Millennials include vast numbers of collegiates who were taught to be anti-white, anti-God, anti-capitalist, anti-male, and pro-socialist. They’re wrong, but how do you reach them?
Millennials are currently known as the young, clueless, rude college students who riot for causes they don’t understand, spew obscene words at anyone who won’t listen to them, and promote the same type of government that caused millions of deaths in Germany and Russia. Ranging in age from 20 to 35 years old (depending on what source you read), they will be the largest voting bloc in the 2020 election. This leaves many of us (myself included), scratching our heads, asking “How do we turn them around?” The answer, my friends, is awareness and education — not just for them, but for ourselves as well.
Katie Petrick, fellow Millennial and host of Healthy Republic on Freedom Project Media, recently gave a presentation entitled “Minding Millennials” to a mostly Baby Boomer crowd at a local restaurant. In it, she explained why Millennials are the way we are, and how the older generations can connect with us.
The first part of understanding this generation is understanding the culture we grew up in. For that, Katie breaks it down into two sections — before and after the Internet. Those born in the ’80s (such as Katie and myself) remember life before the Internet entered our homes. We remember playing outside. We remember using a card catalog and encyclopedia to do book reports in grade school. We remember passing notes and writing letters to our friends and talking on a landline. Those born in the ’90s are totally different. They never knew life without computers or without the Internet. They were introduced to the web at a very young age, received cellphones at a young age, and have always been surrounded by social media in one form or another (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Another major event Katie cites is 9/11. We “older” Millennials, as Katie calls us, remember exactly where we were when the planes crashed into the Twin Towers, and we understood the gravity of the situation. For the “younger” Millennials, they recall this simply as something bad that happened, much like some Baby Boomers remember where they were when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, while others just know it happened.
Breaking the Millennials down into two different groups is necessary because they exhibit some very different traits. This is because, according to Katie, the older Millennials were raised by Baby Boomers, while the younger Millennials were raised by Generation X:
They (Baby Boomers) came out of the Greatest Generation. So you have the grandparents being from the Greatest Generation, the parents being the Baby Boomers, and then you have the older Millennials. So I think there’s that hard work ethic that is passed down. Now, you otherwise have the Silent Generation (1925 to 1945), who had Generation X (1965 to 1979), who had the younger Millennials. Generation X — some call them the “Bust” generation — they were the slackers in high school, they grew up with the Grunge era, they didn’t care, they were fun, but they didn’t put forth any effort. But what you see now is they are actually the generation that has a lot of entrepreneurs — which is great for the country — but the issue that I see coming from that is that they are entrepreneurs, so they maybe just turn around and give their kids what they want.
Even though the Internet and being raised by two very different generations of parents contribute a lot to our mindsets, both the older and younger Millennials share the personality trait of “transparency.” This is thanks to the culture we grew up in. For us older Millennials, the first president we remember is Bill Clinton. I personally don’t remember any of the good things he did as president, I just remember the media constantly talking about his “sexual relations.” While that was going on in politics, in entertainment we had the culture-shaking introduction of reality TV; MTV somehow found a way to make people’s everyday personal lives entertaining, and we ate it up. Since The Real World debuted in 1992, dozens of reality shows have followed, giving us the impression that our lives should be glamorous, dramatic, and most importantly, transparent. Add to this social media hitting the scene with MySpace in 2003, Facebook in 2004, and Twitter in 2006, and you have the perfect little equation of narcissistic madness that results in the modern-day 25-year-old. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget that we were also products of the “self-esteem” movement.
In his book Selfie, Will Storr explains that the self-esteem movement was a revolutionary movement in the late ’80s and early ’90s in which new studies were claiming that praising people (children in particular) would end society’s problems. The result was elementary children being handed trophies for participation and constantly being told they were special. This has resulted in a generation of young adults who constantly require attention and want to be rewarded for showing up to work — regardless of whether they’re on time or not. Katie touched on this as well:
We are the “me, me, me” generation — Time called us that…. We’re a generation that needs to be reassured of things, we like that transparency, we like to know what’s happening. And we really want to know how we’re doing. More than anything, we want to know, are we doing it right? Are we doing okay?
Positive feedback is great, but children need to be taught that they have to earn rewards. When they aren’t, entrance into the real world and the workforce becomes a very rude awakening. Often (at least in my experience), these young adults get scolded for things they didn’t know they were doing wrong and may not have understood why they were wrong.
