The Obama campaign also did a much better job connecting to the Millennials, the group of technically savvy youth born between the eighties and now, whose numbers in the voting ranks will only continue to grow. This group has been disenfranchised from the economy and has fatally accepted the crisis of 2008, or perhaps we should call it the Millennial Depression.
The Millennial Depression has impacted this group more than any other, with some countries around the world experiencing unemployment rates higher than 40% within the Millennial subculture. In America, more in this group than any other generation has accepted the fate that they will delay entering the workforce, marrying, buying houses, and starting families, the classic American dream.
They have some traits in common with the young people that lived through the Great Depression, but in one significant way, their lot is much different. The Great Depression was the first to occur at the peak of the great hope of the industrial era. The world’s capacity to mix human and hydro-carbonic forces for the welfare of all seemed to have a limitless potential in the 1930’s. And although the collapse of capitalism in 1929 put all in despair, the potential of industry to pull America away from the depression’s grasp was always the hope of the Great Depression youth.
But the industrial peak’s potential for prosperity was eerily also the greatest potential to destroy humankind in the world’s history. This devastating capacity was unleashed on the world by those that chose aggression over socialism as a path out of the Depression. America was thrust into a deadly battle that forged a unique culture among the survivors of both WWII and the Great Depression.
Their generation would work harder than any other to secure America’s economic and military freedom. They would use the power of industry for the good of all Americans. World aggression would be smitten from the earth for the protection of future generations. Collective bargaining would reign as a generation of escalating productivity provided prosperity to all Americans that would be the envy of the world.
The Millennials are living through different circumstances today in America. They have not felt the mass destruction of world war, instead viewing America’s battles as precise killing ventures using tools similar to video games. Except for the few brave men and women of our military, Millennial sacrifice is not in blood but in future earnings potential. The Millennial depression resulted in Middle Eastern wars against their own repressive regimes that have not yet spilled out into the world. As a result of America’s technologically antiseptic war experience, our Millennials are not compelled to be the policemen of the world or to carry the torch against world aggression.
In fact, as America’s role of superpower is being overtaken by China, our Millennials are content to meet their diminished needs without entering the race to the top of corporate ladders. Without this subliminal American compulsion driving their needs, Millennials identify more with and tend to vote to secure social equality. These factors, rather than wealth and material accumulation, improve their life quality and are what drive their voting decisions.
Republican’s traditional values are important to Millennials, but trending social issues are what drive their votes. Until Republicans adapt to the needs of Millennials or can change the economic circumstances that have disenfranchised them, Democrats will continue to enjoy their increasing support.