PARIS — Generational and gender debates rumbling inside the U.S. Democratic primary are setting off sparks as far away as Mexico and Australia. In an open letter to young women backing Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the Sydney Morning Herald's Julie Szego scolds such millenials for suffering from wide-eyed naïveté. "From the â€˜safe spaces' on campus, it can be hard to grasp the reality of structural discrimination," Szego writes for the Australian daily. "Once women enter the workforce, the shock tends to hit hard. The boys clubs. The society shaped around the assumption that men work full-time and wives stay home. The realization that having children fuels men's careers but stalls, or cripples, theirs. And suddenly everything from the gender pay gap to the gross under-representation of women in boardrooms, institutions and legislatures springs into focus."
More broadly, American millenials, the generation born between 1981 and 2000, have been increasingly maligned for their oversensitivity, a reliance on constant affirmation and the myriad ways in which their helicopter parents have failed to prepare them for life in the real world. Now, in the context of the 2016 presidential election, foreign media have joined in reproaching these fledgling citizens, who represent 30% of eligible voters in next year's election, a bloc that for the first time will rival the influence of the Baby Boomer generation.
Mexico City's El Universal, for example, characterizes them as unsophisticated indignants without the foggiest clue about the nature of political compromise. "Bernie Sanders' proposals — many of them sensible and even desirable — have no chance of becoming a reality, especially in Washington's current political climate," the newspaper's Leon Krauze writes. Cautioning these idealists who are in early political bloom, he urges young voters to accept that Sanders doesn't represent the political holy grail. "Sanders' ideas are far to the left of Hillary Clinton and even President Barack Obama, who himself has encountered major difficulties trying to operate in a context ruled by enormous legislative sectarianism. So, even if a Sanders presidency were to happen, this would lead to further, and in some ways more dangerous, polarization."
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