Millenials and Politics

Image courtesy of Google Images
Image courtesy of Google Images

By Maddie Silva

We hear contradictory reports when we think of millennials political involvement. Do millennials care about politics? Or are they politically motivated and tired of the current political system? Why would that an apathetic generation be so opinionated about issues like foreign policy, criminal justice, and racial equality? A survey from the Harvard University of Politics found that Millennials have little trust in big government, but have more faith in community volunteering and entrepreneurship than most Americans.

Students at Providence Christian College have been grappling with these questions in light of the impending election. Junior Gerrid Knol said of the current political climate,

“Honestly it makes me question a lot about where we’re at in Western society. I read this article that questions how we get arrogant people like Trump running… I think that comes from the heart of the people… I don’t have any faith in any Western culture- I’m not saying that Canada is any better.”

A recent survey of the Providence Community’s political climate echoes Knol’s sentiment. Of the 20 people who participated in the survey eight said they planned on voting for Hillary Clinton, while five participants said they were not planning on voting at all. Eight individuals also said they did not have a party preference.

Meanwhile, more than half of the participants said that they have a little to no faith in the current political system. The survey reveals that the Providence Community is divided and disillusioned.

An Atlantic article cites technology as the source of Millennial disillusionment. The immediate availability of information via the internet has created a demand for greater transparency. Americans are able to fact-check with startling speed.

The authority of Julian Assange supersedes the rhetoric of politicians. The result? A startlingly low faith in government and politicians. As the right and left drift further apart those in the middle, those who do not plan on voting and do not claim a party preference, are abandoned in the fallout of the two polarized parties.  How, then should we proceed in such a tenuous climate? A desire for transparency in politics does not seem like an insurmountable task in the information era. The answer, perhaps, should be to seek greater transparency from each other.

Sophomore Collin Vis sheds light on the disparity between the political parties saying,

“The key to solving this problem is not to yell louder, no pretend that you agree. Hold strong opinions. Don’t be afraid to voice them. But be civil, think before you speak, always have a reason for what you think, and don’t be afraid to say, ‘I’ll get back to you on that after I think about it some more.’”

If we can overcome the divide between parties, starting with the way in which we speak to  one another, our government may follow.