expressing the same tired outrage that their candidate had lost despite her numerous scandals.
They didn’t care about Trump. They just wanted to show up and scream some more at the sky.
Another 56% of new protesters were there for “peace”. Anti-war and anti-Israel protesters are still the surest draw at any lefty rally. And they’re usually obsessive enough to show up at all of them.
Look closer and the astroturf group falls apart. Behind a few photogenic teens who live on cable news, March for Our Lives is run by left-wing middle-aged women and drew left-wing middle-aged women.
Along with a smattering of Sandernistas probably protesting the existence of the military and Israel.
Anyone who has ever covered lefty rallies knows that they consist of the same core participants regardless of their message. Changing the message just allows the media to inflate their influence.
The “youth” had better things to do with their time than be packed into a crowd and be yelled at by the drama club for CNN’s benefit. And they were less likely to agree with its message. Younger people are more socially liberal. But that doesn’t just extend to drugs and gay marriage, but also to firearms.
The cable news claim that the “youth” of Parkland had organized a national movement out of their living rooms was always a hysterical howler. March for Our Lives is funded by Hollywood celebrities and its fund and leadership appears to be mostly based out of Los Angeles. And despite all the theatrics that a former Emmy producer could pull off, the “youth” didn’t bother showing up to march for their lives.
Despite the cable news hysteria, the average teen outside Chicago or Baltimore doesn’t think that he is likely to be shot the next time he comes to school. The sense of hysterical vulnerability that underlies identity politics, emerging as black fragility in Black Lives Matter with its chants of, “I can’t breathe”, does not touch any of the same chords with normal teens who may be narcissistic, but not weak.
But it was the idea of a youth uprising that the left needed, even if it couldn’t deliver the reality.
The left always broadcasts its old discredited messages in the voice of a new generation. It’s the demographic version of its “right side of history”. If the young are on the left, then its victory is generationally inevitable. And it’s only a matter of time until its new generation takes over.
In the tide of human nature, young leftists become middle-aged and elderly conservatives. The inevitable victory never happens. And the youth can unexpectedly turn against leftist politics.
But the idea of adapting to inevitable demographic change compels politicians and corporations.
Republicans nearly forced illegal alien amnesty on the country because they were convinced that demographics made it inevitable. The towel was thrown in on a long list of social issues because the poll numbers showed that a new generation was so on board that further resistance was hopeless.
But the March for Our Lives endgame is more corporate than legislative.
Even the most ambitious cable news hysterics know that there’s only so far Republicans and even Democrats will go on gun control. Especially before midterm elections. There’s a reason that the NRA has a passionate and influential membership. There are far more single issue voters for the Second Amendment than against it. And Democrats who want to make red state inroads will play it cool.
The greatest gun control victories aren’t being won in legislatures, but among corporations.
Politicians are less likely to be panicked by the youth vote because there isn’t much of it. Voting frequency and reliability increases with age. Angry teens can make a scene, but that’s about it.
Corporations are obsessed with marketing to the youth. Advertising tore apart the old standards of family entertainment in a desperate hunt for young, affluent viewers. Every major brand has been taught to obsessively virtue signal to these wealthy twenty-somethings by vomiting up their social issue commitments in every ad while dismissing 90% of their own consumers as completely worthless.
Democrats know that gun control is a political poison pill. They’ve experienced its consequences. But corporations like Citibank, Google, Walmart and Delta Airlines don’t know about that and don’t care. As the economy compresses into a diminishing collection of corporate monopolies whose leadership and marketing operate out of blue states, they can do what their Democrat minions are afraid to do.
The illusion of a youth movement is enough to justify their unprecedented political interventions to their shareholders. Why bother marketing to old conservatives when you can win the loyalty of leftist youth?
March for Our Lives is a vehicle to convince corporate boards to impose gun control. It’s got more in common with Madison Avenue than Main Street. And indeed, 42 West, the full service public relations firm handling the March for Our Lives PR, is located four blocks east of Madison. Like a lot of advertising, it’s a series of slick manipulative lies that fool corporations harder than they fool their intended marks.
Marketing leftist youth radicalism to corporate power isn’t new. But this assault on our civil rights is.
After Trump won, the left retreated from controlling us through elected offices to controlling us through unelected offices. Federal judges, the FBI, the media and major corporate monopolies have been pitted against the elected officials who represent the will of the people. This is the civil war we are now in.
March for Our Lives is not a youth movement, it’s another means that aging leftists are using to divide and control us. Theirs is not the voice of a new generation, but of a discredited 19th century ideology.