It’s a divisive time in the United States right now. But if Taylor Swift breaking her longstanding silence on politics tells us anything, it’s that millennials need to actually start voting—and now—before the damage becomes irreparable.
Only around 30 percent of young voters say they’ll vote in the upcoming midterms, as pointed out Vox. But why? Are we really OK with our parents’ (and even our grandparents’) generation deciding the fate of the world for us? We can’t just sit idly by while hypocritical fundamentalists and power-hungry ideologues blast us back to the dark ages, can we?
Well, we might, if we don’t get out and vote. Saying the U.S. looks like “a place run by people who know they’re going to die soon,” New York‘s Intelligencer notes that America’s voting-age population includes roughly the same amount of millennials to baby boomers. But boomers keep getting their way at the polls because young people don’t show up.
A recent poll poll finds that 39 percent of Americans under 30 say they don’t vote, or engage in any type of political participation, because doing so “wouldn’t make a difference.” Another 49 percent say they don’t “know enough about the issues,” while some 9 percent think that voting is much less important than “being active on social media.” (It almost makes sense that we have a failed businessman for a president.)
In the face of an uncertain tide, however, we really can stand up and make a difference. If more millennials voted, perhaps we’d have the huge sway of boomers when it comes to partisan power. And, according Pew Research, young voters understand complicated topics like climate change even better than their elders. Maybe we can put our brains where it counts and turn democracy around for scientific advancement.
Generations will always divide on the issues, sure. But what is actually important to you? Do you want to maintain the status quo of President Trump, of whom 53 percent of white women voted after he was caught on tape bragging about sexually assaulting a woman? And, with more teens now identifying as transgender and gender-noncomforming, do you want to live under a government that has transgender military bans?
How about marijuana use? Do you feel the same about the plant’s medicinal applications and state-by-state legalization as your elders? Certainly, making your point at the polls for better cannabis laws could tip the scales in millennials’ favor.
Further, the nation’s sweltering racial discord, as bolstered by Trump’s unending insensitive remarks, is mainly an older person’s pursuit. Millennials are shown to be much more progressive than the preceding generations. From Intelligencer:
“Millennials are also, by far, the most racially progressive generation in the electorate. A majority of younger Americans say that Islam ‘does not encourage violence more than other religions,’ and that discrimination is the primary reason why African Americans ‘can’t get ahead these days’ — sentiments that majorities of boomers and Gen-Xers reject.”
So can we possibly change things when misguided Evangelicals are ripping up their Nikes in protest of Colin Kaepernick? How convoluted is the need to counter-protest a celebrity who only protested against social injustice and oppression?
It’s up to us to prove the numbers at the polls to support the causes we care about. “Our current government is more responsive to demographic groups that vote a lot than to those that don’t,” reads the New York piece. If we don’t vote, our voices go unheard, and things will only continue to get worse.