MESSAGE TO MILLENNIALS
You are the largest, most diverse, and progressive group of
potential voters in American history, comprising fully 30 percent of the voting
On November 6th, you have the power to alter the course of
American politics – flipping Congress, changing the leadership of states and
cities, making lawmakers act and look more like the people who are literally
the nation’s future.
But you need to vote. In the last midterm election, in 2014,
only 16 percent of eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 29 even bothered.
Now, I understand. I was young once. You have a lot on your
minds – starting jobs, and careers, and families. Also, unlike your
grandparents–some of whom were involved in civil rights, voting rights, women’s
rights, the anti-Vietnam War movement–you may not remember a time when
political action changed America for the better.
You don’t even recall when American democracy worked well.
Instead, during your lifetime you’ve watched big money take over Washington and
state capitals. Which may explain why only about 30 percent of you born in the
1980s think it “essential” to live in a democracy.
But the issues up for grabs this coming November 6 are not
ideological abstractions. They’re causes in which you have direct personal
Take, for example, gun violence – which some of you have
experienced first-hand and have taken active roles trying to stop.
Or immigrant’s rights. Over 20 percent of you are Latino, and a
growing percent of you are from families that emigrated from Asia. Many of you
have directly experienced the consequences of Trump’s policies.
A woman’s right to choose whether to have a baby, and gay’s or
lesbian’s rights to marry. They’re also issues you’re deeply committed to.
They’ll be front and center if the Supreme Court, as expected, puts them back
into the hands of Congress and state legislatures.
You’re also concerned about student debt, access to college, and
opportunities to get ahead unimpeded by racial bigotry or sexual harassment.
And you’re worried about the environment. You know climate
change will hit you hardest since you will be on the planet longer than older
You’ve also seen that your votes count. You saw Hillary lose by
a relative handful of votes in places like Michigan, Wisconsin, and
Pennsylvania. You’re aware of the slim but increasingly real possibility of
taking back the Senate.
As doubtful as you are are about politics, or the differences
between the two parties, you also know that Donald Trump and his Republican
enablers want to take the nation backwards to an old, white, privileged,
isolated America. You don’t.
In my thirty-five years of teaching college students, I’ve not
encountered a generation as dedicated to making the nation better as yours.
my betting is on you, this November 6th. Please register and vote.