As a millennial, I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with the amount of complaining coming from my generation. I’m going to present a short list of issues that I hear repeatedly from people around my age, and give a simple answer to every one of them:
- “I’m not involved in politics because it’s an old white guy game.
- “Politicians don’t care about the rest of us. They’re just in it for their own gain.”
- “All politicians are the same.”
- “Nothing they talk about interests/affects me, so I don’t bother.”
- “They don’t represent my interests/beliefs/opinions.”
I can sum up my answer to all of these in one word: VOTE! Yes, it really is that simple. You think it’s an “old white guy” institution? Vote for someone young. Don’t think politicians care about you? Vote in someone who has your best interests at heart. (Local is always a good place to start.) All politicians are the same, you say? Then find someone who you think is genuine and vote for them. Nothing they talk about interests you, or affects you? Well, you’re terribly wrong to begin with, but you need to vote anyway because you could find someone to be your voice in the government, who will talk about what you believe does impact you. Your politicians don’t represent you? Then find someone who does, and vote for them. I don’t care what side of the aisle you’re on, just vote.
Our government was set up in such a way as to include every demographic of voter in the decision making. If they don’t represent you, it’s because you haven’t made your voice heard. If you think your candidate of choice is the underdog, there’s a simple solution to that as well: campaign. In this age of social media, campaigning and garnering attention for a candidate is easier than ever so you have no reason to complain.
If all you do is show up at protests but don’t actually make a move to generate change, you’re part of the problem. If you’re crusading against big business, while on your Apple laptop at Starbucks drinking a venti chai latte, you’re part of the problem. If you’re demanding that others give away their money to help the less fortunate while refraining from giving to any charity, no matter how small, you’re part of the problem. We need people who will live and die by their word, not people who make a living off of hypocrisy. There are too many people in the world who talk a big game, but in the end, they’re just spewing empty rhetoric. Actions speak louder than words, as the saying goes, so unless you intend to be the change you enjoy preaching about, get out of the way.