Google+

Generational Influences in 2012 American Presidential Election: A New Role for Millennials?

Generational influences will significantly impact our social interactions, labor force, politics, and practically every other aspect of American life over the near term.  This is primarily due to the increasing influence of generation Y, a group more widely known as the Millennials.

The following table is instructive:

Birth range             Generational Identifier        Age in 2012      Age in 2021

1922-1945                      Veterans-Silent                       67-90               76-99

1946-1964                       Baby Boomer                         48-66                57-75

1965-1980                       Generation X                          32-47                41-56

1981-1999               Generation Y, Millennial            13-31                 22-40

The political influence of the Millennials takes on increasing importance over time as they become an increasing percentage of under 65 workers and voters. In 2008, slightly more than half had not yet achieved voting age. That is not to suggest younger members of the group were politically inactive—many may have helped their older brothers and sisters in active political efforts in 2008.  But in 2012, about 75% will have reached voting age and by 2016 most Millennials will be eligible to vote. If we translate these percentages into numbers of eligible voters, that’s about 40 million voters in 2008, 55 million in 2012 and 70 million in 2016. In addition to their sheer numbers, Millennials should become increasingly influential as their older members begin to exercise their leadership potential and enter the political process as candidates.

Millennials, we should recall, are very computer savvy, entrepreneurial, tolerant and goal-oriented. They are passionate about environmental and social issues. They are not afraid of hard work and long hours. They like social interactions. In general, they are (or will be) much more sensible than their Baby Boomer parents were in the late 1960s.

Millennials want leadership and structure.  If they get it, they are going to follow with fervor—just as they did in 2008 with then Senator Obama.  If they get neither, they will either work hard for reforms or potentially foment revolutions as their counterparts have done already on the international stage in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya. This was especially clear in Egypt, where the revolution seems to have been led by those under 30. Advancement of social media worldwide works especially to the advantage of the Millennials.

Many regard Millennials as widely disengaged or disenchanted. They talk to each other, get much of their news from each other on Facebook or other social media, from reports that can be accessed immediately from iPads, iPhones or computers and occasionally from political satirists/comedians such as Stephen Colbert and John Stewart. They seem to believe almost nothing of what they hear from the mainstream media or from current GOP presidential candidates, with the possible exception of Ron Paul. The GOP debates were largely regarded as a reality show not particularly aimed at Millennials. After the GOP convention, as the nominee tries to recruit “youth,” a new comedy may begin.

Some believe Millennials will return to President Obama in even larger numbers in 2012 and 2016 than in 2008, but that is by no means certain.  While they can be engaged, passionate, ideological, and highly motivated, they may also feel that they have been effectively locked out of the political system by age and by the influence of multimillion dollar donors.  If they decide to use their political capital, their influence should grow because their numbers are larger.

Interestingly, their parents, the Baby Boomers, may be influential in bringing the Millennials out. The Boomers dropped out when they were under 30 in the mid to late 1960s but rejoined the establishment in large numbers in the 1970s.  Some Boomers could regard what’s going on now as unfinished business and encourage their offspring Millennials to finish the job. Boomers certainly know how to push the Millennials’ buttons.  It will be interesting to see how these generational influences play out.

 

 

Please Follow Richard on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pebblerick

 

Richard A. Hudson is a writer, reader and blogger committed to exercise, proper nutrition and health.  He’s interested in politics, economics, alternative energy, gardening and sustainability and has written brief essays on many of these topics on his bloghttp://richlynne.wordpress.com.  Despite his generally positive and optimistic views about globalization, he wonders whether we will survive current destructive forces that increasingly promote warfare among political and social classes. He is also beginning to think about the declining influence of the know-it-all baby boomer generation just as the next generation born in the 60s begins to slowly stumble into a dominant position in the U.S.

 He received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Chicago (1966) and subsequently spent 42 years in academics, gradually developing all sorts of interests well beyond his basic training.  He ended his academic career in 2008, having published about 100 scientific papers, reviews and commentaries.  In his last several years in the academy, his role as Dean of the Graduate School afforded him many opportunities to interact with students from all over the world seeking graduate degrees.

Entertainment

Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp

  The Bounce Back Film Review by Kam Williams Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp   Love guru Matthew Taylor (Shemar Moore) is the author of the new best seller, "The Bounce Back." Accompanied by his enterprising business manager, Terry (Bill Bellamy), he's been hawking the self-help book on plenty of TV and radio programs. Since Terry believes that "Image is everything," he's concerned that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This

  Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This Book Review by Amy Lignor What began in an unforgettable Volume 1—living Jerry Hall’s story and dealing with the heart-wrenching issues of the Viet Nam* War—continues here. The action of battle, fraught with the unending horrors that the “unwanted veterans” dealt with, grows even more painful. And as war comes closer to an end, what should have been peaceful … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Inside WildAid

  Inside WildAid by Amy Lignor   Donations can be made. Time can be volunteered. There are a great number of charities, organizations and hard workers out there who strive with everything they have to save the animals of the world. The National Wildlife Administration, the World Wildlife Federation – these are just two leaders that help keep our beloved species’ on the map. There is also an organization whose sole mission is to end … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Skeeter Boats Comes Up with Cure for Cabin Fever

  Skeeter Boats Comes Up with Cure for Cabin Fever By Craig Lamb   If you are overdosing on TV fishing shows, mindlessly flipping through tackle catalogs, or feeling down and don’t know why, then you are not alone. Count yourself among most of the fishermen in the entire country. We have cabin fever. It’s common this time of year when hunting and football overtake wetting a line on the list of weekend priorities. Or, it’s just plain too … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season

  The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season by Amy Lignor     Okay…we’re almost dead center, folks, so it’s time to sum up the best and silliest actions and reactions that the 2016 NFL season has provided fans thus far.   Analysts are always yapping, and most likely nothing they say will actually come true. However, right now almost everyone is agreeing to the fact that Tom Brady has a score to settle. Yes, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Charity Begins at Home

  Charity Begins at Home by Amy Lignor   Turning a blind eye is easy for some; preferred by others. But the fact is that the bad doesn’t become good – in any area – unless eyes are open wide to not only see what’s occurring, but also to gain the knowledge needed to stop the bad from getting even worse. Remarks are made about “other countries” and what they do wrong when it comes to the harming of animals for profit. However, in … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe

  Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe by Amy Lignor   Thanksgiving has been had. Games have been watched and the golden turkey has caused a great many belts to be loosened. So…here it comes!   From hanging the stockings on the chimney with care to the red-nosed reindeer who had to be there; from Santa heading down that chimney just right to lovely sleigh bells ringing softly in the night, the holiday season is a truly … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Forecasting Climate Change

  Forecasting Climate Change by Amy Lignor As with anything in this world, it depends on whose opinion or observations you trust as to just how bad climate change is becoming. As 2016 begins to wrap up, climate scientists, atmospheric physicists, chemists, oceanographers – you name it – no one can come up with any other explanation for climate change and the warming of our planet other than human activity. How fast is it happening? … [Read More its Good for You...]