This article originally appeared on Mode Media.
Before I begin, I'm just going to preface this by saying: No, I was not a political science major in college, nor do I have any experience running a nation. Yes, I keep up with my current events (no, not just celebrity news), and I've participated in one general election (though nothing more). Clearly, I'm no political journalist (or advocate), so instead, let me just give you the facts.
In 2014, it was predicted that only 23 percent of people under 30 were expected to vote. A recent poll conducted by Rock the Vote and USA TODAY revealed that only a small percentage of millennials said that they plan to vote in the Democratic (42 percent) and Republican (33 percent) primaries. And only around 60 percent said that they are likely to vote in the general election.
So where's the disconnect? If I'm being politically correct here, perhaps the younger generation, the reputed "future of our country," (gasp!) isn't all that fond of politics. And with a guy like the Donald leading the polls and Kanye West claiming he'll run in 2020, can you blame us? It's not that we don't care. It's just that we don't believe in how things are being run. And here's why....
We, as a nation, the supposed "United" States, are divided by the very system that's intended to hold us together. Identify as conservative? Boom, right. Liberal? Boom, left. And all they seem to do is grow further and further apart. In the end, how can we fully stand behind a party that we only partially support? More important, how can a bird expect to fly with just one wing?
This country was built on the ideals of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." However, we live in a world that doesn't always make it that easy. We face challenges from war, debt, poverty, civil rights--you name it. Yet the biggest challenge of all is that we don't believe in our own political system to create the change we need. And we're tired of the empty promises that it will.
Despite our lack of faith, millennials care deeply about the future of our country. But as this article from the Nation states perfectly, "All the passion in the world won't help us unless we learn either to work within or to change the current power structure."
In order for that to happen, what our generation needs is someone who will cut through the bulls--t so that we'll start actually giving a s--t. We need a candidate who is willing to give us something to believe in, something to fight for...to vote for, someone who will make us feel like we're part of something bigger than us.
Because we are.