It's being called a political crisis: Partisanship is the worst it's been in decades. Now, a few North Carolina legislators think they might have a solution: Building a political coalition based on their shared youth.
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) talked about his book The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis--and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance, in which he looks at how to engage adolescents and young adults to become independent, active, and engaged citizens. He was interviewed by Steven Olikara.
The Future Caucus, formed in partnership with the nonprofit Millennial Action Project, instead makes an explicitly generational pitch. As MAP founder Steven Olikara puts it, the caucus invites its 29 members to think of themselves as peers with a set of shared problems to solve, instead of the latest wave of foot soldiers in a decades-old battle for Washington.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2017
Contact: Morgan Guilbeau, 202-480-2051
As officials confirmed the United States will plan to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, Millennial Action Project President and Co-Founder Steven Olikara released the following statement:
"Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is short-sighted not only environmentally, but also politically.
The younger the voter, the more support we find for climate policies. In fact, a majority of millennial Republicans believe climate change is real and that we must act urgently. As a result, millennials are driving a major de-polarization of the issue. It’s now up to our politicians to realize this demographic change -- and change with it.
We must now redouble our efforts to build bipartisan consensus on climate. Relying on only single party interest is unsustainable for our future -- today's decision on the Paris Agreement is the latest evidence of that. Fortunately, we have millennial Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress bringing new leadership to this challenge. It is, after all, our generation that will inherit the outcome of the decisions we make today."
But it's not like millennials aren't politically motivated. This is a generation that is civically engaged, demands our country reckon with the ugly parts of its past, and uses hashtags to draw attention to causes and enact actual change. We just don't vote for some reason. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that 58% of millennials in one poll said they don't believe elected officials share their priorities, and 62% believe elected officials are motivated by selfish reasons. Our not voting only exacerbates that feeling, by allowing politicians who don't share our values to take office.