I was born in 1993. I am a millennial. According to the media I am lazy and careless. Like other millennials I have my nose constantly in technology and some would say I do not listen to my elders.
On the contrary, from what I have seen, we millennials are the most informed, politically-savvy, and un-problematic generation we have.
The people born after 1998 to 2000, or so, are the ones we should be keeping our eyes on because they have never known a time without war; without technology.
We may have our noses in technology now as young adults, but we’re reading about what’s going on in the world. We are talking about the issues with our peers that live halfway around the world. From my experience, 14- to 18-year-olds aren’t to that level yet, and the people who are 35 years or older don’t really use technology in such a way.
My generation is just old enough to remember a time without cell phones and when video games were a privilege — not a staple in every household. We weren’t handed tablets to play with when we were babies. We grew with technology.
We grew up with Bill Clinton as president — a charismatic, empathetic womanizer who did wonders for the economic expansion of our country.
We also can remember 9/11 and the fear, hate and war that soon was the only thing on the television every night.
Then Barack Obama came and he asked our generation to “hope” and we thought, “hey, maybe we can turn this around.”
Not every president can do everything they promise us. Not every president is successful. (You may not like Obama, but we have to admit that he fixed a whole lot of problems George W. either caused or made worse)
Getting to vote for Barack Obama was one of the highlights of my life, and I say that quite confidently. I saw him speak two different times, once at The Nutter Center in 2008 before the primary and once on College Green at Ohio University in 2012 before the general. Both times I was in complete awe because I knew change was a-comin’.
Sitting in my freshman dorm room surrounded by all my friends watching the results come in was a moment that I will never forget. I knew that even if my vote didn’t really do anything because of the electoral college — I had a small say in re-electing that guy. I was one of those 58,720,700 votes.
With election days nearing, it’s time for people to start thinking about how they want the next four years to go. Will we choose hate, fear and war? Will we chose hope and charisma?
I can tell you that my generation will choose the latter; maybe not all of us, but a good majority, because we are aware. We are aware of how far those traits and those ideas have brought us. We don’t want to go back to those days of “In Memoriam” on “CBS Sunday Morning” listing all the soldiers who had died the week before, many of them the same age or younger than I am now.
You may not think your vote counts, but I believe it does. Register to vote in the primary by Feb. 16.
This is a challenge to anyone reading this column — go vote. We will never really know if our vote counts in the long run, but taking a few moments to check a little box on a screen is a small sacrifice to pay for possibly being able to choose what the next four years will look like. Vote or don’t vote, but this millennial will.
Reach this writer at 937-538-4825 or [email protected]