Is Millennial Political Apathy the Curse of Our Generation?
Millennial political apathy. It’s the unspoken truth that every politician knows — millennials don’t vote. They don’t even care very much about what’s going on in the world. They can be safely ignored in the policical process so long as they remain asleep and focused only on their work, their wallets and the wages that fill them.
It does’t have to be that way. We may be the new kids on the block when it comes to adulthood and the political process. But we are a large and growing segment of society, and we deserve to have a voice in the affairs that will set the course for our future.
In a sense, millennials are lucky. We have grown up in a world unknown to past generations, with access to nearly all the world’s information at our fingertips. We have the means to connect with others like us around the globe. And we often take it all for granted and forget how hard it was to achieve many of the freedoms and opportunties available to us today.
Yet, those freedoms and opportunities are not guaranteed. They are being continually eroded, sold to the highest bidder in the name of security, convenience or pure profit. We are under constant surveillance in one way or another by governments and businesses alike. And privacy has all but gone out the window. As a result, greater and greater control is being amassed by a priviledged few, and used for their benefit rather than ours. The trend is accelerating, yet few millennials even take notice, much less do anthing to stop it.
As a generation, we are the odd men (and women) out, treated as powerless and looked as the runt of the litter because we have not yet taken our stand in saying how we believe our world shall be governed. Simply put, this is because we see through the facade of how rigged the system is for us.
Why? Some would say it’s because of a rigged economy. Or system that bogs us down with student debt that forces us to be slaves of the system, taking jobs we hate with too little pay and even less future for advancement or development of any meaningful skills.
We are forced to compromise our beliefs at every turn just to survive in this economic system. This causes us to withdraw from the system and delve into our individual endeavors as this is the only way to create a life for ourselves.
However I have a solution! It will not be easy, and it will only take about 5-10 minutes a day:
1. Turn off Mainstream News or Take it with a Grain of Salt
Don’t watch main-stream news as your only source to understand the world. Throughout history the government and media has filtered what is presented to the masses to portray only what they want you to know, which is usually not the full truth.
It’s important to realize that mainstream media is in competition for eyeballs. As for-profit ventures, they have to keep one eye on ratings and the other on competitors. And when they all show up to cover the same story, there’s little incentive to paint a rosy picture of what’s going on, much less break away from the pack and write about something else and risk offending their audience, advertisers or corporate higher-ups.
To make matters worse, too often big media simply acts as a government mouthpiece to regurgitate carefully crafted PR pieces and position statements. Information is reported as fact rather than verified and cross-checked, for to question the autorities feed it to them would risk being left out in the cold for future news .Reporters can be shut out, denied access to politicians and governmental leaders when they fail to toe the line and report the story being fed to them.
While it is important for millennials to stay abreast of current events and the understand the issues affecting their common future, too much of the party line can result in indoctrination into their point of view rather than facilitate an independent analysis and opinion. In order to see things as they truly are, it can be helpful to limit the intake of such information and the armies of talking heads they trot out to play up the issues presented.
2. Watch and Read Alternative, Independent Media
Rather than remain wedded to mainstream media reports as their parents were, or turn off out of disgust, millennials have at their fingertips tools that allow them to get other information and points of view. They can use them to search out information through independent journalists.
Youtube is one such resource for independent media. For now, channels such as WeAreChange and The AlexJones Channel offer independent reporting that often questions and even provides counterpoints to the common party line. Others like The Young Turks, RT America, and the Corbett Report also do a great job of reporting information that one simply would not see on CNN, Fox, or MSNBC. Most even provide links to their sources so that you may vet the information yourself, and form your own opinion of what going on in the world.
3. Know the Players and the Politics
One factor that contributes to millennial apathy is their reaction to the events presented for mainstream consumption. Everything is designed to strike fear into our hearts and dissuade us from getting involved. After all, we’re powerless and there’s nothing we can do to change things, so why should we even care?
Notwithstanding this powerful emotional response, millennials NEED to know what’s going on. It’s our future that’s being affected as well ‘And if we are to make the changes we want to see in the world, we have a responsibility to know what’s going on and the implications of the issues involved.
Moreover, we must become conscious of our own positions on the issues and learn to articulate them. That starts with looking at the players with a critical eye and reading between the lines, knowing that what is said may be smokescreens for what is going on behind the scenes.
It also means not taking sides in the political games that keep us locked on conflict. Republicans and Democrats both seem more beholding to money and power than they are to the needs of their constituents. We must be vigilant to make sure they don’t continue to use their polarized positions to sway us to one side or another and recruit us to support their efforts to bring us more of the same.
We must therefore go out of our way to learn about the political officials that are running for office and currently in office. Find out who donates to them (this buys major political influence), what policies, bills or laws have they implemented? Do they have ties to corporate donors? How do those donors influence their positions or benefit from the plans and policies they propose?
Being informed on who you’re voting for and who they’re tied to can make all the difference. Your vote can help make the difference!
In conclusion . . .
Millennials will be the key to changing the way we view our world. We live in the golden age of technology, so stay informed! With the right knowledge and effort, WE will be the ones to change the status quo.
We have the opportunity to make our system just, transparent and, most of all, OURS. Let’s be the change we wish to see in the world!