Election 2016 left many Americans confused and unsettled. Dominated by divisive rhetoric, the election saw the rise of anger-fueled voters, too often turning out to vote against a candidate rather than for a candidate. Unsurprisingly, this phenomenon has left voters concerned that they will not have a voice under whichever administration holds the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. At the root of our political divisions is a rapidly changing country, with one group, in particular, possessing the potential to move the country in a positive direction.
In April 2016, Millennials officially surpassed Baby Boomers to become the largest voting bloc in the United States. These numbers are impressive, but many questions remain. What do millennials care about? How will they shape their own future? And above all, what will motivate them to exercise their right to vote?
While millennials number in the tens of millions, they are far from the largest group of voters who show up at the polls (where it counts). On the heels of Barack Obama’s masterfully executed first presidential campaign, millennial voting trends reached a high mark of 50 percent. However, this number pales in comparison to voter turnout of the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and members of the Greatest Generation, all of which achieved turnout percentages above 60 percent. What we observe in these statistics is that millennial voters are there, but they are not participating. Why?
Millennials may be the most pragmatic generation in American history. In both political parties, many politicians thrive by playing to the entrenched ideologies that motivate older voters to show up at the polls. Millennials, in contrast, eschew rhetoric for no-nonsense tangible policies. They are exhausted by the unproductive back and forth of modern political discourse. This generation wants a results-focused bench of leaders who will leave the limits of dogmatic ideology behind in favor of real solutions to real problems.
Opportunity is a coalition dedicated to advancing this mission. Our streamlined platform focuses on three essential issue areas under the umbrella of equality of opportunity for all: Global Competitiveness, National Security, and Energy Advancement. We support policy solutions that are realistic, by and for the future, and with an emphasis on addressing achievable targets. In 2017, we are looking forward to working with you, members of the millennial generation, to advance policies that will prepare us for the future.