Mocking millennials has become a passion that many have picked up in the last decade. You’ve heard most of the complaints: about the trophies for simply showing up, the rise of selfies and the supposed uptake in entitlement.
However, the so-called lazy generation could be the one demographic that will bring down President Donald Trump and his administration this midterm election.
The catch? They have to dominate the polls this November.
Because if the 2016 elections have proven anything about millennials, it’s that they have one glaring, society-crushing character flaw: They truly don’t vote.
We, the Viewpoints Editorial Board, believe that it’s high time that millennials realize the power they have in the dynamics of citizen-power.
The millenial voting numbers tell a disgraceful story. Barely half of all eligible millennial voters cast a ballot in the last presidential election, compared with nearly 70 percent of baby boomers and the two generations older than them.
The midterms are far worse. According to Govtrackinsider.com, just 16 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted in 2014.
This November, with a president and a party in power determined to turn back time, only 28 percent of young adults say they are “absolutely certain” they will vote in midterms, according to the tracker. By comparison, 74 percent of seniors say they will show up on Election Day. Other polls show a higher turnout among those at the front end of adult life, but it still lags behind those at the opposite end.
This year, however, the country, and the world at large, saw the true raw power that comes when young people rage, hitting the streets at March For Our Lives with the final moments of their friends, classmates and fellow students echoing in their every step.
Trump’s administration saw it too. And they were afraid.
Republicans are counting on the young to be clueless, to stay in a social media stupor while the rest of the country designs the future. A recent ad campaign by Knock the Vote shows a series of senior citizens mocking millennials:
“Climate change — that’s a you problem. I’ll be dead soon.”
“I can’t keep track of which lives matter.”
“You might even share this video on Facebook, but you won’t vote. You never do.”
Are millennials just going to take that kind of abuse? Are they no better than that empty husk of humans that take Trump’s orders without so much as flinching? Have they no pride?
Right now, we have a government spearheaded by an entitled, pampered and aging minority. Barely 46 percent of the popular vote put Trump in office and senators representing 44 percent of the population just gave a man whose views are not shared by a majority a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court.
Government by the few and the well connected will continue so long as the emerging majority does not exercise the most powerful option for a citizen.
The country can’t afford to wait. Millennials can’t afford to stand still this election season.
Millenials have the power to be the cavalry that could protect the nation from actions that will take decades to fix, but they have to be willing to hit the ground running. It is our responsibilty as young Americans to participate during the upcoming midterm elections, as well as to encourage the tradition of voting.