Millenials and Voting



Donald Trump and and Hillary Clinton on stage during the second debate between the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. (Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS)

Lisi Levy, Page Editor

As November 8th approaches, political tensions of the nation rise exponentially with the looming question, Hillary or Trump? Yet seemingly the common answer is becoming neither.

The Class of 2017 has a select group of students whose birthday fall prior to election. More importantly though, how many of these sacred few will be at the polls on the 8th? Astounding research from the Harvard Institute of Politics notes that only 23 percent of millennial voters under 30 plan to actually take part in this year’s election – why? Why wouldn’t 77 percent want to take part in choosing our nation’s leader?

Millennials or “Generation Z” members are about to receive their first opportunity to enact their 26th amendment rights, but they don’t want to. Yes, the right to vote is an option, not a requirement, but should it be concerning that the upcoming generation does not want to vote for something which affects their future?

To accurately answer these questions, a millennial must look at where they want to see themselves in four years at the next election. Furthermore, where they want to see their country. Likely this outlook affects who he or she would vote for this fall.

The voters of 2016 have about four options: Hillary, Trump, third party, or none of the above. Among the millennials, neither seems to be the optimal option, but why?

Many simply don’t want either candidate to win. Disliking their two options, they opt out and will not be visiting the polls. Yet, most citizens 30 or under have not experienced enough of Hillary history or their Trump timeline to make a fully educated decision on voting. The action of voting itself, is a mere beginning. It is not just to vote, but it is to vote with insight and conviction.

It is one thing to know the Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump who stands before us today, but it is another thing to know their progression, their roots, and who they truly are to the masses.

In 1995, Hillary Rodham Clinton gave a speech at the United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing with the title message, “Women’s rights are human rights.” In 1995, the Monica Lewinsky scandal had yet to happen and Clinton was a strong, feminist role model for young girls across the nation. At this time, her approval rating by the public were low, almost as if the U.S. was not ready for this type of female liberalism. These ratings spoke to a nation that wished a woman of her kind would, “know her place.”

Three years later and Clinton’s image in entirely different. No longer does she carry her maiden name, nor does she appeal to as many women across the world. In standing by her husband in 1998 after he was accused of adultery, Clinton’s public approval ratings skyrocketed as the traditional conservatives saw her back down from her political views and settle in her personal life

Flash forward another 15 years or so and here we are. Today Hillary’s impression on the millennials commonly involves the words power-hungry and unpleasant.

Conversely, does your lab partner know the dates of Donald? Do you?

Donald Trump graduated from University of Pennsylvania in 1968 with a degree in economics. From there, his career was based mainly in that exact subject. In 1982, Trump nation took off with the opening of Trump Tower, an apartment-retail complex piled high with luxury and amenities. Since then, the Trump empire has inconsistently dominated New York living and Atlantic City casinos.

It has only been in recent years Trump tackled U.S. politics, when on June 16th, 2015 he announced his candidacy for president of the nation coining the phrase, “Make America great again.”

Many young people claim their votes won’t make the difference, yet there are 69.2 million millennials eligible to vote, a mere 0.5 less than the baby boomers. So, find something you identify with. You may not see yourself as a Hillary or a Trump, but maybe you find yourself in women’s rights to equal pay or have a fiscally conservative mindset. These are the attributes of the nation that will endure and be recorded in history books due to the outcome of a millennial vote. Don’t we owe it to our founding fathers to uphold the system they put in place? Don’t we owe it to our future children to choose the leader we deem best for this nation?

So whether “you’re with her” or you desire to “make America great again,” it is crucial to be an active young citizen in the nation and do so with an enlightened lense.