American are having a longevity problem. While everyone is commenting about how this election cycle seems bent on dividing two majors into four squabbling groups, there’s one group of voters who are just about done with the whole shebang altogether.
Poll after poll betrays a fact both parties will have to address sooner rather than later. There’s not been a larger group to come into adulthood in America since the baby boomers, and those Millennials are pretty much universally disgusted with politics as usual.
Again and again, young Americans are saying the DEMs and the REPs do not represent who they are and what they stand for. The primaries and now the general election is forcing Americans to choose a side, and many millions of Millennials are still stuck on None of the Above. Even those who have grudgingly admitted they will vote for one of the big tickets in November freely admit they aren’t happy about it, and some of these have already said this will be the last time.
Some might want to blame other demographic factors like gender, race or religious affiliation, but watchdog groups say these trends hold across all of these lines. Only 28 percent of young Americans are happy with the representation they are getting from the major political parties.
This disconnect between the huge numbers of potential voters and the parties ignoring them is due in large part to a single trend: old people vote and young people don’t. So, when the rubber meets the road, politicians and parties will bring the young folks along for the primaries and then ignore them in general elections and while governing.
That trend has been “take it to the bank” consistent for decades, but things may be changing. The Internet is connecting more Millennials and more deeply. That, and this generation is beginning to enter the workforce and start investing for the future. They are getting more concerned with the sort of world they will grow old in and raise their children in, and they don’t like what they see.
Will they be motivated to make some changes? That depends. If they don’t show up at the polls this November, the parties can continue to go along ignoring them, but if Millennials come out and vote, they may just find the change they’re seeking on the other side of the election.
Jay Sekulow is the Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice.