Why the US millennials are calling each other “comrade”, openly debating government systems, and creating autonomous zones in defense of Black Lives Matter: A post-Trump US needs to be pr
epared for serious change with regard to government agencies, policies, and operating procedures.
- How We Think About Russia
The discussion I once had with my family following our watching of “Bridge of Spies” is a perfect example of how millennials view Russia in contrast with how our parents do. In our primary observations of the film, my Father’s initial reaction was to tell us that it wasn’t a great film because it was working way too hard to sympathize with the Russian spy. I can remember looking at my siblings to discover we were all a bit amused with this response.
To us, the entire point of the film was the relationship between the American and Russian intelligence agents. They were connected deeply by how much they had in common as human beings, that they both loved their countries, that they were both conflicted about their roles at times, that they both had very human feelings. We were amused, because it was our parents who taught us not to hate people because of their skin color, or social status. It was our parents who raised us to think critically and to act with love and kindness.
Thus, when millennials look towards Russia, we do so with an entirely new set of eyes. While we disagree adamantly with many of the policies there, particularly with regard to human rights, we understand inherently that the leadership is responsible for the policy. Not the people.
- How We Think About War
This millennial viewpoint, seeing the people as separate from the Nation’s policies is part of what makes this generation so anti-war. We were raised learning about the atrocities of war, and with the moral understanding that it is wrong. When we consider going to war, we therefore weigh the consequences differently than the generation which raised us. We think about the cost to civilian life, especially.
Anti-war sentiment among United States millennials has been significantly boosted by two events which occurred during our formative years: finding out we were taken to war in Iraq under false pretenses, and watching the drone footage of our troops indiscriminately dropping weapons from the sky on masses of people. When discussing military intervention, as a millennial I feel immediately on guard as a result.
This is also the reason many of us feel so passionately about the Bernie Sanders Not Me Us movement and are anti-drone wars. The statistics show that they are ineffective, and cause mass human casualty. We cannot, in good conscience, say that we will blindly support politicians who have supported continuation of drone wars. Many have dismissed this, and referred to this group as “puritan” voters, but I believe that is a mistake. This is about the millennial focus on global human rights, which is one of the crowning virtues of our generation.
- How We Think About Civil Rights and Human Rights
We were raised to be educated about the Civil Rights movement in our US history. We were taught in school and at home about the message of Dr. King. We also learned how he was gunned down. As we got older, we learned about things like COINTELPRO, the declassified CIA program set up to derail black leaders and the Civil Rights movement. When both the Republican and Democratic parties decided to take the red scare approach to the 2020 Primary Election against Bernie Sanders, we educated ourselves on images like this.
Watching a lawfully campaigning US Presidential candidate and his supporters fall victim to the same tactics the CIA used against Dr. King has further rattled many millennial voters like myself. This has further destroyed my trust in the “system” and my faith in our current democratic process. It is my personal opinion that Trump does not plan to hold a fair election, and that we are headed into an unprecedented and dangerous National election. I am praying at some point that the Democrats decide to discuss this. They are not doing so currently, because they think it will make them look bad to discuss the fact that the discrepancies in the Primary do not support Biden’s candidacy. What they are not considering, is that we are fully aware of this. They are not fooling any of us. Honesty is what is needed in this dark hour. Should we make it through, I hope it will open all eyes in this Nation to just how much reform must happen in our Government. We The Millennials demand it.