Whether it’s avocado toast, selfies or socialism, millennials always seem to be in the news. But what exactly is a millennial? While the media tend to portray millennials as a fixed age group, not all researchers agree on the exact parameters. Pew Research, for example, defines millennials as those born between 1982-1996, while researchers William Strauss and Neil Howe define them as those born between 1982-2004. Further, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation defines millennials as those born between 1980-1999.
A generation’s unique coming of age experiences certainly sheds light on certain trends. For example, members of the “GI” or “Greatest Generation” all experienced World War II which shaped their perspectives and gave them (for the most part) common cause, common patriotism and shared values of duty, honor and country.
However, tracing generational patterns differs significantly from the current exploitation of the millennial generation which ascribes to millennials specific political values, moral (or lack of moral) priorities and a narcissistic philosophy of life. As if just because you were born in the 80’s and 90’s, you must have certain beliefs and values. This presupposes that a person born in the 80’s and 90’s, must have certain beliefs and values. It assumes that the stars align for a person’s birth and according to the generational horoscope, he or she must be a socialist. Such assumptions about millennials deny a person’s individual ability to think for himself or herself.
Consider the many articles which instruct employers on how to “help” their millennial employees whose generation-specific perspectives clash with their own. Consider the policy consultants who teach candidates how to “reach millennials.” Or branding specialists who design marketing schemes “for millennials.” No equivalent exists for Gen X, Boomer or the Silent Generation. No one says, “I can help you sell a vacuum cleaner to a Gen Xer” or “I can win the Silent Generation voting bloc for you.”
The answer lies in the numbers. According to Pew Research, in 2019, the number of millennials will surpass the number of baby boomers. This means that they will comprise the largest number of product-purchasing adults. It also means that they will comprise the largest number of voting adults.
Creating (and marketing) a specific value-system would be a useful tool to control a group of people, would it not?
Having a specific (albeit dictated) value system feeds a person’s natural desire for community and acceptance. So, millennials who do not participate in the “millennial values” scheme are made to feel different, non-conformist and unaccepted by their age group. The use of social pressure reinforces the value-system pre-ordained by the media and popular culture.
Consider a recent internet ad: “Best Places to Live for Millennials.” Implication: If you don’t like living in these types of places you’re a loser. Marketing this way causes a person to re-think his or her own thoughts and opinions to conform with what “everybody my age” is doing.
On a lifestyle level, consider a church-attending male who doesn’t sleep with his girlfriend. Rather than being praised for having standards, he is made to feel odd. Consider the conservative female who has traditional values of family and femininity. She is made to feel old-fashioned, out-of-touch and an outlier in her generation. Thus, promoting the millennial label as a value-system creates ideological conformity through social pressure. This is a genius move if you want to win elections, raise money or sell products because it controls how an entire generation thinks of themselves and their place in the world.
Because of this perceived “value system,” millennials have been transformed into both a grievance group and a voting bloc. Re-enforced by the public narrative, many millennials believe themselves to be victims of student loan debt, victims of parents who didn’t teach them proper “adulting” or victims of a society that doesn’t understand how to meet their self-esteem needs. Additionally, public opinion expects millennials, as a voting bloc, to support big government, social programs, massive debt and wealth re-distribution.
However, the expected millennial value system denies one basic thing: that people have the freedom to think for themselves. Pushing a generational ideological agenda strips people of being able to have their own thoughts and opinions. In short, the millennial value system, stands as an oppressive form of thought conformity which leverages social pressure to achieve generational groupthink. As such, the fabricated millennial value system could actually qualify as a social construct.
This fabricated social construct seeks to deny independent thinking and to exploit both the buying and voting choices of an entire generation. It is time for millennials to think for themselves, to reject labels and to oppose generational groupthink. Rather than be a grievance group defined by socialist leanings, student debt and narcissism, millennials need to have the courage to think independently, to pursue honest dialogue and to reject the bankrupt ideas public opinion expects them to believe.
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the generational group-think considered to be “millennial values.” Rather, they are written by a non-conforming, independent thinker who happens to have been born in the 1980’s.
