After America rang in the New Year, buzz about the 2016 US presidential election has become increasingly difficult to avoid. For Republicans and Democrats alike, politicians are beginning to understand the potential impact of this year’s millennial vote.
As the millennial generation is coming of age, their participation in this election matters more than ever before. Ross Howard, a business administration major at the Decatur campus, said, “We’re a more liberal generation, so we’re the ones who can pioneer for change…[and we] continue to show the world that we are all equal human beings and we deserve to be happy.”
Historically speaking, youth turn out to the polls hasn’t been very high. Yet, contrary to the past few elections, it seems like millennial’s are becoming more concerned with the state of America. In a generation that is so incredibly different from the baby boomers, young people are becoming fed up with fewer jobs, higher costs of living, and an outdated political system.
The millennial’s are unique in many ways, especially as politics are concerned. According to Pew Research Center’s article “Generation X: America’s Neglected ‘Middle Child'”, comparing the past three generations, millennial’s are the most diverse, non-religious, open to immigrants, in favor of gay rights and the least to claim to be patriotic.
There appears to have been a shift in attitudes towards the government after the baby boomers took control of the system. For a generation that grew up in a time of economic expansion, they do not seem to understand the millennial’s struggles for equality.
“I want a president who supports lower tuition costs, uses our money wiser, and is focused on the internal issues that we are having in the country and not someone who is trying to police the globe,” said Howard. He goes on to admit that he waited for six hours outside the Fox Theatre in downtown Atlanta to attend the rally for Bernie Sanders in November 2015.
“I support any candidates that advocate for gay rights, and I’m also pro-choice, so those issues are important to me… [but] I’m not educated enough on the candidates to say who I’d vote for, especially considering I am extremely liberal when it comes to social issues, but economically, I am more conservative,” said Ashleigh Gallant, a marketing major at the downtown Georgia State campus.
Sarah Shelton, a journalism major also at the downtown campus, tells The Collegian that she believes this generation can make a change. Sarah adds in that this generation has already been around to see gay marriage legalized, and is hopefully on the way to marijuana legalization next. She is also hopeful for Bernie Sanders winning the election in November. At the end of the conversation, she exclaimed, “Sanders 2016 all the way! Bassheads for Bernie!”
Many of Sander’s policies are on point with what millennial’s deem fit for our next president. Especially with the innovations of new technologies, youth are seeing jobs being replaced by computers, corporate umbrella’s broadening, and inflation going up steadily.
These factors make it increasingly difficult for young adults entering the job market to succeed in life. With the way things have been going in government, the Millennial’s future can appear very dim. Yet, many people have the same sentiment as Howard , “I think the millennials that are voting now have grown up with the idea that we can do something…. if we just try and stick together, we have the numbers, and we can make a positive change and have an effect on things.”