As usual, the country is all a frenzy with the upcoming elections.
Well, most of the country. Only 23% of voters under 30 are expected to vote. Let’s see why.
I refuse to accept the murmurings of our elders that Millennials are just lazy and uneducated and don’t care. That we “don’t make sense” and are “selfish”. That simply isn’t true. We DO care. It’s the political system that doesn’t care about us.
According to a variety of polls done by the Rupe and Reason Foundations, Pew Research Center, etc.:
- 50% consider themselves independents
- 78% are worried about the economy
- 53% would prefer a culturally liberal and economically conservative candidate
- 73% believe the government “operates without consent of the people”
- 2/3 feel that they have no voice
- 2/3 believe the government is “wasteful and inefficient”
Now, are these completely accurate? Probably not. They are, however, a decent indicator on where the largest and most diverse generation in history stands in regard to the American political system. They disagree with it. Unlike previous generations, they have access to a wealth of worldly knowledge from a young age. They’ve lived in a period characterized by economic hardships, terrorism, war, government shutdowns and corruption, and inequality. They’ve experienced the effects these have had on their lives, and watched with frustration as the government struggled to help or make progress.
They care more about health insurance, cheap education, and food and housing for the poor than older generations. They are more likely to prioritize their family and friends and community service than those before them. It appears that there has been a shift in needs and wants, and with that has come a lack of faith in the government’s ability to satisfy those priorities.
I believe the next few decades will see a dramatic upheaval of the current political system. I hope so, at least. This country could do away with the party system that has failed the people. By eliminating political affiliations, leaders could start focusing on what the people want, rather than winning another election, smack-talking the other party, and meeting useless agendas.
It seems to me that millennials aren’t voting because they aren’t being represented. No one is listening to their demands. It’s that simple.
For additional information concerning the Millennial generation, see http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/millennials_report.pdf