Tuesday, November 04, 2008

bloggin' bout my [generation]

one thing i don't want to do on this blog, is get political. mainly because i've learned certain subjects, when brought up, automatically create divisions between people, making any chance for a meaningful conversation hopeless. in my own life, i've learned these topics include, but are not limited to, politics, religion, kansas colleges and sports, and contemporary vs. traditional architecture. i feel however this election deserves some commentary.

i'd like to talk a little less about the candidates and a little more about the people voting for them. more specifically those people between the ages of 18 and 30. although it's not an exact date, most of these voters find themselves in "generation y" or the "millennial" generation. i feel that people my age have finally "woken" up and are ready for action. we care. we have ideas. we want to be heard! we want that defining moment that every generation has! our grandparents fought in a world war! our parents rebelled, listened to rock music and brought civil rights to the forefront. what have we done? nothing...yet.

but it's about to change. i feel this is the "millennials" election. it's the first time we have collectively had enough people to flex our political muscle. we have become a demographic. the tools and technology that are second nature to us, have helped us be more informed and more active in politics then past generations! we can debate and share ideas through a multitude of social networking sites, text messages and blogs. even facebook is telling us to vote and can be used to find polling locations! not only has this transfer of information been digital, but it fuels conversations in the real world. i've had more insightful, and spirited political discussions with my peers in the last few months, then guys six to eight years older then me. grown men who have straight out told me they just "don't care" about politics. this is not a democratic/republican issue, it's an attitude! whatever platform an individual in this generation decides to take, they educate themselves, and stand firm in their beliefs. i feel we have become more active than our "gen x" and "baby boomer" predecessors.

in a way this election feels to me like a generational "coming out" party, but it won't be what defines us. i believe that after the election, we face our first big test as a generation. a looming economical crisis. being incredibly stereotypical, our generation, since birth, has been told how wonderful it was. our parents and teachers took great strides to give us anything and everything we ever wanted as we made our way through school. everything was designed to be easier for us. however that all changes in the work place. all the praises, high accomplishments and participation trophies don't amount to much when you're the newest member of an office and someone needs to be cut.

our test has begun.

now as i get off my soapbox, i see that i have several different ideas interacting and intersecting with each other. one idea is the youth vote and how powerful in could be in this election. secondly, the ideas and beliefs that define the millennial generation. following are two sources that do a much better job explaining these two issues.

first, an article written about the youth vote in this election by jonathan darmn of newsweek, who happens to be my age. in the article he states this energy and excitement that has been produced, can't stop on november 4th, but needs to continue for the next four years.

secondly a video of william strauss explaining this new and emerging "millennial" generation. it's an overview of the ideals and beliefs of the millennial generation, and why they came to be. he also begins to discuss how this may change the political landscape in the future. very informative, but an hour long.

although i find myself pessimistic about the future, i'm also very optimistic about the potential our generation holds to solve the problems that will face us.

for now....just VOTE!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well stated Mr. Eric! As an older, baby-boomer voter, I am overjoyed to see your enthusiasm. Nothing, but nothing, speaks as loud as commitment to an idea-- right or wrong. Learning and experience are great, but you need to have that spark of enthusiasm and drive. It's been missing for too long and I agree with you -- your generation may bring this back. And hopefully the process will improve to make it more palatable for your generation to improve the quality of leadership in our country. Go get em'.