Engaging Millennials for Activism
The past election demonstrated that a presidential candidate whose values, political platform and personal character rejected by a majority of the U.S. population could succeed in winning power of the nation’s highest office. Many variables attempting to explain this infamous turn of events are now being considered. One causal explanation is the deficit of young voters. Despite being the largest generation in the United States, a mere 26% of Millennials voted in this election, which tipped the popular vote under the threshold to win the Electorate College for the Democratic candidate who won the popular vote. Had Millennials showed up at the polls, the outcome would have been overwhelmingly Democrat.
At the same time, misconstrued attempts at collecting public opinion are spreading the rumors that Generation Z are more conservative than Millennials and even generation X and Boomers. In an era when fake news and alternative facts drown out verifiable truths in social media, fake generational news could render the impression that the Far Right - currently taking over the UK and the U.S., and soon Europe - is the new normal. This might convince some to think liberal leaning Millennials are the exceptions when in fact, most younger people are liberal and want systemic change in a leftward direction.
We must not let these anti-facts become common knowledge when Generation Z is at the cusp of becoming first-time voters the next election. Instead we have to find out how to better reach out and engage with young people.