What Do Millennials Care About in the 2012 Election?

Whether it is politics, the economy, the environment, or even something as trivial as propagating Internet memes, millennials are extremely vocal when it comes to our opinion. We have the Internet at our disposal and we utilize it quite well.

The 2008 elections saw a 51.1% turnout rate in voters under 30, but in the midterm elections, that number shrunk to 20.4%. In New Hampshire's Republican Primary, the number was a meager 15%. When we hear about discussions in Congress that go nowhere or stories in which members of Congress are out of touch with our demographic, we only have ourselves to blame. We've heard Senators compare the Internet to a series of tubes, and we've seen political careers fall apart because of their inability to properly use social networks (Chris Lee and Anthony Weiner).

We voiced our opinion in 2008, but somehow we faltered in 2010. We prided ourselves in our high turnout when deciding a president, but we then gave him a Congress that has stalled progress. It certainly shouldn't be seen as a less important body of government. How can we say that Congress represents us, when we didn't even show up to vote?

Sure our generation is diverse and just like those that came before us, we have very different ideas regarding how our country should be run. But as a whole, we're still branded as 'just millennials.' We have all heard that we're a lazy bunch of over-entitled roustabouts with no direction and only have flimsy pieces of paper valued anywhere between $15,000 and $200,000 to justify our 'arrogant' attitudes.

There's an election this year, just like there is every two years, where we have to decide our future, not our parents' or our grandparents' future. We have the ability to shape our history.

It isn't the least bit crazy to think that together we truly could create some sort of change on a national level. Take Iceland for example, where young people helped to basically crowdsource their constitution.

Weigh in: What do millennials want in 2012? What is the number one issue that you would like to see the president and Congress address during this election cycle?

Photo Credit: hectorir

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Ryan McManus

Graduate of Syracuse University, majoring in International Relations. Co-Founder of Tripped Media. I don't fit in with any party and have a buffet-style political ideology, much to the ire of friends with whom I discuss politics. Fun fact: I got to watch Gordon Brown get booed at a European Parliament session. It was a zoo in there.

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