TDG Banner

Give Young People Some Hope

A week ago, Charles Bastille, published a Politically Speaking article about his displeasure with the Republicans winning the Virginia gubernatorial election. In the article, he blamed the young people:

And God Bless young voters for returning to the norm and not voting. Keep at it! Keep staying away from those primaries, youngins! And whatever you do, don’t vote in any local elections. Oh, never mind. Why am I saying that? You never do!!

Remember, youth of America. Your vote doesn’t count!! All these politicians are the same! Stay home and dance with each other on TikTok! It’s way more fun than voting.

Let's see the vote count for this election:

The Republican candidate got 1,660,000 votes

The Democrat candidate got 1,588,000 votes

Other candidates got 25,000 votes

Didn’t Vote numbered 2,677,000

I see another close American election. Both sides were contenders. Had the wind blown from a different direction on Election Day, the result might have been different.

Note that more eligible voters decided not to vote than what either party got.

Why voters vote or don’t vote is, of course, a matter of conjecture. But I think it’s safe to say that there were at least 100,000 young Virginians in that “didn’t vote” category who probably had a slight preference for the Democratic Party. They could have turned the election the other way. But they didn’t.

We can blame all sorts of factors for that 100,000 not to turn out. My favorite is that the Republicans probably won the battle of negative campaign advertising. But how effective will any blame actually work? How will articles like Mr. Bastille’s help get young people to the polls next time?

What are young people seeing in America?

Let’s take a look at what many young American are seeing. Remember that they don’t have the benefit of several decades of political watching to compare things with the “good old days.” They are given two choices:

In the past five years, young people have seen one political party that has just undertaken a dangerous democratic experiment. On January 6, 2021, the experiment had conclusively failed. Despite that, 30% of Americans still cling to that failed experiment when they should be punishing that party in the voting booth. That is how democracy should work. Yet 1.6m Virginians still voted for that party. What is that telling young Americans?

Even if 100,000 more young people had voted in Virginia, that party would have claimed the election was rigged. So the party can still win when it actually loses. What is that telling young Americans?

In the past five years, the other party has parked its identity as not being the first party. That other party has shut down leaders with a new vision for the USA. And that party is too dependent on corporate donations and the agenda those donations incur. So, no minimum wage. No student debt forgiveness. No public health care. Less upward mobility. Little action on climate change. Why should young Americans believe their voice really matters?

Young people are cynical and apathetic. We have given them good reasons to be this way.

When young people have seen the last five years of politics and try to imagine the next 50 years of their lives with the same politics, can we really blame them for wanting to tune out?

Let’s just assume that there’s nothing we can say to get them to the polls next election. But we can give them an alternative.

An Alternative Democracy

Tiered Democratic Governance (TDG) is that alternative. It is a kinder, wiser democracy. Developing this democracy will eventually replace all versions of western democracy. The American version really needs replacing.

But the TDG is no quick fix. I estimate it will take 20 years to build this TDG. Working on this TDG will give many young Americans something to work for. They can now build the democracy they so yearn for.

Your email contact list has some young Americans. Send them a personal email that goes something like this:

Dear Son/Daughter/Nephew/Niece/Grandchildren,

I realize that you are frustrated with today’s politics. There really doesn’t seem to be much hope out there anymore. We, the older generation, have screwed things up. We are leaving our mistakes for you to fix. I’m sorry.

For some time, I have been on This is an iInternet forum that discusses all sorts of things. One of my Medium interests has been politics. Maybe I’ve been looking for an answer for why we got so screwed up. I’m not finding much.

Except I have run across this Dave fellow from Canada. He has this crazy idea of a new kind of democracy. He describes it as a kinder, wiser democracy. I’m not sure it will work.

Dave’s democracy has some interesting features. It has no political parties or noisy election campaigns. People cast votes based on good character and capacity for governance. Decisions are made by people talking things through, not by assuming an ideology and shutting down opposing voices. This sounds so utopian, doesn’t it?

Dave says about 1% of Americans are needed to start this new system. Its early builders need only spend about 10 hours a month and have a willingness to work with a few neighbors. Dave says it will take 20 years to build it.

You have many more years ahead of you. Just imagine being middle-aged and having this new system already in place—for your kids and grandkids.

Dave says you don’t need anyone’s permission to start building it. Just start building it.

I’m not sure this new system is possible. But I haven’t found a solution better than Dave’s.

I thought you might want to take a look. The future is mostly yours.


If you write and send a few emails like that to the young people you know, that may be all the contribution you need to start the TDG. You have given young people the opportunity to check out this new way for themselves. Some of them really need something to work toward. Something bigger than protesting the odd Saturday afternoon or voting once every few years.

And they just might vote in the next election. Instead of the usual things we think they should vote for, they just might vote for the party which is more likely to create a good civil environment for the TDG to build itself.

In this way, we have accomplished our short-term goal of getting young people to today’s voting booths.

Published on Medium 2021

Zen and the Art of Politics & Motorcycles

The Nation is Too Sick