A "coming of age" election for millennials

Published November 7, 2018

By Anna Beavon Gravely

by Anna Beavon Gravely, Political consultant and NC SPIN panelist, November 7, 2018.

Out with the old and in with the…slightly less old

The millennial generation is finally a bit more than Buttercup in the Fire Swamp. Millennials learned that though they are young, they can have an impact. As the fog begins to clear on the 2018 election, the upsets around the country are more than upsets – they are shifts. Whether it’s the defeat of Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) by 38 year-old Josh Hawley or Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA) by 40 year-old Abigail Spanberger, the upsets reflect a fresh perspective on the problems facing our country.

Blue moon or off-year elections are opportunities for voters to challenge the national narrative, and specifically the President. But this electoral swing and defeat of incumbents had less to do with a reaction to the President or national policies; it is about younger voices, diverse perspectives and new ideas.

Of the nearly 20 millennials that won Congressional primary races, eight of them are going to Washington to serve. One of the two millennial wins in New York received quite a bit of national coverage – Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s defeat over Republican Anthony Pappas. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman in history to be elected to Congress; she claims that title from its previous holder,  Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who won her third term last night, but was 30 years old when she was first elected to represent New York in Congress.

Millennials, having surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest voting block in the country, increased their voting turnout this year by 125% as compared to 2014; and 40% of millennials pledged to vote in this election. Young Americans are showing up not only to run for office, but also to vote. We are a generation that wants more than a shift in political party dominance. We want to change the age, gender and perspective of the people serving us in Washington.

North Carolina is falling in line. Representative Chris Malone (HD-35) and Senator Jeff Tarte (SD-41) were defeated by their younger opponents while millennial Representatives Destin Hall (HD-87), Jon Hardister (HD-59), and Kyle Hall (HD-91) were re-elected to the North Carolina General Assembly by large margins.  For a demographic that only had 17% turnout to vote in 2014, the results from 2018 are telling a much different story. And it is just the beginning for our generation. This was a “coming of age” election for millennials.

November 7, 2018 at 7:05 pm
Norm Kelly says:

Oh, Boy! Yippee! We are so excited about this! (not)

Is it good that millenials are coming of age? Or is it just that they are getting older? I go with the 2nd choice.

It has been reported, truthfully I believe, that millenials are the most self-centered, needy, socialist, under-experienced group in a very very long time. This is the group whose parents were called helicopter parents for failing to allow their kids to experience life, whose parents forced laws to be passed requiring ALL kids to wear bike helmets as an example. These are the kids who have been taught that 'white privilege' is a real thing, and believe that the solution is to tear down non-minorities instead of build up minorities. These are the kids who have been taught that man-made global climate change is a real thing. These are the kids who are going to decide on policies based on false premise. These are the kids who believe kids coming up after them should also be protected from life. These are the kids who were given participation trophies and taught that there are no winners in child-hood activities. Will they accept legislation that promotes the 'no winners, no losers' fallacy? Will these be the 'leaders' who believe stealing income from 'the wealthy' to give to 'the poor', as in a universal basic income, is the right way to solve poverty? If so, will they have the where-with-all to look at history to see that hand-outs haven't worked ANY WHERE IN THE WORLD for over half a century? Or will they rely on what they were taught in public schools, and cause us all to fail? Socialism has it's own destruction built in. Socialism is a system that can not survive, regardless of which liberal is in control. Will these 'coming of age' millenials be willing to accept this or are their minds already closed to alternative ideas? Based on college campuses refusing to allow diverse opinion or thought, I doubt many of these millenials have open minds or the ability to accept new ideas or facts. Like most libs, are these millenials automatically offended by facts?

As for the socialist from New York, she has demonstrated way too often that she is clueless. She spews good liberal/socialist talking points, with no idea what it really means, how it's implemented, or that there is a REAL cost to every wacky idea she spews. The socialist from New York proves how inexperienced and under-educated, fact-hating, some of the coming-of-agers truly are. I don't wish her or any of these millenials any bad luck, but I hope they fail miserably, and they are defeated for their failures in the next election. But, then, many of them will be groomed by the ever-wacky Nancy as House leader, so there may not be too much hope for them!

There are SOME good millenials, but they are few & far between. Too many of them are whiners, which explains why they are Democrats/socialists!