By Brandon Quach, Managing Editor
Not too long ago I used to say, “I’ll leave politics to the people that know what they’re talking about,” until I realized that nobody actually knows what they’re talking about when it comes to politics.
Unfortunately, many other voters in the millennial age group don’t recognize the importance of their vote. Only 50% of millennials cast their ballots during the 2012 presidential election and my generation has also been deemed the least likely to vote. So how are this election’s candidates working to get the young votes they need?
If you’re like Hillary Clinton (or should I say Chillary Clinton… AMIRIGHT?!) you take to Snapchat along with bacon lover John Kasich. However, the arts and entertainment were not forgotten paths to millennial outreach as many candidates, including Ben Carson, Bernie Sanders and Rick Perry, decided that using song and dance to appeal to today’s youth was the hip thing to do. Jeb Bush and Martin O’Malley also took to Twitter to generate some support with the help of the force and adorable animals.
Candidates are using social media platforms as well as associating themselves with popular television personalities and shows like Ellen or Saturday Night Live. This would be great if these candidates actually knew what they were doing. Every attempt they have tried to appeal to young voters seems like an attempt my parents would make to try and convince me that they’re cool.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) September 4, 2015
— Martin O’Malley (@MartinOMalley) October 29, 2015
While many of these attempts seem to be huge flops, there has been some success and potential success in the making. Clinton’s media campaign and media team have been compared to disruptive outlets like BuzzFeed and Vox, which will help prevent more Snapchat fails no matter how much we all want to see another.
Some speculate that millennial dreams of Change and Hope in 2008 and 2012 were crushed when they realized that politics just seem to change for the worse and you can only hope for an outcome that might not be bad, but definitely isn’t good either. This dream-crushing realization is supposedly what prevents millennials from voting today.
That’s where Sanders comes in to save the day. Following in the footsteps of MC Hammer, Sanders remains too legit to quit. Rarely, if ever, has he changed his stance on important issues and he does not like to attack opponents for personal gain. This legitimacy and transparency has helped Sanders pick up speed and momentum with millennials.
Republicans have it rough with the younger demographic and so getting millennials to vote, especially for them, will be significantly harder than it is for Democrats. They have launched a “GOP Millennials” page on their website and candidate Marco Rubio has been campaigning with the tagline “A New American Century” and has recently released this new ad in hopes of reaching the under 30 crowd. Despite this, I believe that the Republican effort to engage millennials is still behind their Democratic counterparts.
A gold star goes to both parties for actively using Facebook and YouTube during the debates to answer questions from millennials and to better engage the age group. Another star goes to the Rock the Vote campaign that encourages young people to vote regardless of who they support as well as to P. Diddy’s 2006 “Vote or die” campaign. Let’s be serious for a moment, though. All the stars in the sky go to Ted Cruz for this gem.
Enjoy thug life Cruz and remember, whether you’re a Republican, Democrat or third party supporter, if you’re an American citizen, then it is your right and obligation to vote. Get informed and get to the ballots.