Millennials affect the masses


Katharine Hada

Professor Amer Araim instructs DVC political science students on the importance of democracy Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Katharine Hada, Staff member

Millennials throw a wild card into the upcoming presidential elections. 18 to 22-year-old voters, who have grown up learning about politics through highs and lows in past administrations, are now being asked to do their part for the American Government. Young, diverse, impressionable minds are now responsible for making a decision that will effect American lives for at least four years. However, millennials may not be as naive and idealistic as they portrayed.

The issue here seems to be that the millennial group is divided: The young passionate voters who see an inspirational figurehead in Bernie Sanders, drama lovers who are drawn to Donald Trump’s insane proposals, and feminists who are ready for a strong female voice in Hillary Clinton.

When it comes to an ideal presidential candidate, millennials are finding inspiration in mensch Bernie Sanders. He hates student debt, having gone on record as stating, “I just want everyone to get a higher education, regardless of their income.” He knows how to appeal to a younger generation with his positions on legalizing marijuana and increasing the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. He is also killing it on the presidential subreddit. His page alone gets dozens of posts daily, illustrating the effectiveness of a solid grassroots campaign strategy.

Millennials love drama, and Trump knows how to appeal to this aspect. He represents the American Dream where hard work and perseverance will help you attain everything you want in life. According to the Reason-Rupe 2014 survey, a whopping 64 percent of Millennials agree when Trump states that hard work is the key to success and 40 percent agree with him when he says that poor life choices and a “lack of work ethic” is what leads to poverty. Unfortunately, it isn’t that black and white, and that’s a gross understatement. Trump is potentially blindly leading further generations into making horribly uneducated decisions that influence the masses.

And then there’s Hillary Clinton who appears to be holding down the feminist contingent. Having recently appeared in an interview for Lena Dunham’s “Lenny” newsletter, she goes on record talking about her positions on equal pay, sexual assault on college campuses, student debt, and women’s health. For women who have patiently been waiting for a strong female leader, Clinton is a hopeful in attaining those goals, however, millennials have said they find something “off putting” about her. Back in 2008 voters compared Clinton to more of a “nagging mother” than a a leader.

When asked for their opinions on the matter, the Diablo Valley College community had differing opinions on the matter. Biology student Niko Dennis, 22, said, “I like nearly everything I’ve heard from Bernie Sanders. I haven’t heard much from other Democratic representatives, and I don’t like much coming from the Republican candidates side.” Alternatively, sociology and psychology student Lunden Davis said, “What I’ve heard from Donald Trump has been a lot of negativity around immigrants that I don’t necessarily agree with what he has to say. I haven’t heard anything from Hillary at all.”

So when push comes to shove, do we want a leader who fights for student rights, one who is undereducated and leads further generations into darkness, or a strong woman fighting for equal pay who also happens to sound like our nagging mother?