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What are millennials thinking?

Every year, Beloit College offers a glimpse with its “mindset list,” which offers dozens of single-sentence declarations to reflect the current state of the familiar for incoming freshmen.

This year’s list, describing the mindset of the 2019 college graduate, indicates that, for these millennials, “first responders have always been heroes” (No. 36), “four foul-mouthed kids have always been playing in South Park” (No. 5) and “TV has always been in such high definition that they could see the pores of actors and the grimaces of quarterbacks” (No. 44).

Also on the list, at No. 9: “The announcement of someone being the ‘first woman’ to hold a position has only impressed their parents.”

Media coverage and recent voter turnout in the Democratic primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire indicate this is an accurate assessment of the millennial mind even when we are talking about electing the first woman to be president of the United States. If Hillary Clinton is to win over millennials, she will do so by emphasizing strengths beyond her gender.

This is not an unreasonable or insurmountable expectation, but as revelations go, it is a breathtaking one for many mothers of millennials. An army of strong mothers and the men who love them has raised children who see nothing special about a woman willing to speak her mind. Who predicted that one?

In my Kent State journalism classrooms, I am frequently on the receiving end of what’s on millennials’ minds. They are as opinionated and diverse as we baby boomers have always wanted to believe is true about ourselves.

The difference is that boomers have held center stage in public discourse for so long that we seem not to have noticed all those millennials entering, stage left. Our spotlight is dimming, my friends. Round of applause, please, for this generation that is not waiting for the invitation.

They have so much on their minds — and not just college debt. Let’s acknowledge that not all millennials toss their mortarboards into the air and trek off to four-year (or five-year or six-year) colleges. For too many of those who do, daily college life includes two or three jobs — not to afford extras, as was the case in my generation, but to pay the basic expenses to stay in school.

Climate change. Immigration. The economy. Race relations. Abortion rights. Millennials talk about all of this. They have more opinions than solutions — but doesn’t that sound just like us in our 20s? Let me save you the wasted energy of those “But — but — but!” denials: Yes, we were so very like them, my fellow boomers; the wind was at our backs as we pushed off the starting block into the rest of our lives. Off we went.

Remember how easily we rose from our chairs — man, I miss that — and how we couldn’t bare to consider how one day we would be precisely who we’ve become? Now here we are: older and maybe wiser (but let’s not bet our retirement on it), shading our eyes and squinting at the finish line.

Why were we in such a hurry?

We were young. That’s why.

We made the most of our youth or we squandered it, or maybe we ended up somewhere in between, but we’ve all arrived at the same place. The unthinkable has come to pass. The center of the universe has shifted, and we’re not in it. Our “Me” generation is outnumbered — and soon will be outranked — by a generation of young Americans not much interested in our monologues of remember when. They are the rebuke we once embraced, the twins to our younger selves.


Except that, unlike us, most of them have not grown up thinking it is their destiny to outrun their parents’ successes. Not even close. If you don’t believe me, ask them.

Better yet, let’s all of us listen to them. In prime time.

We’ve had enough presidential debates and town halls full of partisans and high-end donors who cackle and hoot like city folks at their first pig auction. This is no way to vet a president.

If we’re serious about the importance of millennial voters — and we’re all insisting that we are — then where are the forums to hear from them? Two televised town halls, one for each party, moderated by millennials for a millennial crowd, would be as instructive for millennials as it would for everyone clinging to their assumptions about them.

What do we have to fear?

There’s a list for you: The baby boomer mindset.

I’ll start.

No. 1: We are afraid of becoming irrelevant.

No. 2: Where did I put my car keys?

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and professional in residence at Kent State University’s school of journalism. She is the author of two books, including “…and His Lovely Wife,” which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. To find out more about Connie Schultz ( and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


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Mark Meadows

Donald Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wanted a presidential pardon. He had facilitated key stages of Trump’s attempted 2020 coup, linking the insurrectionists to the highest reaches of the White House and Congress.

But ultimately, Meadows failed to deliver what Trump most wanted, which was convincing others in government to overturn the 2020 election. And then his subordinates, White House security staff, thwarted Trump’s plan to march with a mob into the Capitol.

Meadows’ role has become clearer with each January 6 hearing. Earlier hearings traced how his attempted Justice Department takeover failed. The fake Electoral College slates that Meadows had pushed were not accepted by Congress. The calls by Trump to state officials that he had orchestrated to “find votes” did not work. Nor could Meadows convince Vice-President Mike Pence to ignore the official Electoral College results and count pro-Trump forgeries.

