Memo to Trump and Clinton: Use Tough Love to Win the Millennials

From left: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
From left: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

The Millennial Vote is being treated like a Magical Unicorn in the 2016 election. It is seen as something valuable and mysterious. As Dan Schwabel, at Quartz, in a piece modestly entitled The complete guide to winning the millennial vote this election recently noted:

As we head into November’s US elections, all candidates are vying for the millennial vote—and for good reason. Millennials are … a critical bloc for any campaign. 69.2 million are now eligible to vote, which is more than double compared to the past decade. When added together with Gen-X voters, 2016 represents the first time young people have displaced the Baby Boomer vote. At the same time, millennials are historically less likely to vote than their older peers, with only around half having voted in the last presidential election. Knowing this, there’s no question that all political parties will be pushing hard to get them to the voting booths this fall.

I, too, covet the kids’ allegiance. Yet I – an aging Boomer – confess to finding the Millennials mystifying. I am the father and co-owner of three of them (plus one Gen Xer). I know more than a few others. They’re Everywhere, and deeply enigmatic.

Yet I have a theory that could provide the key to resolving their riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. They have not yet found, but absolutely must conceive and declare, their own Narrative.

Let the candidates take note. Making this strong demand of them would be an act of tough love. It could pay huge dividends.

A quick glance at the new generation gap. Betraying just how old a fogey I am, let me recount a bit of conversation from a few years ago with a lovely Young Fogey Millennial, discussing a column of mine in the long lost ParcBench.com. It was about out how the Beatles, the Who, and the Rolling Stones (through, respectively, Revolution, Won’t Get Fooled Again, and Sympathy for the Devil) stopped an impending communist takeover of America and the West. Let’s add Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth.

The Young Fogey’s response stopped me cold: “That’s really interesting. I’ve heard of the Beatles.” So who am I to judge? And yet….

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Read the full article at Forbes.com.

Ralph Benko, internationally published weekly columnist, co-author of The 21st Century Gold Standard, lead co-editor of the Gerald Malsbary translation from Latin to English of Copernicus’s Essay on Money, is American Principles Project’s Senior Advisor, Economics.