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Millennials are growing complacent, petulant in civic duty

By Matthew Zacher ’18
THE ROUNDUP

After a historic election in which Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States, high school and college students were seen walking out of schools chanting “Not my President!”

The 2016 election will surely go down as among the most passionate and divisive in our nation’s history, so it makes sense that protests would emerge.

Peaceful protest is a sacred aspect of American democracy and it ought to be protected as it is under the First Amendment.

Just as frustrated Hillary Clinton supporters protested Trump’s election, it is difficult not to imagine Republican voters protesting a hypothetical Clinton election since Trump himself said he might not accept the outcome.

However, calls to abandon the electoral college and stop electors from honoring their commitments do nothing to heal the deep wounds found in our country.

What is perhaps the most troubling fact surrounding these protests is that half of millennials did not vote in the first place.

Roughly 50 percent of millennials voted in the 2016 presidential election, according to KQED news, significantly less than the 58 percent overall turnout.

According to Bloomberg, Clinton would have won the electoral college in a landslide with 473 votes to Trump’s 32 had only millennials voted.

If Millennials had turned out in a higher percentage, a real difference could have been made in states like Wisconsin and Michigan, states that Trump narrowly won, that have high Millennial populations due to the universities found within those states.

This “Monday morning quarterbacking” is a display of the complacency found within America’s electorate, especially our youth.

The United States Presidential election has very specific rules. The candidate who reaches 270 electoral votes wins.

Trump and Clinton spent all of their efforts campaigning in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and Iowa, and those states resoundingly elected Donald Trump.

While any peaceful assembly or protest is protected by the Constitution, the most effective protest is a vote.

Yet, young Americans have clogged the streets of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago protesting an election that half of their population did not vote in, with the belief that they are making a difference.

The right to vote is an American citizen’s greatest weapon, and to neglect it is a disgrace to the years spent ensuring the marginalized citizens’ of this country’s right to do so.

As President Barack Obama frequently said while campaigning for Clinton, “Don’t boo. Vote.”