Editorial: Millenials, We are the Solution to Political Polarization


We brace for impact every time an article pops up with “Millenials…” in the title. We expect to read how millennials are self-absorbed, non-committal, indifferent, and single-handedly destroying everything that was once good in America. 

There are numerous problems with pitting generations against each other. It creates a belief that a particular generation is considered a ‘winner.’ Currently, millenials, and generation Z, are responsible for undermining a wide array of ‘true’ American values including the family, individualism, hard work, etc. 

The younger generation has become a scapegoat for the many, and immense, problems America faces today. By pitting the young against the old, we are merely widening political division. 

What is most bothersome is that millenials and generation Z are written about as threatening rather than improving American society. Instead of promoting decisiveness through fear-mongering rhetoric, we should appreciate the differences between generational experiences and how these differences will create a better tomorrow. 

We grew up in a world where terrorism is the norm. Within a world where gun violence is a regular occurrence. We developed computer skills faster and understood social media as a way of life. We grew up with an educational commitment to shed light on failures in American policy and fostered empathy for marginalized groups. 

We represent a more tolerant, innovative, multicultural, intersectional, inclusive and advocacy-based America. We are focused on social and economic justice. We support women as workers and as mothers.

We are the new-age feminists, civil rights activists and gay rights champions. We are more willing than our parents and grandparents to engage in hard conversations about race, sexual orientation and political identity. 

We are more open to debate and  giving time to the other side. We are more willing to respect differences. We have powerful voices that are focused on issues we are most passionate about. We are equipped to create real and lasting change.

Although most rhetoric about millenials and generation Z argues that we create political polarization, We disagree. As a generation, we have learned the importance of listening. In our everyday exposure to peers who have different political identities than us, we have developed both argumentative and empathetic skills. Interactions with peers on campus give us hope that there is common ground between political ideologies and we are the generation to capitalize on it. 

Our generation is more willing to climb the political empathy wall than previous generations. That in itself provides hope for the future and negates the belief that young people are the problem. We are the solution.