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Lauren Duca talks Millennial Voters and Thigh-High Politics

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"If you accept inevitability you confirm inevitability as reality"

Lauren Duca and Dr. Lindsay Hoffman at the First National Agenda Event

By Charles J. Mays, Graduate Fellow for the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication

Watch the video. Listen to the podcast. Read and download the transcript.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2018―Lauren Duca kicked off the first event of the National Agenda: Midterm Matters 2018 speaker series, hosted on September 12 by the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication and held at Mitchell Hall Auditorium. Lauren Duca is an award-winning journalist best known for her 2016 Teen Vogue op-ed “Donald Trump is Gaslighting America” and a contentious viral interview with Fox’s Tucker Carlson. Her writing can be found in the New York Times, the New Yorker, and New York magazine, as well as in her ongoing column for Teen Vogue, “Thigh-High Politics.​"

Duca stressed the importance of millennial engagement in the coming midterms. Complacency would only push the country backwards, and young voters must be determined to effect change. "If you accept inevitability you confirm inevitability as reality," Duca warned. 

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Journalist Lauren Duca at National Agenda on September 12, 2018

​Award-winning journalist Lauren Duca (left) discusses why opinions matter with National Agenda director and moderator Lindsay Hoffman on September 12, 2018, as part of the National Agenda Midterm Matters speaker series.

Political groups and organizations must find new ways to engage with younger voters and push them into politics if voters hope to preserve a healthy democracy. Young people don't vote and [we] must find a way to market to them. "Vote, Vote, Vote," Duca implored the audience. 

Duca also used her talk to speak about her own experiences facing hostility as a political activist and journalist where she has been the victim of sexism and cyberbullying. Her articles and coverage of the current administration that have led to her being a target for online trolls ultimately put her on the radar for Fox News host Tucker Carlson who advised Duca, who has previously worked in fashion journalism, to "stick to thigh-high boots." Duca ultimately used the quote to create a moniker for her Teen Vogue column "Thigh-High Politics," which covers current news and hopes to engage younger audiences. In the face of the backlash she has received online, Duca vowed to continue to fight. Her anger, she noted, only served to fuel her fight and passion for politics. 

The eighth annual National Agenda speaker series, hosted by the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication, brings nationally known speakers to campus. This year’s theme, “Midterm Matters,” explores how issues affect midterm elections and why voter and civic engagement is important. National Agenda is free and open to the public and made possible with support from the University of Delaware Office of the Provost. For more information, please visit www.cpc.udel.edu/nationalagenda.

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