One of the pivotal questions facing Millennials in the next decade will be which political party captures the devotion of our generation.
Some have declared that the election of Barack Obama was a sign that The Progressive Majority has arrived, and that it will only grow exponentially as our nation's demographics swing majority-minority by 2050. However, having seen a number of politicians declare their particular ascent to power a mandate (W, anyone?), I wouldn't count Republicans out in the quest for our hearts and minds.
Just listen to what my Rightroots colleague, Jon Henke, has to say about the state of conservative politics, the role of technology as a disruptive force in dismantling traditional political power, and the preparedness of the "Me" generation (yes, that's us!) to rise to the challenge of innovation that new markets, such as energy and digital information litigation, will demand of us.
My conversation with Jon is the second in The 2020 Project, my commitment to talk with the 25 most dynamic Millennial generation leaders I know in politics, media and technology about their perfect vision for the next decade.
I selected Jon because he is a beacon of rational discourse, a fierce defender of personal liberty (holla!), and always gives a fair assessment of politicos from across the ideological spectrum. In the Republican Party's current state of fissure, he represents the slice of conservative pie that free-thinking progressives and independents want to keep on the menu. He may have worked for Fred Thompson, co-founded TheNextRight.com, and acted as an original signatory to RebuildTheParty.com, but you'll also find him on The Rachel Maddow Show making salient observations in the interest of the general public, whom he very clearly holds tantamount regardless of his clout in the Beltway.
I like to imagine a decade in which we can choose to use digital tools to organize around issues, not candidates, and use our power as individuals to incorporate micro-payments to fund the causes we care about directly. Jon isn't as convinced as I am that this will lead to a Libertarian Renaissance, but I'll keep working to change his mind!
As the conversation concludes, Jon and I discuss some of the issues we don't want to be talking about anymore at the end of the next decade. I won't spoil anything here, but I was struck for the gajillionth time with the realization that a lot of people on both sides want to solve the same problems, even if our approach is different. What that means to me is that our solutions aren't creative enough, and it excites me to know that within the Millennial generation is the power to reclaim some of the issues that have spiraled into squabbling and define for ourselves how we want to move forward.
Listen to these other 2020 Project conversations here:
Michael Skolnik, Political Director to Russell Simmons & Editor, GlobalGrind.com