The millennial generation is full of lazy, self-entitled, and politically-inept faux citizens. They wake up at 10 a.m., eat cold pizza from the day (or week) before, and then drive off to work at Starbucks in their 2014 Toyota Prius. Or do they? The demographic of young Americans born after 1980 has been scrutinized everywhere in the media and is often blamed for the demise of politics as we know it.
With a recent influx of Starbucks sipping hipsters, some older Mainers have merely given up and lost hope. Are these political newcomers truly the product of an entitled and spoiled culture? I think not. There is a glimmer of hope in our newly hired business professionals and their younger counter parts, students of higher education.
All over the United States (Maine especially), young men and women are graduating from college with large dreams and skills that their parents never acquired. These skills include technological proficiency, foreign language skills, better world understanding, and a life line to most social media outlets. Many of the older demographic see this as a threat to the way things have always been, and chose to lump all of these talented minds into the “millennial” stereotype.
What some fail to understand is the fact that liberals purposely recruit younger voters. It’s as if they are creating a feeder program for the next fifty years. Meanwhile, on the right, conservative politicians often fail to take their younger constituents seriously, and fail to bring them in and show them opportunity. Liberals have mastered the art of youth engagement, and quite honestly have outperformed the other side.
Yes, the millennials do want to change politics, they want to change their community, and they want to provide a better future for themselves; but who can blame them? Their parents and grandparents were also seeking a similar goal for themselves and their families, once upon a time. As a political entity, conservatives could interject into the liberal feeder system, and show these young activists a new version of the “old way.”
The way to bring misled millennials over to the light of fiscal conservatism is simple: talk business. Everyone who has graduated between 2008 and now has known little more than economic upheaval and a limping job market. We are educated (believe it or not), so talk money with us, and leave your social issues guidebook at home. Focus on the value of a dollar and provide us with ways to be successful in business. As the old saying goes, teach a man to fish… you know the rest. If we start showing these younger men and women why lower taxes, fewer regulations, and less government oversight create a better environment for economic growth, they will soon become an integral part of the modern conservative movement.
Eager young professionals are often turned away by those who think they have all the knowledge, all the ideas, and all of the understanding of the way things work. But the time to start training the next generation is now. Give millennials a chance to prove themselves! Recent graduates entering the job market are discouraged and ready to engage in the conservative movement, so welcome them with open arms. Trade their new-age ideas with your conservative ideology. There is true and sincere promise for a bright future in fiscal conservatism, but it must be embraced with a bright smile.