Millennials. Whiny, lazy, selfish, right? Can’t live with them. Can’t kill them. Especially since they are now officially the largest generation in America and thus the most powerful voting bloc, which makes them very attractive to political parties who want to tap into that power. Thanks to social media and greater access to resources and education, millennials are also the most informed generation of voters and they expect their leaders to listen to what they have to say. They are also angry at what they see is a flawed system that’s working against them, and no one to turn to who can fix it. The question is, with their equally appealing choices of Clinton, Trump or staying home and watching Netflix, will they actually turn out for this election?
Polls show that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have trouble appealing to young voters, with Trump most likely having to lay more groundwork. Millennials are getting older and their interest in politics and social issues is on the rise. They live in a world and see a future that transcends national borders because they experience that world in their everyday work, study and social life. Thus policies about immigration and trade which focus on protectionism and will actually harm future millennial prospects are especially dangerous for the future of the GOP and Trump. With millennials already polled as being disproportionately liberal, Republicans through Trump risk losing more than the election – they risk alienating conservative millennials and undermining their voter base for years to come.
Across the Atlantic, the Brexit vote was just the beginning of the most profound political shift for generations. But many younger voters, most of whom voted to remain in the EU, are not happy and probably more than a bit disillusioned with the electoral process. A majority of people chose a future that a younger generation doesn’t want – because the older folks showed up. There’s a lesson in all this for young Americans, and come November if they allow someone else to determine their future for them, well then they’ve just proven that they are in fact whiny, lazy and selfish.
Feeling alienated? Better phone home. Movie for your nostalgic mood: E.T. the Extraterrestrial