Take An Interest

editorial-logo3I like funny cat videos and I like sarcastic memes about television characters from the past and even about a certain politician’s hair. I laugh as much as the next person. But what I really like, what I really love is the freedom that I enjoy on a daily basis that allows me laugh at sometimes inappropriate things without the fear of reprisal. That is just one the freedoms that I enjoy and you enjoy but it comes with responsibility. We must make the choices for our nation by exercising our fight to vote.

What absolutely is not funny is the absence of millennial at the voting polls. This is not only a local problem, this is a state and national problem. In the May election for Jefferson County, the local primary that made many decision about out local government, the number of people under forty that voted was dismal. Of around 7500 voters, most ( around 5500) were 50 or above. The next largest demographic was age 40 to 50 which represented around 1200 votes. That means that the 22 year span from 18 to forty votes less that 1000. Come on folks. This is the age group that has the easiest time actually going to the polls. They are young and spry and to hear them talk they are politically informed. Why are they forgoing their opportunity to make their voices heard with their vote? How do we motivate the safe space, everyone gets a trophy generation to shake off the dust and take their cool self to the polls?

All joking aside, this is the largest generation, out populating the boomers and far out shadowing the sandwich generation. We, as the grown ups in the room, cannot let this generation make voting out of style and out of pace with their generation. We have short changed this generation on so many levels already. It was our responsibility to instill values and a sense of responsibility in the millennials. And, don’t get me wrong, some of them are thriving, responsible young adults. But, the number that missed the mark is substantial and it is that number that is driving the entire generation.

Do we appeal to their successful peers to step up and find the trigger that makes the millennial care? Do we try to amend our voting procedures to make it easier because this is the fingertip generation. They expect convenience and apparently voting, as it is done now, is inconvenient. Or, do we take the advice of one of their own and simple let the sloths stay at home, leaning on the most motivated of the millennial to make the decisions for the masses?

Of all the places that we have failed this generation, none is more glaring than their disinterest in their future. The I want it now generation is having a hard time seeing past the immediate. They want, and expect, a fast food future and for now, the boomers and the sandwich generation are still driving the train. If the millennial won’t even muster the energy to vote, how will they ever muster the energy it takes to actually drive a nation as complex and commitment requiring as ours? Sometimes a vote is more than just a vote. And sometimes not voting says so much more about the state of our future. We should all be scared. Something complacent this way comes.

Source: K. Depew, News Director