In the United States, grave shadows lurk about. They are the people who run our country. Modern day politicians have little on their minds but getting re-elected and at the tender age of 22, I can recognize that.
I’ve only voted in a presidential election once, nearly 4 years ago when I turned 18. It was a cold November when I placed my vote for Barack Obama, the only figure I could justify heading to the polls for. It would have been a cold-blooded bummer if he didn’t win. The last thing anyone wanted was another distant, waxy, old white dude in the Oval.
The past four years have provided a unique challenge for our nation. Many things that I, as a 22 year old white girl, cannot control. We’ve seen abrupt change, radical racism, serious violence and harrowing gun tragedies. We’ve debated gun control, women’s issues, the patriarchy, the rights of the Supreme Court, the birth certificate of our president, racism, sexism and the creeping notion that we’re all doomed.
And still, in the dead of night when I get a notification from CNN that a debate is underway I tune in. Because that flash of light known as the future means there must be something better. At least, we have to believe that.
The modern state of the twenty-something voter is something of a farce. There are two distinct groups of people who come to the forefront of social media, and thus the forefront of the world.
The first, being the “social justice warriors.” They take to the internet with fire in their hearts and flames shooting out of their fingers…setting logic and reason aflame. They are largely white, self-appointed and well intentioned…yet grossly under-educated and insensitive.
The second is the “I don’t give a fuck” generation of swine who never weigh in on anything. They are privileged, ignorant and completely incapable of being adults, due to whatever pressure their parents didn’t put on them as children. Most of them don’t even vote.
These harsh statements may seem to come from a place of fear, but let me rephrase. These are the two “main” groups. The groups that get the most noise, the most attention. These are the widely recognized stereotypes that the media lambastes and judges as the representatives of youth today.
I’m writing this ridiculous document in an attempt to buck that notion. Because there are other people in between those two extremes that simply don’t know enough to weigh in. They are the key to the presidency. Mark my words.
We are not all overtly PC savages hell-bent on hating people who hate people, but we are…as a whole…trying to do good. We are trying to show love over hate…that intelligence will always win over ignorance. We are trying to be better. To get involved. We are trying to change politics. To change the ways of our parents and create a mark for ourselves. We are trying to change the hatred and the bigotry that rips through much of the nation at a higher level than we can even imagine.
We are trying.
But we’re not succeeding. Because there is nothing concrete to hold on to. It is all just words on a screen, and today I'm adding to that.
Because of the nature of our outlets...all internet and no bite...I feel as if the energy of the complacent, distant, tech-obsessed twenty-something culture is about to erupt. These people in the middle, like me…who want something new will someday burst. There is an element of danger, that somewhere deep in the chasm of social media and television there is an intelligent group of people forming opinions that could affect the state of politics for the next 100 years.
The intention is there I mean…to recreate an idealized version of America where all are respected and free. It minds me, partly because of my obsession with beat-generation writers, of the San Francisco acid wave of the middle sixties.
Though similar to this generation of free-thinkers in the U.S., we are farther from them than ever. Instead of being armed with psychedelics and radical music, free love and creative outlets…we are armed with iPhones, twitter…the blogosphere, youtube. Everyone gets a say, and if you are loud enough…if you gain enough support…enough followers…enough notoriety on this platform that barely exists, you could change the world.
It’s terrifying. And to any stale, old white guy running for president of the United States it’s a nightmare. They HAVE to connect. There is no choice for misplaced political jargon. There is only room for ruthless pragmatism.
Everyone’s thoughts are exposed. We are all hash-tagging debates…talking shit directly to the republican nominees via their twitter handles. We are shooting people in the face instead of the back. We are out for blood.
The dark side of the American dream is apparent in each word of the angry, ignorant, indolent, Republican nominees that disgraced my TV screen earlier last week. And I, a part of this middle group of people, was disgusted, yet not surprised.
The stiff, fake and completely irrational thoughts that surround this joke of a political party are hitting nobody harder than the twenty-somethings. People in my generation are learning how to not take what is given…instead, rejecting it in favor of something shinier, younger…a new iPhone perhaps has more value than the old model. Do you follow?
We have no way of sifting through the Democrats yet, but a flicker of light exists in Bernie Sanders. It’s hard to tell whether the political machine as fully chopped up Hilary Clinton, leaving her a shell of her once ambitious self. And it’s even harder to trust any middle-aged white guy this side of the Atlantic either.
This distrust of the system exists in a lot of young people I meet and talk to. It is part anarchy and part social consciousness.
We do not desire political parties, rather we prefer to hang in the balance. We’re straddling the line between being extremely careful and downright boring. There’s this inherent want…no a need to change, to communicate, to feel and think and examine the world. There just isn’t any tact. Any voice, any single person that can be put into power to wield our ideas.
Any political figure who can do exactly that…will become the president.
That is why we matter. Because although nobody is watching and we move in stillness…on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Vingle and Buzzfeed. We are the light at the end of the tunnel, and God damn it we deserve to be recognized.
Although chaotic and self-obsessed, we matter. No doubt any politician who even has a Kardashian’s worth of brains would step up and target us next.