Cathy Reisenwitz

Last week Netroots Nation, formerly Yearly Kos, went down in the city that best represents how well a corrupt, overweening government can respond to changing economic conditions. Detroit, Michigan hosted a meetup for particularly whiny and net-savvy liberals got together to whine about how the Democratic Party isn’t in touch with the people. And it’s within the belly of this discontent beast that we can see the key to defeating Hillary at the ballot box.

Netroots refers generally to the lefty blogosphere. It’s kind of like the Tea Party of the that side, in that it’s people who are more liberal than mainstream left wingers. For example, when Vice President Joe Biden was speaking, a faction of the audience had to be escorted out for chanting “Stop deporting our families.”

They also take social justice more seriously than mainstream Democrats. A candidate for state representative in Michigan asserted that water is a human right and called on the crowd to call Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s office to stop the water shutoffs for Detroit residents before Biden got up to speak.

But unlike the Tea Party, the average netroot netizen is actually younger than the average Democrat. In 2008, and less so in 2012, this young voter was essential to candidate Barack Obama’s success. He got this voter off their butt and into the booth with his lofty, lefty promises. He promised not to raise taxes one cent on those making under $100,000. He promised to close Guantanamo. He was going to oversee the most transparent administration in history. He would provide a path to citizenship, implement a non-interventionist foreign policy, and stand up to business corruption.


Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz is a Young Voices Associate and a D.C.-based writer and political commentator.