Not to put all the blame on our parents, but we grew up being told at home and at school how special we were, and that we could be anything we wanted to be. We were told that all we had to do was get good grades, go to college, and then we’d have a great job and be able to buy a house, and life would be great. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out that way. By the time I graduated high school, colleges had lowered their standards to a point where almost anyone could get in. I did, but I shouldn’t have — I wasn’t ready. But I did, and I was required to enroll in a bunch of “liberal arts” classes — the “isms,” as Katie calls them. At the time, I thought I was going to be so smart and worldly — I soon realized those classes were practically worthless. As Katie put it, we’ve been sold a false narrative, and now we have to pay the consequences of it:
It’s not about reading, writing, arithmetic. It’s about what social values can we instill in your kid, what can we indoctrinate your children with…. We’re hurting in our schools because we’re not teaching our kids. It’s more political agenda than anything.
Not only are our schools teaching leftist politics, but many Millennials find socialism appealing simply because they are dissatisfied with their current economic situation. They are old enough to see and realize that life costs money and it’s not easy. Not only that, but it’s unfair. Our parents were able to get through college with little debt, buy a house, and raise a family comfortably. Now here we are, 40 grand in debt, renting apartments, hoping we can afford a pet and feeling accomplished if we don’t go completely broke between paychecks. The promises of socialism — free schooling, free healthcare, grocery assistance, etc. — seem like the only viable option for getting through life relatively stress-free. Why should I (or any other Millennial) care how much control the federal government has as long as I’m being taken care of?
Millennials are largely unaware that socialism (like communism) sounds fantastic on paper, but in practice it’s a completely different picture. Few Millennials realize that because they’ve never known any different system. We are the age of Clinton, Bush, and Obama. We are familiar with food stamps, Badgercare, low wages, high taxes, and no privacy. We can’t understand what we don’t know, what we haven’t experienced ourselves.
A generation is defined by the characteristics of the people when they were “coming of age” — roughly 15 to 18 years old. These characteristics are a result of political, social, economic, and cultural influences. The Greatest Generation (coming of age during WWII) was humble, determined, and faithful. The Silent Generation (post-WWII) was respectful, conservative, and traditional. The Baby Boomers (civil rights, Vietnam) were hard-working, competitive, and disciplined. Generation X (excess lifestyle, materialism) are independent, lazy, and flexible. Millennials (Internet, social media, reality TV) are seen as liberal, narcissistic, and disrespectful. Of course, we do have some positive traits, such as being tech-savvy and flexible, but the negatives outweigh the positives. How do we change this?
According to Katie, it’s all about education:
It may seem like this generation is hopeless, but every generation blames the one before. I look back to our Founders. In 1776, they weren’t old guys. They were all our age…. These guys, they were us. So what’s to stop any of us from bringing it back? I’d like to think that continuing to let people know and open their eyes to this — I think there’s hope.
Many of our readers know that education has been on a steady downhill slide for many decades now. What many may not realize is that we (Millennials) are not ignorant by choice — we just haven’t been taught. I, personally, do not remember learning about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights at any point in school. I remember learning that our Founding Fathers threw some tea in the harbor, wrote the Declaration, and started a war, and we became a new country. I learned far more about the Civil Rights Movement than I did the birth of our country. So unless I take it upon myself to learn these things, I have no idea that our country’s problems are due to the federal government casting aside the rules written for it. If one were to read the Constitution and Bill of Rights, they would see that many problems could be fixed if our elected officials would simply uphold the Constitution. During Katie’s presentation, an older gentleman asked how to relate to Millennials and get them to understand that socialism is not the answer. Her reply:
We just need to be talked to. We need to be educated. Just talk to us. We’re not mean people. We want to be educated, we want to know — we’ve just been indoctrinated…. Have a conversation with us. Show us the documents. Engage us. We need to be engaged and feel like we’re part of things. Make us feel like we can make a change and we can do something, and we’ll see the error of our ways.
As a Millennial myself, I can say that Katie speaks the truth. As one who grew up in a Democrat household, I know that all it takes is awareness and education to turn the tide. As the famous saying goes, those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. What many people my age also need to realize is that horrific events such as the murders under Hitler’s Third Reich in Germany or the Marxist revolution in Russia do not happen overnight. They infiltrate little by little, piece by piece, so that you do not realize what’s happening. Before Jews were being shipped off to concentration camps, Hitler was nationalizing the police force, federalizing schools, and requiring everyone to carry IDs. These acts by themselves do not seem too harmful — especially if they’re presented the right way. This is what is happening in America right now, and as the largest voting bloc in 2020, it’s up to us Millennials to get our country back on track. To do this, we need to become educated. If you are a Millennial reading this, share it with your friends. If you are of an older generation and know a Millennial, engage them in conversation about what you have witnessed in your lifetime and how it can relate to them. It’s not too late to change a mind.
Photo at top: Anchiy/E+/ Getty Images
This article appears in the March 5, 2018, issue of The New American. To download the issue or to subscribe, click here.