Millennials were the first generation to come of age in the 21st century. It was a noble birthright. It seemed as though all social battles had been won and all injustices made right. Everyone had a chance to a higher education, well-paid employment and the right to love and marry who they wanted. It was all a given. But wait!
Although we thought ultra-conservatism was a thing of the past, religious fundamentalism dead and the future securely ours, deep in the heartland, conservatism was still alive and waiting a return. And nowhere was this more evident than in the southern and midwestern states.
Fast forward to today and we now find ourselves at the most critical moment since the social revolution of the 1960s. Everything won back then is suddenly in jeopardy. The conservatives are back and they’re back with a vengeance.
Why this election is so critical is because the world we were born into is at risk of crumbling. The recession was only the beginning. This election will determine the way we live our lives for the next ten years, the prime years of our millennial existence. Anyone under the age of thirty will be forced to abide by what the Washington legislators decide for us.
Think for a moment about what is at stake. How many of us have been saddled with crushing student loans? How many have been forced to take part-time jobs at measly minimum wage? How many have friends of foreign background facing deportation after their graduation? How many females among us have been forced to take jobs paying less than their male counterparts, or who are worried about losing their right to choose with pregnancy? How many are, or have friends who are hoping to see their same sex relationships fully legitimized? How many have seen friends, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers sent off to pointless wars some never coming home? And what about our privacy? Do we want a government and its covert intelligence orgs watching and listening to everything we do and say? Conservatism is a repressive system that past generations fought long and hard to bring to an end. Great strides were made but there is still work to be done. Conservatism will bring a return to the good-ol’ days conservatives so fondly long for. And their way of living just might be coming back; back if we do not vote with our will two weeks from now.
What is really at stake is the Senate. Conservatives control the House and that will continue. The only defense against it is the liberal Senate. Conservatives only need six seats in that body to control it. And once they control that, they control everything and conservatism will once again dominate our lives for the next ten years. Do we really want to lose all the social gains won for us?
Edward Snowden, the millennial whistleblower, warned us about this. In my book ‘Saints and Dragons, Edward Snowden in his Own Words,’ available here on Thought Catalog, he said:
Recently, we learned that our governments, working in concert, have created a system of worldwide mass surveillance watching everything we do.
Great Britain’s George Orwell warned us of the danger of this kind of information. The types of collection in (his) book—microphones and video cameras, TVs that watch us—are nothing compared to what we have available today. We have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go.
Think about what this means for the privacy of the average person. A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves—an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought. And that’s a problem because privacy matters. Privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be.
The conversation occurring today will determine the amount of trust we can place both in the technology that surrounds us and the government that regulates it. Together, we can find a better balance. End mass surveillance. And remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying.
It’s our choice. What has been given can be easily taken away. Register now to vote! Go to the polls in two weeks and make our voices heard. This is our world and we deserve to live it our way!
Oh, and tell your friends! Every vote this time counts!
For a truly provocative read, check out Saints and Dragons, Edward Snowden in His Own Words.