Our generation today is way too busy taking good selfies or tweeting their latest accomplishments to care about politics.
Our country is entering a time where the future is unclear. The Amendments that have been pillars in this country’s foundation are now being questioned as to whether they are still applicable to people like you and I. Some want to take away or limit our right to bear arms. Others want to quiet my belief in God by removing “One nation under God” from our Pledge of Allegiance.
Presidential candidates are trying to adapt to the ever changing environment by using various platforms to portray their messages. Candidates recognize this need to use new platforms since different generations have their personal preferences. One example of this is how Hillary Clinton told millennials to “Pokémon Go to the polls.” The problem is candidates still haven’t used social media platforms to their full potential because many millennials still don’t care to vote.
Though I have every intention on voting, I can understand why students don’t care to vote. I scroll through my various social media feeds and see nothing but negativity about the different presidential candidates. They are too worried fighting about back and forth instead of making their arguments applicable to the younger generations.
Some students at DSU said they don’t feel the connection they want with their preferred candidate. McKayDee McDonald, a freshman theater major from Salt Lake City, said they need to a do a better job at reaching the demographic.
McDonald said: “With everyone on social media right now, you reach so many people everyday by throwing a tweet out there [or] throwing a Facebook message out there.”
Millennials today are obsessed with their technology and what it can do for them. We snapchat an image, tweet a few lines, or even write a novel for a post on Facebook. With this addiction for understanding new things, I say millennials are all over the map when it comes to politics. I prefer to get my political news by watching shows on CNN or Fox News, while others rely on Facebook posts from their friends.
Associate Professor Joe Green said millennials are only interested in things they can control: family life, work, church, school and their social lives. He also said they don’t seem to care about politics because their time is consumed by other matters.
Bryce Parker, a pre-engineering sophomore from St. George, said politics are a topic that bring confrontation into most conversations, due to the vast diversity of ideas people have.
Parker said he understands the differences between ideologies but acknowledges the need for change.
“[Change] comes when we compromise and you have to realize that you’ll take hits some places and they’ll take hits some places no matter what political side you go with,” Parker said.
Whether you want to take a political side or not, there is always time for your voice to be heard. There are numerous clubs on campus that allow students to engage in political conversations like the DSU College Democrats or the DSU College Republicans. You can even join non-profit organizations, like Turning Point U.S.A., where they allow students to share thoughts and feelings about the current state of our country.
McDonald said it is important for millennials to educate themselves and learn what is going on. She also said one of the biggest hurdles millennials have to overcome is the notion that your vote doesn’t count.
“We are the next generation to be in [Washington D.C.],” McDonald said. “We are the next generation to make new laws [and] pass new laws.”
If Green is right by saying politics are just one more thing for a millennial to worry about, then I believe the future of our country may be in trouble.
“It’s a symbolic exercise,” Green said. “One person’s vote doesn’t turn an election one way or the other.”
I think if millennials are taught more about politics and how their vote will make a difference, more will be involved and more will go out and vote. If the candidates really understood the power of social media, they would see swarms of millennials getting involved.
With all this being said, I hope to not be the lone Trailblazer at the polls come November.