An Open Letter to the Millennial Voter
I, like many of you, woke up in my urban apartment this morning aghast and confused at how what seemed like such a sure thing could possibly have ended up this way. How an entire country founded on the ideals of acceptance and freedom could have so readily and willingly handed the keys over to a stark raving bigot in a bad toupee. Who are the people that wholeheartedly embraced this outcome? Who are the people that used their most powerful decision to undermine the freedoms of their fellow Americans? Who? How? WHY?!
The answer hasn’t come but I’m honestly not sure it matters and I’m even less sure we should put effort into understanding how or why. I’m sure, like me, you’ve toyed with the notion of moving abroad. Maybe you’ve even, like me, googled things like Pitcairn, Panama, or Emigrating to Mexico. Maybe you looked at all the paperwork and, like me, started to feel homesick without even having taken a step from bed.
Then I got angry, and I hope you are too.
We can not lay blame on one subset or group or any such simple thing. We can not lay blame at the feet of anyone but ourselves. We heard and saw the chants and cries of our family members and friends and we laughed at what we thought was just Thanksgiving eye roll material. We made memes and ironic hats and sat back smugly believing that justice would win out in the end, but justice needs someone to enforce her (she is blind after all). We believed that because our social media spheres mirrored our own beliefs that we had nothing to worry about. That we could sit back on our couches with a glass of red and watch a historic moment as we did in 2008. But that is the job of all those algorithms. To tailor an experience that emboldens and empowers the views you already hold. To show and sell you things you already wanted. And so our view was clouded, and now, here we are.
I don’t know what to do with ‘here’. ‘Here’ I am out of my depth.
I spent a few hours pouring over the numbers trying to understand. and then I saw the map. The map that shows how We voted. Wholly and fully in favor of peace; of progress. It will be four more years until we can exercise that option again, though. Four years and another generation on our side until we can right this wrong.
We can not change the past. We can not change this outcome. As easy and wonderful as that would be we are no longer at a juncture where a simple answer is the right answer.
What we do have is the power beyond our vote. We have our skills, our time, our money, our sphere of influence. We have an army of youthful exuberance that hate can not topple.
What we can do is to come together. We can refuse to work for people who think this path, the one they’ve forced us down, is something this country stands for. We can refuse to buy and sell to racism. We can remove this cancer by refusing to feed it with our own hands and minds. We have power, but only together. We have power to lead them if not into believing at least in to accepting that we will not allow their way of dealing with the troubles of our society any longer. We will not allow that some must be stomped down, hidden, or killed so that a fear of the future can be assuaged.
I didn’t set out today to pen some screed to the battered masses but ‘god’ damn if that’s not what I’m doing. I’m asking each and every one of you with a tear in your eye today to vow not to support this any longer. I’m asking that we stand together and fuel a message of peace and freedom. I’m asking that you hit those who would divide us where it hurts. To take your labor, your creativity, your time and put it all to use against the message of hate. I’m asking that each and every one of us millennial voters show this country our joined power by using it to fuel OUR message. To take back this country as we did eight years ago and set it back toward Hope.
This isn’t just a four year battle and it won’t happen overnight, but we can not, through apathy and inaction, allow this to happen again. This is a battle for OUR country. A country of opportunity, and we have one here in front of us. To rid ourselves of privilege. To stop dividing and to start embracing. To tear down all of those weights and measures in place to hold back peace and progress. For now, and for four years from now. For the sake of our coming children and the small ones already here. We need to come together and stand against the powers within that want to silence or stifle our otherwise powerful and indomitable voices.
We have the power now. Will you use it?