Voting Millennials

By

Leonard Zwelling

I am a Boomer (born post-WWII in 1948). My Baby Boomer generation has failed America. Our greatest contributions to culture were made in the 60’s and reflected at Monterey, Woodstock, and unfortunately, at Altamont. Music and drugs. That’s what we’ve given the country. We also gave you three presidents: Clinton, Bush 43 and Trump. Oy!

In the New York Times on Saturday, October 13, Timothy Egan begs for the millennials to save the country from the self-centeredness of the Boomers. The millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. They have a lot of good attributes but one bad habit they have is that they don’t vote. This is most unfortunate as they are a forward-looking group, unafraid of technology and the future. As Egan points out, you really can’t expect the Boomers to care about climate change. They’ll all be dead when the beachfront property in Nevada becomes available.

Apparently, under half of the millennials who could have voted did in the last presidential election. Seventy percent of the Boomers did. Do you really want your future to be determined by people who won’t be part of it? Like me? I didn’t think so.

The midterm elections are worse. In 2014, only one-sixth of the eligible people between 18 and 29 voted. That’s terrible! And it’s looking bad for the fall election this year as well as only about a quarter of the young people are certain that they will vote. Come on you guys. Get with the program and get out and vote.

The federal government in Washington is bordering on the dysfunctional. The president is not a particularly bright, informed or incisive creature and I worry constantly what will happen when he’s up against a really hard problem like a war, or a terrorist attack or a natural disaster. Wait. We are at war. Some of the gun violence in the country since January 20, 2017 has been terrorist related, and we seem to be having a natural disaster each week. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump is more concerned about Kanye West than he is about the hurricane victims in Florida and the murderous behavior of his new Saudi ally and friend of millennial Jared Kushner, millennial MBS. Of course, there’s always the murderous behavior of his other buddies in the Philippines, North Korea and China. Mr. Trump has a lot of nasty friends and keeps alienating the ones he should be counting on in Europe and Asia.

I am now officially old. Seventy is old. While I appreciate the fact that I am still allowed to vote and definitely will (a travail, given the size of the Harris County ballot), my generation should not have the major say in the next election. Those under fifty have the greatest stake in the coming vote and that means the millennials. As Mr. Egan points out, the current running of the federal government by an elected and unelected elite cannot continue and have the union be preserved. It’s up to the young to save us.

Let’s hope that they will. For goodness sakes, guys. Get out and vote!

Leonard Zwelling