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Young Democrats feel 'nervous,' 'anxious' and 'depressed': Gone from a 'yes we can country to a no you can't'

'The Five' co-hosts discuss a Harvard Kennedy School of Politics poll that found 52% of young Democrats feel depressed and hopeless and what could be behind the sentiment.

More young Democrats are feeling nervous and hopeless, according to a Harvard Kennedy School of Politics poll. 

The mid-March poll, which covers 18-to-29-year-olds, found 61% feel nervous and anxious, 57% have trouble relaxing and 52% feel depressed and hopeless. 

Several of "The Five" co-hosts argued this week that Democratic messaging on issues like climate change, could be playing a role in young people’s fears about the future. 

The show highlighted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's comments in 2019 about how the world will end in 12 years unless climate change is addressed. 


"Yes, all of us have nerves and anxiety because that's how you live. That's called survival. And you learn how to deal with that. It's called resiliency," Dana Perino said. 

She added that the country has evolved from a "yes we can country to a no, you can't and it's not your fault [country]." 

"I do think there is an ideological difference," she said. "So conservatives for a long time– They should take Ronald Reagan, right? He was morning in America, waking up on the sunny side of the mountain and so happy. The Democrats and liberals have been more along the lines of mourning in America. Doom and gloom, everything's bad and bad sells and bad gets you donations."

Co-host Judge Jeanine Pirro said she thinks a coddling culture is part of the problem. 

"I mean, that's part of the problem. They're being coddled. They're being taken care of by their families. They're being told that you need a safe space. And, you know, feelings and words can trigger all kinds of emotions. That's training. That's behavior that moves from one generation to the next. I mean, it's learned behavior. And so we've got this whole group of young people who don't know what it's like to have to survive on their own," she argued. 


"Sure, there are legitimate reasons to be fearful and anxious. I mean, you know, you walk down the street here, you might suffer a carjacking. You might be shot by someone in a gang who doesn't know how to shoot because they never want to a range. They just picked up a gun. I mean, there are some legitimate reasons to be depressed, but these kids aren't being taught how to pull themselves out of it, how to survive on their own, how to be tough. And that's why a lot of the conservative young people, they say it's a different breed of kid." 

Co-host Jessica Tarlov argued that social media is playing a role in fueling young people’s anxiety at an early age. 

"Eighteen-to-29-year-olds share a lot of common fears. A lot of them have to do with school shootings and growing up in a generation that was doing lockdown drills, teen anxiety due to our obsessive emphasis on student achievement, is a big piece of this as well. And that's bipartisan," she explained. 

"People on both sides have the opposing view of how the other one is ruining the country, and that gives them anxiety if they're that politicized at this point. But I worry that this is actually deeper than politics, and that's more disconcerting than any of this." 

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