A new poll was put out this week by Harvard’s Institute of Politics. Normally polls aren’t that interesting, but this one had something curious to say, with interesting implications for politics. This poll, put out by the Institute of Politics notes that, among Republican college-aged voters, Trump is leading at 22%, with Carson near him at 20%. Among Democrats of the same age, Bernie Sanders leads at 41% with Hillary behind at 35%. These Millennials said that “integrity, levelheadedness and authenticity” were things they wanted in a future President. These characteristics tell us something about what Millennials value.
In the past, many voters valued experience in a politician, but that seems to be changing in favor integrity. The willingness to stand by one’s principles, whether right or wrong, is something that Millennials value. This is because we’ve been taught to value authenticity, or “staying true to yourself.”
It’s interesting to note that, in the cases of many major presidential candidates, the qualities that Millennials have been taught to value are beginning to change America’s political priorities. While many might disagree with Trump or Carson, it’s almost impossible to deny that each man sticks to his guns. In the case of Ben Carson, it is almost impossible to find an example of deeply immoral conduct. Trump, demagoguery aside, isn’t afraid to fight the PC crowd and their mass media cohorts. Even Leftists like Bill Maher have admitted that he doesn’t bend to nonsense.
Among Democrats, the principle is more mixed. Hillary is successful, but carries considerable suspicion for her checkered past. Her issues won’t be noticed by hardcore supporters, but some find them troubling. But Bernie Sanders, like Trump and Carson, is a man who is willing to stick to his principles, whether others like them or not.
The poll also noted that Millennials have little hope for the future. 48% said that the American dream is dead, with only 49% saying it was still alive. Divided between those who were enrolled in college and those who aren’t, the numbers changed to 58% of graduates saying the American dream is alive versus 42% of non-graduates saying it was alive. This helps us see that, for whatever reason, Millennials don’t find the normal life of middle America to be as possible as it was for our grandparents and parents.
As Millennials move into the workforce, this mix of pessimism and a desire for authentic leadership will likely prove to be a major factor in the future of American politics.