2016 Election: The Millennial Effect

2016 Election: The Millennial Effect

The millennial vote is a game changer.
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In the 2016 presidential election, millennials will be given the opportunity to shape define the United States of America for generations to come. It will be up to millennials to decide whether this country leans liberal for a generation, or if this country will lean conservative for a generation. As many know, this is an election like no other in history with its crazy antics and grade school bullying, but one interesting aspect of this election that makes it different than any other election in recent history is that millennials have now surpassed the baby boomer generation as the nation’s largest living generation which makes it evident just how instrumental millennials will be in this year’s presidential election.

Millenials have the opportunity to decide the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, but does that mean they will? Even though millennials have now surpassed baby boomers, they are still the generation with the fewest percentage actually heading to the polls. Andrew Soergel points out, “Millenials, or the demographic between the ages of 18 and 35, are often discussed as if they're a separate species, with their own unique values, wants and needs that politicians can either cater to or overlook entirely. And typically, the latter strategy hasn't been a terrible one, considering only 38 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 24 years old and 49.5 percent of those between the ages of 25 and 44 years old turned out to vote in 2012, according to the Census Bureau” (Soergel). The fact is, millennials just do not show up at the polls… so will they show up this year? Will millennials take advantage of the opportunity they have to change the outcome of this election?

Bethany Lemmons, a dear friend, says in many ways this is the biggest election we have ever had. “We have the chance to vote for Hillary Clinton, the most qualified candidate to ever run for president, or vote for the least qualified candidate to ever run for president, Donald Trump. So what happens in this election will determine the course of united states and we, millennials, play such a big part in that. We have the chance to vote for the most qualified person ever, but if my generation will take up the offer, I do not know”, she explains.

In a recent USA TODAY poll, Clinton trounced Trump 56%-20% among those under 35. Susan Page of USA TODAY points out, “The findings have implications for politics long past the November election. If the trend continues, the Democratic Party will have scored double-digit victories among younger voters in three consecutive elections, the first time that has happened since such data became readily available in 1952. That could shape the political affiliations of the largest generation in American history for years to follow” (Page). Trump's numbers among millennial voters is unlike anything seen before, lower even than the 32% of the vote that the Gallup Organization reports Richard Nixon received among 18-to-29-year-old voters in 1972, an era of youthful rebellion and protests against the Vietnam War.

Tyler Wilson, a millennial and young republican says he doesn’t know if he will support Donald Trump in this election. “I saw a button not long ago that read ‘Republicans for Hillary. Principals before Party’… this summed up my thoughts exactly. I come from a family of republicans, most will be supporting Trump, but I just don’t know if I can. I don’t know if it is a generational thing or not, but I just cannot find myself to vote for Trump after some of the things he has said such as claiming that John McCain was not a war hero because he was captured. This is the republican nominee for President, yet he sounds like no other republican in my lifetime.” Wilson went on to explain that he feels the republican party has no place for millenNials. “After seeing what has happened in this election cycle and witnessing how the republican party has become the party of Donald Trump, I do not believe there will be a republican party in twenty years from now because they are turning millennial republicans like myself off”, says Wilson.

According to the Atlantic, “a recent survey of Millennials in 11 battleground states released by Baumann’s firm, the Global Strategy Group, for Project New America and NextGen Climate presents the same daunting contrast for Clinton. In that survey, 75 percent of Millennials say they view Trump unfavorably, 73 percent describe him as a ‘racist,’ and 70 percent say he is ‘unfit to protect our country from major threats’” (Atlantic). Regardless of polls showing record lows for Trump among millennials, they are not the greatest for Clinton either. None of the national polls show Clinton approaching Obama’s 60 percent vote share with Millenials last time. Among all of them, just the Global Strategy Group survey show her in the four-way race equaling or exceeding Obama’s 23 percentage point advantage among members of that generation. While the latest Global Strategy Group survey found some improvement for Clinton compared to the firm’s first poll in July, she is by no means where she needs to be” explains the Atlantic (Atlantic).

“Millenials need to realize how big this is. This is a game changer,” says student Branyon Jones, “On one end we have a moderate woman with amazing accomplishments and an incredible resume and then on the other end, we have a far right fascist man who says terrible things…. terrible things. He says he wants to ban Muslims from this country, he wants to deport 11 million people, and he mocks people with disabilities. You cannot do that as president. Millenials do not realize how big and how dangerous this is. He goes on to explain, “as millennials, we think we have erased racism and difficulties of such, but when you see that Donald Trump is even an option for president and the hate he has brought forth, you have to question is racism and sexism really gone? The answer is NO! We have work to do and it is up to us as a generation to decide where this country goes.”
Cover Image Credit: hillaryclinton.com

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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The Democratic Enthusiasm Is Great, But They're Missing Something Crucial — Policy

The Democrats are more motivated than ever for 2020, but are they getting too carried away?

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The 2020 Democratic primary continues to become more up for grabs as we near closer and closer to the actual primaries themselves. From familiar faces such as Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden to newcomers to the presidential trail such as Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, Democratic-leaning voters have a wide array of candidates to choose from in order to defeat Donald Trump.

It's absolutely great seeing the Democratic base more energized than ever for the pending political circus next year. Beto O'Rourke, for example, seems to still have the enthusiasm that he picked up from his failed senatorial campaign in 2018. Moreover, it was also inspiring to see Pete Buttigieg kiss his husband on stage while proving that progressive politics can help even those in middle-class small towns like South Bend, Indiana.

All of this is great to see, but with all due respect to Beto, Mayor Pete, and perhaps nearly all of the other Democrats running: we know you want to fix Trump's mess, but how are you going to do it?

The 2020 election can genuinely make or break the state of progressive politics in the United States. With critical issues ranging from the Green New Deal, reparations for slavery, health care as a human right, and a $15 minimum wage, if candidates think gracing the covers of Vanity Fair and Vogue are doing the American people any good, then they are deeply mistaken.

Candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, so far, have been consistent in how they will specifically initiate the policy positions that they're undertaking. Of the 23 major candidates that have declared their candidacy, only 13 of them have policy pages on their campaign sites. You might say that it's too early in the campaign cycle for policy positions to be rolled out, but the fact of the matter is: Americans who are struggling to get by cannot wait.

The 2018 midterms have demonstrated that the American people want people in government that are willing to fight tooth and nail for them. Americans want people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib representing them and their interests.

We cannot succumb to the bad habit of gloating in our victories and pretend that our work is over. We may have severed one head of the corruption hydra, but we have many more heads to go.

So to all 2020 candidates, it's time to quit wasting time on PR stunts and thinking that your past or background will guarantee you victory. There's too much at stake — let's get to work.

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