And as January 6 approached and the insurrection began, new and riveting details emerged about Meadow’s pivotal role at the eye of this storm, according to testimony on Tuesday by his top White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson.

Meadows had been repeatedly told that threats of violence were real. Yet he repeatedly ignored calls from the Secret Service, Capitol police, White House lawyers and military chiefs to protect the Capitol, Hutchinson told the committee under oath. And then Meadows, or, at least White House staff under him, failed Trump a final time – although in a surprising way.

After Trump told supporters at a January 6 rally that he would walk with them to the Capitol, Meadows’ staff, which oversaw Trump’s transportation, refused to drive him there. Trump was furious. He grabbed at the limousine’s steering wheel. He assaulted the Secret Service deputy, who was in the car, and had told Trump that it was not safe to go, Hutchinson testified.

“He said, ‘I’m the f-ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now,’” she said, describing what was told to her a short while later by those in the limousine. And Trump blamed Meadows.

“Later in the day, it had been relayed to me via Mark that the president wasn’t happy that Bobby [Engel, the driver] didn’t pull it off for him, and that Mark didn’t work hard enough to get the movement on the books [Trump’s schedule].”

Hutchinson’s testimony was the latest revelations to emerge from hearings that have traced in great detail how Trump and his allies plotted and intended to overturn the election. Her eye-witness account provided an unprecedented view of a raging president.

Hutchinson’s testimony was compared to John Dean, the star witness of the Watergate hearings a half-century ago that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon for his aides’ efforts to spy on and smear Democrats during the 1972 presidential campaign.

“She IS the John Dean of the hearings,” tweeted the Brooking Institution’s Norman Eisen, who has written legal analyses on prosecuting Trump. “Trump fighting with his security, throwing plates at the wall, but above all the WH knowing that violence was coming on 1/6. The plates & the fighting are not crimes, but they will color the prosecution devastatingly.”

Meadows’ presence has hovered over the coup plot and insurrection. Though he has refused to testify before the January 6 committee, his pivotal role increasingly has come into view.

Under oath, Hutchinson described links between Meadows and communication channels to the armed mob that had assembled. She was backstage at the Trump’s midday January 6 rally and described Trump’s anger that the crowd was not big enough. The Secret Service told him that many people were armed and did not want to go through security and give up their weapons.

Trump, she recounted, said “something to the effect of, ‘I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the mags [metal detectors] away. Let the people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.

As the day progressed and the Capitol was breached, Hutchison described the scene at the White House from her cubicle outside the Oval Office. She repeatedly went into Meadows’ office, where he had isolated himself. When Secret Service officials urged her to get Meadows to urge Trump to tell his supporters to stand down and leave, he sat listless.

“He [Meadows] needs to snap out of it,” she said that she told others who pressed her to get Meadows to act. Later, she heard Meadows repeatedly tell other White House officials that Trump “doesn’t think they [insurrectionists] are doing anything wrong.” Trump said Pence deserved to be hung as a traitor, she said.

Immediately after January 6, Hutchinson said that Trump’s cabinet discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove a sitting president but did not do so. She also said that Meadows sought a pardon for his January 6-related actions.

Today, Meadows is championing many of the same election falsehoods that he pushed for Trump as a senior partner at the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), a right-wing think tank whose 2021 annual report boasts of “changing the way conservatives fight.”

His colleagues include Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who pushed for Trump to use every means to overturn the election and leads CPI’s “election integrity network,” and other Republicans who have been attacking elections as illegitimate where their candidates lose.

Hutchinson’s testimony may impede Meadows’ future political role, as it exposes him to possible criminal prosecution. But the election-denying movement that he nurtured has not gone away. CPI said it is targeting elections in national battleground states for 2022’s midterms, including Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Trump did not give Meadows a pardon. But in July 2021, Trump’s “Save America” PAC gave CPI $1 million.

Steven Rosenfeld is the editor and chief correspondent of Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He has reported for National Public Radio, Marketplace, and Christian Science Monitor Radio, as well as a wide range of progressive publications including Salon, AlterNet, The American Prospect, and many others.

Tina Peters

YouTube Screenshot

A right-wing conspiracy theorist who was indicted in March on criminal charges of tampering with voting machines to try to prove former President Donald Trump's lies of a stolen 2020 presidential election on Tuesday lost the Republican primary to run for secretary of state of Colorado, the person who oversees its elections.

With 95 percent of the vote counted, Tina Peters, the clerk and recorder of Mesa County, Colorado, was in third place, trailing the winner, fellow Republican Pam Anderson, 43.2 percent to 28.3 percent.

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