Originally published on Patriot Post, July 5, 2018
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Recent Pew Research data reveals a Democratic trend among women voters. A majority (56%) of women identify or lean Democrat (a 4% increase since 2015). Additionally, a majority (70%) of Millennial women identify as Democrat, a dramatic change from 56% four years ago. While many women vote Democrat from a “compassionate” perspective, here’s why they should reconsider:
1.Poverty: “I’m a Democrat because I care about the poor” is not an uncommon statement, but is it true? Do Democrat policies actually help the poor? Welfare and entitlement programs have arguably been the greatest contributors to the breakup of urban families in the last several decades. By incentivizing lack of work, unwed motherhood and fatherlessness, welfare programs have created generational poverty and most tragically, have contributed to the loss of dignity in poor communities. Caring about the poor should mean empowering their dignity, worth and potential by incentivizing them to be employed and self-sufficient.
Work requirement policies have helped this tremendously. Seeing the poor not as social caste, to be exploited for their vote, but as people worthy of opportunity, changes their view of themselves and society’s view of their situation. Democrat welfare policies keep the poor impoverished. Market-oriented policies empower the poor to join the dignity of the American Dream.
2. Abortion: “Abortion hurts women” is not a political or religious statement. It’s a scientific fact. Whether it is increased substance abuse, increased suicide risk, or complications in subsequent pregnancies, abortion harms women physically and psychologically. In addition, Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, receives half a billion dollars annually from taxpayers. Giving taxpayer money to an organization built on exploiting women and profiting from their crisis is unacceptable.
3. Education: Women understand the value of education. When it comes to our nation’s children, educational opportunity should not be limited to a zip code. Democrat policies continue to pour more money into failing public schools, while teaching pornographic material as “education.” This is unacceptable. Women deserve better for their families. They deserve school choice.
4. Guns: Women are more likely than men to be sexually assaulted, raped or to be victims of other sexual crimes. More women are the single caretakers of the home than in previous generations and more women have to walk through a dark parking garage after working late. On average, it takes 10-15 minutes for the police to respond to a call, which is inadequate to save a woman from sexual assault. For women, a gun provides safety. While not every woman feels comfortable carrying a weapon, those who do should be able to protect themselves. If a gun can save one women from being raped, that is enough. Her right to defend herself should be protected.
5. Border Enforcement: Democrat policies fail to address the criminals and drugs pouring over the southern border. In 2015, 32-year old Kate Steinly was fatally shot while walking with her dad in San Francisco. Her murderer? A five-time deported man who, at the time, was on probation in Texas for seven felonies including unauthorized reentry, narcotic manufacturing and heroin possession. In addition, the MS-13 gang members who enter primarily though the southern border, commit criminal activity including extortion, robbery, prostitution, drug dealing, rape and murder following their motto, “Kill, Rape, Control.” The lack of border enforcement has exacerbated the opioid crisis, which claims 115 American lives every day due to overdose, according to the National Center for Drug Abuse. Fentanyl, an extremely powerful opioid with a lethal dose of just 2 mg, has been pouring through the southern border. CBS News reports: “The amount of fentanyl U.S. customs officials seized illegally entering the United States has more than doubled since 2016 to 1,370 pounds, with the vast majority coming in through points of entry on the southern U.S. border.” To give perspective on the drug’s potency, last month authorities in Nebraska seized 118 pounds of fentanyl. This amount could kill at least 26 million people.
Women deserve common-sense border enforcement that protects our citizens from both violence and drugs.
Women are not just voters. They are teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, engineers and CEOs. They are daughters, sisters, aunts, wives, mothers and grandmothers. They care about their families and their communities. Women need to reconsider their priorities and reject the toxic, victim-based identity-politics which are leading our country nowhere. Women must choose whether to view themselves as oppressed or empowered, as victims, or victors, as rageful or rational.
The Democratic policies based upon the exploitation of the poor in welfare, the exploitation of women in abortion, the lack of quality in education, the lack of compassion for women protecting themselves and the lack of border enforcement policies has rendered the Democratic party and its policies unacceptable. The truly empowered and intelligent woman should face this reality and have the courage to be a conservative.
Image credit: Bavorndej/BigStock
Originally published on Patriot Post, June 28, 2018