Who are these people that the media’s been raving and ranting about lately? Haven’t heard about it? Even Kevin Bacon is poking fun (link) at Millennial’s lack of 80s knowledge. Little does he know, Millennials don’t care about the 80s. Or anything else for that matter, right? Unchurched, unpartisan, apathetic. Well, it’s time to debunk a myth or two from those born in 1980s – early 2000s.
“Millennials hate the government.”
Oh, man, I’m going to have a hard time debunking this one. Well, let’s get started. Hates the government? Well, maybe feels a tad betrayed at this point. This is a generation who grew up with the 9/11 and the Iraqi-Freedom-Whatever-It’s-Called-Now War, which was pretty much an excuse to mess around in the Middle East without true motive for over a decade.
Perhaps this pinnacle event and the not-so-minor partisanship in Congress is what has caused the trend that gives people the notion that the Millennial generation is apathetic. About half of Millennials are Independent, according to recent data released by the Pew Research Group (link).
Millennials seem to tend to be more liberal because of the backlash to the Bush administration of the early 2000s. The Millennial generation were extremely active in the presidential election of President Obama in 2008, and to a lesser extent in 2012, but this does not necessarily mean that they align themselves with the Democratic party, per se.
“Millennials hate everyone”
This one is true. In a disenfranchised type of way. The Millennial generation has the lowest level of trust of their fellow citizen among all adult-aged generations with only 19% of Millennials saying that, in general, most people are “trustworthy”. Perhaps some of the aforementioned government miscues also come into play here. Not only that, but people are finding ways to disenfranchise young people in general as well as minorities, who make up an increasing number of the population, which is 43% of this demographic, the largest of any age group. From voting ID laws to an increasing number of hoops one has to jump through in order to achieve basic rights, like registering to vote, to the skyrocketing cost of college and loan interest rates, younger Americans have a right to betrayed for the rights and opportunities they’ve been denied.
So, Kevin Bacon, while we may love your last name, perhaps you should stop being a part of metaphorically putting Millennials through the slaughterhouse.
The Millennials were the difference makers in the 2008 and 2012 elections both in their voting power but also in campaign support. Millennials are the future of America, and those who continue to bash them should, in the words of Bob Dylan, one of your generation: “Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand, for the times they are a-changing.”