Millennials And The 2020 Elections

Millennials around the world are clamoring for more responsibility in every aspect of society. It makes one wonder how millenials in the US will respond in the 2020 elections.

Americans are very idealistic in their early years and have grandiose observations about what is wrong with the country. It happened big time in the 1960s when civil rights and the Vietnam War dominated our lives causing massive protests and civil disobedience. Today the issues are different, but just as important to young people.

What are some of the most important issues to millennials?

From an individual perspective, young people have been complaining on end that they are saddled with significant debt, in particular loans used for higher education. Not many colleges have done much to rein in ever-higher tuition costs in recent years. However, some institutions have taken dramatic steps to give more scholarships in lieu of loans that must be repaid. For some schools, huge endowments have made entitlements readily available. Other wealthy institutions should be encouraged to do more, rather than increasing investment assets.

The irony is that some students are breezing through college taking courses that have little relevance to the jobs they ultimately apply for. It would be wise for students to take courses that are affiliated with areas they wish to pursue after graduation. History majors are soliciting administrative positions, for instance. It would also be beneficial for schools to offer more classes that teach students trade skills.

The pressure of high debt has impacted the number of marriages among millennials (they are less and later in life), the timing of having children and the ability of young people to buy homes (and move away from their parents). It’s unfortunate that some life decisions are directly related to the amount of money one has in the bank.

More generally, young people think the previous generation has been screwing up things for them prospectively. Many believe the government is too intrusive, and there are too many restrictions and laws that impede their lives. Prohibition of the sale and personal use of marijuana are major items for a large number of young people. Additionally this same group feels the government is spying on them and invading their privacy.

Scores of young people are sympathetic to the plight of the downtrodden and to income inequality, more so than their parents, or so they think. Somehow being successful and becoming well to do is considered evil and all Americans in this category (the 1%ers) are not paying their fair share. Note: the definition of “fair share” is debatable and highly elusive.

Related to the life styles of the rich and famous are young people’s concerns for those who need assistance. What they believe is that every conservative either does not want to help Americans that ask for support, and that Republicans purposely elect leaders and lawmakers that perpetuate poverty in the country.

In fact most rich people are inured to paying an oversized share of taxes in the US. The frustration for 1%ers is more related to irresponsible government spending and the inability of free-spenders to creatively fund entitlements.

Over time young generations must assume responsibility and take over the government. America is at a crossroads, as older politicians are unable to pass the baton. Ironically, Democrats that include most millennials, have three seventy year-olds seriously contending for the presidency. And, in the House of Representatives, the top leaders are all significantly over seventy. In the meantime, several young (and mostly female) neophytes defeated incumbent Democrats during the mid term elections.

What has been the response of the Democratic establishment? They have threatened anyone who assists a Democrat in an effort to replace an incumbent Democrat.

Our Congress is chock full of old white men whose time has come to retire. Both parties are suffocating because old dogs don’t do new tricks, and old incumbents don’t want to give up their seats. Term limits are desperately needed on Capitol Hill and throughout all government.

Let’s discuss Democrat presidential candidates. The old adage that you must be radical in the primaries and moderate in the general election has already come into play. Every Democrat has either overtly or implicitly espoused socialism- that’s how far left the group has come. Their proposals are idiotic, too expensive and totally pie in the sky. They’re promising new entitlements that cannot be delivered.

Increasing taxes on the wealthy is the only source of new revenues for Democrats. There has been no thought given to abrogating entitlements that are no longer productive or doing what they were intended to do.

There are plenty of young people in the Democrat’s mad rush to regain the presidency, but none of them are leading the group. The Democrats are headed towards a real catastrophe next year that will become more obvious in the impending debates.

Young people have some important decisions to make. Many may just stay home on Election Day as they have done historically. Let’s hope not.

 

Millennials Will Save Our Country

In my last post, “Our Children Are At Great Risk From Recent World Events,” I presented a dark assessment of the current state of affairs. The overall conclusion of the piece was that the next generation of Americans would not be as fortunate as the current one. I discussed nuclear threats, paralysis in Washington, disease, economic malaise and religious fanaticism, all distressing phenomena in the minds of most.

 

The people who commented on the post agreed that times are tough and attaining happiness prospectively will not be easy. But, they were upbeat about the next generation’s ability to respond to forthcoming challenges.

 

Upon reflection, I wanted to indicate that I am in tune with this more optimistic worldview. American’s “can do” spirit will enable our country to recover and prosper as it has done repeatedly in the past.

 

As I look back to earlier days, I vividly recall the frustration and fear that influenced the lives of most young men who turned 18 as the Vietnam War raged on. Frankly, my peers and I believed that there was a high probability that we would be drafted into military service and die a violent death in a far-off land. And so, we protested and developed a live for today philosophy. Many lives were lost in that horrible confrontation. Yet, America did recover.

 

The civil rights movement was in full throttle during the same era. Peaceful demonstrations by African Americans, led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and his disciples, were assailed with fire hoses, beatings and attack dogs. There is still a lot of work to be done racially, but progress has been made.

 

In the past, women stayed at home, raised the kids and cooked meals. When they did venture into the workplace they were underpaid relative to their male counterparts. Females have made up a lot of ground over the last half-century, as many now work alongside their spouses. Equal pay is around the corner, and the glass ceiling is broken every day.

 

And finally, gay couples are on the verge of receiving the rights and benefits that accrue to traditional families after a long and hard fought battle. True equality is close, and in a short period of time, every person in America will be able to select a partner without any retaliation, restriction or prejudice.

 

Millennials are on deck to assume the leadership of America. It has been difficult for them to find jobs, move out of their parents’ homes, pay off their student debt and start families. Much of their angst correlates to economic conditions. Deep down, we know America is resilient, and it will rebound from the Great Recession.

 

The Millennials will have to contend with a plethora of issues that arose after 9/11. Some were not old enough to appreciate the enormity of that horrible event, but it continues to affect all Americans and peace-loving people around the world. A derivative impact of the attack has been an ongoing debate about civil liberties, an area in which Millennials have take a lead role. Do Americans want more liberty or more security? You cannot have both, so priorities must be established. The debate about privacy is becoming more contentious every day.

 

Another issue that has become more controversial is the impact of social media on our daily lives. My observation is that we all have gone too far in our desire to be connected every minute of every day. Yet, this connection is not physical or even face-to-face; it is through devices. Young people, in particular, are lost in the “cloud” and glued to computer screens and iPhones. They say that social media has made them more “social.” I say ten close friends are more valuable than 200 people who have befriended you on Facebook.

 

The Internet has made young people more introverted. They whine about injustice in their texts. They go to war on the Internet with people they do not like. It’s like a virtual world. Problems are better resolved in the old fashioned way- sitting around a conference table. Does anyone really believe the Israeli/Palestinian conflict or the humanitarian tragedies we witness every day can be rectified with text messages and twitters? Not I.

 

The time is drawing close when Millennials must stop complaining and start taking action with their newfound responsibilities, authority and political clout. They will marry, have high paying jobs and lead our government and major corporations. No longer will this group be protesting; they will be implementing change and rectifying the problems created by their predecessors. And, I am sure they will bring glory back to America with their intellect, perseverance and creativity.