IFollowing numerous presidential debates, rallies and conventions, the 2016 US presidential election is drawing to a much anticipated end. The only predictable outcome to expect in the first week of November is the distinct reactions of shock and relief from governments, businesses and of course, the general public.
Another notable response from this election is the divide between congress which has trumped the potential for the youth to envision political progress. Millennials and young voters have always been deemed disenchanted by political processes and often are highlighted for lacking a connection. It is arguable that the US in particular is triggering a greater reaction from younger voters than we have seen in the last decade. How so? Lets start with previous presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders. Sanders is being heralded as a socialist democrat that is engaging young voters, namely students.
Many students took to furthering their support and sharing their political sentiments to social media too. A testament to Sanders' success in reaching out to a younger demographic, the popular use of the trending hashtag #feelthebern circulated Twitter, Facebook and even, Instagram. Young voters were being attracted to Sanders offering the prospect of democratic socialism and shaping his policies on reforming education fees and the distribution of wealth.
Unfortunately, the optimism inspired by Bernie Sanders and his policies has sadly been replaced with a much more cynical view of elections through the likes of Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. According to a poll conducted by UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion, a quarter of millennials have said they would rather have an impending meteor than the current candidates as their president.
The concepts of disenchantment ought not to be on millennials voter preferences as much as it should be on the candidacy alternatives itself. The issues arising from Clinton broach serious concerns through the WikiLeaks e-mail scandal as well as security and privacy concerns which has been on America’s political agenda for a while. As opposed to Trump’s well-known negative rhetoric regarding women and sexuality, immigration and his promotion of anti-Muslim sentiments.
Right now, there is a lack of integrity in candidate's advancing their campaigns and their proposed policies that jeopardises not only voter turnout, but a huge international concern on how this superpower will conduct itself in the near future.