Millennial Political Participation: The Problem and the Solution(s)

We are the problem

Since the presidential election of 1964, U.S. citizens between the ages of 18-24 have had the lowest voter turnout.

 

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-9-47-57-pm
Graphic from the U.S. Census Bureau showing decrease in millennial voting patterns.

Nowadays, millennials tend to be apathetic towards voting and/or do not care about government at all. Resulting in desperate attempts like this:

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-9-54-33-pm
Advertisement for the Affordable Care Act

How I know

I live on a college campus that has an extremely low voter turnout. As a Political Science major, that’s embarrassing.  Fortunately, a few of my fellow Furman students recently won a lawsuit against oppressive voting restrictions toward college students. And although the presidental election has already passed, it’s not too early to get to know the local government players:

We are the solution; Participating in politics is not hard

The United States does not and should not make it difficult for its citizens to have a voice in politics. That voice usually includes voting. The right to vote is a fundamental principle that this country was founded upon. In order to vote citizens need to do three things:

  1. Turn 18
  2. Register
  3. Turn out
logos
Major News Channels

And what if you can’t meet step one? Being informed about politics is just as important. Talking about politics, watching news coverage, and asking questions about political actors or policies also count as political participation.

Participating in politics is not boring.

Find a issue that resonates with you. If you like hiking, think about get-

Greenpeace Condemns Brutal Police Clampdown On Peaceful Gezi Park Protest.
Green Peace Protest

ting involved in local environmental groups to improve parks and trails. If you’re into food, it might be worth knowing what types of things the FDA allows companies to put in their products. Or if you’re sick of how much money you make at your job, look into minimum wage laws in your state.

Participating in politics is not meaningless.

I’ve too often heard my friends say that their voice doesn’t count. That claim is ridiculous. Voting matters. Politics isn’t all Hillarys, Trumps and long bills that you hear your parents mention. Politics is the lake by your house. It’s the favorite teacher you had in high school. It’s your paycheck you get every two weeks. Politics are both large scale and small scale. We should not forget about our local government officials that work hard to provide us with the quality of life we want. So tell them!

You have a voice, speak.

 

Sources and Image Credit

Food and Drug Administration

Furman Newspaper

Greenville News

Image: Graphic from US Census Bureau

Image: ObamaCare advertisement from Factcheck.org

Image: Protest photo from GreenPeace.org

Image: New sources from TheWrap.com

Scholar Archives at OSU

Trey Gowdy web page

USA.gov

U.S. Department of Labor

 

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3 thoughts on “Millennial Political Participation: The Problem and the Solution(s)

  1. Pingback: People who don’t vote: Furman University Case Study – PolitiCollege

  2. Pingback: Why aren’t Millennials Voting? – PolitiCollege

  3. Pingback: Why Are Millennials Not Voting? – PolitiCollege

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