I love you. You are fierce, smart, resilient, and creative. You inherited an obliterated economy and still managed to launch so many new endeavors it's a full time job keeping up with them. You work hard, have feelings, gave us Drake, and basically, bring joy and hopefulness to our daily discourse.
Fun fact: my generation was called X in part because we were puny, there aren't that many of us, certainly not compared to our parents (Boomers) and also because we were a little paralyzed by our parents' expectations. We zoned out, we stared into the middle distance (when we weren't writing novels, directing movies, starting tech companies, and rocking out) and for that they called us Slackers. But we weren't slackers, we were anything but. We just wanted different things than our parents wanted.
Lots of people call you names, too. They say you're Snowflakes. Too sensitive. They say you're apathetic. But I know that's not true. (See above.) I also think you've been waiting for your moment, and frankly I think this may be it.
Millennials, I come to you with this open letter because there are so many of you. Between 79 and 83.1 million. According to the Pew Research Center you are the LARGEST LIVING GENERATION in the United States today. You are BIGGER than the Baby Boomers. Let me say this again, you are BIGGER than the Boomers! And every single one of you is old enough to vote.
There are enough of you out there that if you actually vote--(not if you think about voting, or talk about voting, but if you get in line next to that weird cat lady who lives on your street and make it to the voting booth and pull the lever) and if you vote your values, the values that moved you to turn out in record numbers to elect the first African-American president in US history, then we might actually have a chance at taking our country back.
The candidates who have a shot at changing the gross imbalance of power that exists in the US today --the bullying, the cover ups, the cozying up to dictators, the lying, the IMPRISONING BABIES, the demeaning women, the lying--those are DEMOCRATIC candidates. Now, hang on a second. I know, the Democratic party is problematic. Very. Especially the old guard. And maybe in the future there will be a slew of viable third party candidates who represent all the things you believe in--but that future isn't here yet. The numbers just aren't there. Voting for a third party candidate this year, in a competitive mid term election (Hello Texas, North Dakota, Arizona, etc.,) will be a vote for a Republican candidate. Right now, the United States is a Republican Geriantocracy. My husband the political scientist came up with that word and it means a country ruled by its oldest citizens. In our case, it's our oldest Republicans. It's up to you, Millennials, the ones who stand to inherit the results of this current political cycle (You and your children) more than anyone. It's up to you and your vote to change this.
Millennials-- you care about racism, women's right, and LGBTQ rights, and there are a record number of women, POC, and LGBTQ candidates running for office right now, and from what I can tell most of them are Democrats. Vote for them. Take your friends to the polls to vote for them. Tell your friends to vote. Make a cool meme about voting (you guys are awesome at this) and share it on your social media channels.
Look, I know you know this but Trump supporters sent bombs to Barack Obama, to Hillary Clinton, to Biden, to Gov. Cuomo and to Robert DeNiro this week. Bombs. This is because those in power (Trump, and his enablers) have encouraged their followers to commit acts of violence again and again. And hey, don't "what about Maxine Waters" me. Shouting at someone in a restaurant is not the equivalent of attempting to murder half a dozen people with pipe bombs. To quote Emmylou Harris (a Boomer)"one thing they don't tell you about the blues when you got 'em. you keep on falling 'cause there ain't no bottom." That's what it feels like in America-- like there's no low too low. Only a shift in the balance of power will change things. You can help us shift that balance of power. But only if you vote. <3