The art of politics in the millennial era. I
During the last years, we have seen reports, studies and investigations that have been published in the center of public opinion. Without a doubt, speaking of generation Z, X, and millennials has raised a series of characteristics that suppose to define them and at the same time isolate them.
We have all heard of those young people who, when they finish college, face a labor market that loves young people but requires experience, so they can not even pay their college credit. There have even been those “consultants” who have suggested not to hire millennials because of the characteristics that have been imposed on them.
In politics, there had not been much difference, where, promising them utopia, they were locked in the popular movements. Or, they were disappointed to have been part of a project that ended up belonging to the same traditional practices, inefficient and focused on enriching their own pockets and not the collective welfare.
Before all this, we see a complicated scenario but not impossible. The picture is appropriate and the army of young people, more than ever, has the opportunity to contribute something for themselves. Something that could well change the history of public opinion, as well as the institutions themselves and, above all, the way of doing politics.
Among this panorama, there are examples of how, because and who have known how to promote and take advantage of this boom.
First, Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). We know that it is not a reference as millennial in power. AMLO is 65 years old. However, his campaign significantly mobilized the country’s young vote. According to exit polls, the vote intensified in the population between 25 and 35 years (millennials) although it also obtained considerable advantage in younger populations and the rest of the age ranges. (here & here). The acceptance of the AMLO was seen from the polls before voting, where the satiety for the same corrupt practices, as well as a scenario where the participation in previous elections had already positioned him as “someone” in the minds of young voters (here).The strategies #UniversitariosConAMLO #AMLOVE clearly reflected an inclination for the populations that were born between 1980 and 2000: Millennials. The trend was clear, the importance of the sector was also clear to the others political parties, but only AMLO had the ideal environment to transmit a clear message, and he did. He turned anger into hope. (here)
Then, Nayib Bukele, the newly elected president of El Salvador, will be the youngest president in the history of the country. The millennial president, sought not only to be a young voice against the bipartisanship that governed the political scene. He also sought to be constantly perceived by citizens as a millennial youth. Having won with more than 53% voter registration, (here) is still by to see the strategies to combat the problems. However, for the moment represents one of the main references of the importance that the “new” generations have, not only as an electoral base but as the political generation that will determine the international political direction.
Third, I would like to name Pedro Kumamoto. Initiator Wikipolítica, this young Jalisco challenged the party system, as he says, to dignify politics. Elected as a local deputy from the 10th district of Jalisco, Guadalajara; not only represented a change in the milestone of Jalisco policy, but the national political landscape. The defiant and progressive proposals of the deputy demonstrated, like their millennial counterparts, putting young ideas at the center of public policy and requiring democracy to return citizens to the number one place in public administration. Proposal such as “Sin Voto No Hay Dinero”, as well as the elimination of the political privileges, challenged the mediocre move that the political parties had had until then, as well as the citizen’s hope in political participation.(here)
Last but not least, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). The congresswoman who has managed to be constantly on the public stage, in the good sense of the word. Things like quoting a character from a comic (here), or be the subject of one of the upcoming documentaries on Netflix (here) do not detract her from the ability that she and her team have shown to take advantage of social networks and to be closer to the people than many of their counterparts. Recently I saw him being named the queen of the meme. She is the youngest congresswoman in the history of the Congress and also, obtained one of the most overwhelming victories of the electoral contest as she won with 78% of the votes in her district (here). And where the information says that much of that achievement is due to young voters (here). Today drives what were his campaign proposals as the Green New Deal (here), which would represent not only a radical change in American industry, but a huge benefit to environmental pollution. The transparency he has shown through Instragram and the strong responses against adversaries on Twitter have allowed him to be a highly relevant figure for the political scene. With all this he is 29 years old. AOC, millennial, and against all odds, makes its way as a worthy representative of all of us who want things to be done well and really change.
It is necessary that political parties, people from the public sphere, institutions and social movements take into account the young populations, and with that, provide discussion spaces for their ideas, opportunity in work teams and places in public positions. Let’s give and generate spaces for generational interests now. Remember this, we are facing generations that no longer represent the future of our countries, but the present.
“We are facing generations that no longer represent the future of our countries, but the present”