The 2016 election cycle has become known as “The Trump Show.” Donald Trump has always teased at a possible run for the White House. However, it was still difficult to actually imagine reality TV star Donald Trump would dominate the GOP field. This rings true on the Democrat side. Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders became an electable candidate but now trails behind Hillary Clinton at 29 percent, higher than Barack Obama in the October before the 2008 election. The social media name-calling and bickering has provided Generation Y with water cooler topics, it also created the right mixture of humor and partisanship to pique the interest of Generation X, who often do not show up to vote.
This campaign cycle comes with different campaigns and unique candidates, because of that, students have become more engaged than they might have been if there were any typical candidates. Part of the entertainment value comes from The Donald, whose inflammatory comments serve largely as conversation pieces for the generation that grew up watching his polarizing personality fire people on "Celebrity Apprentice.” Trump may not be a serious candidate for Millenials across college campuses, Clinton’s lead grows against Trump, 51 percent to 25 percent. Trump has managed to intertwine entertainment and politics that causes anyone to become more political aware at the presidential level.
When Trump calls immigrants "criminals" and "rapists," it's easy for Millennials to laugh at his ignorance, but to do so requires a basic exploration of the xenophobia and fear from which his perspective is grounded. Having Trump as the party spokesman doesn't exactly paint the GOP in a favorable light, considering that many Millennials had little knowledge or sympathy towards the GOP's policies to begin with. Despite Donald Trump’s aid in ending political apathy among the youth, you must consider whether his involvement will cause Millennials to show up to vote.
According to a Fusion Massive Millennial Poll, 77 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds are “very likely” to vote in the 2016 general election. However, a similar poll taken in 2012 found that 67.3 percent of young adults were “extremely” likely to vote although only 49 percent of Millenials actually did. But if Millennials want to use our collective privilege to become an actually significant political constituency, we have to show that we care—beyond social media slacktivism and Donald Trump memes. We have to vote.