The 2016 election saw an array of new players enter the social and political arena, not the least of which was the new president-elect. The media, politicians, writers, journalists, comedians, political analysts and aspiring political activists all capitalized on the political groundswell.
Half the nation was captivated while the other half counted down the days to the election when all the madness could be over. But it’s not over. In fact, it’s only getting started.
This entire election process heralded a surge in political activeness and fervor among a new generation. Impassioned millennials have come out in droves largely to protest what they perceive to be racism, bigotry, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, islamophobia, xenophobia (did I miss any?), etc.
Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE is, in many of these activists’ eyes, the manifestation of all of the above. Defeating Trump was the agenda. But now that he has been elevated to the presidency, the new status quo seems to be to proclaim louder and louder through protests, rallies, riots and human traffic blocks, that Trump is no more their leader than President Obama is to a Pakistani.
This portion of the Left were motivated by Trump’s rhetoric and lashed out. Say what you will about the rhetoric, but we are now seeing among the youth political activism like never before. Like a chain reaction, heightened interest in politics amid my fellow millennials has unfurled on both sides of the spectrum and everywhere in between.
Let us examine the reaction:
Donald Trump announces his candidacy for president to the amusement of the media outlets throughout the nation. They know his campaign won’t amount to much more than an entertaining spectacle, a notion further backed by his controversial and anti-politically correct stances on immigration: the first major issue he addressed.
All of this is phenomenal for the ratings, right? The media and comedic political talk show hosts are getting ready for a field day.
Meanwhile, the seasoned politicians here at home and bureaucrats abroad are quick to dismiss him.
But Trump’s rhetoric and mannerisms are equally quick in drawing a base of loyal supporters, regular middle-class Americans, who seemed to be impatiently waiting for years for someone like Trump to emerge; a man who could represent the struggling middle class blue collar workers whom his base was initially composed of, and a man who could serve as an alternative to the two-faced, condescending, polished stock-politician a vast amount of Americans were growing weary of.
This is a man his supporters will stand with despite his flaws, despite whatever past mistakes emerge.
Now all of the sudden, Trump becomes a threat both to Republicans, who have their own plans, and Democrats, who right now have a fire to stamp out before the Bern gets out of control.
In the meantime, the media focuses on the most controversial and offending segments of Trumps rhetoric, which gradually develops into a full blown demonization of the unorthodox and newly practicing politician, with great success I must add.
The influence of the media is easily explained: their tactics are effective.
Now they have the perfect “villain”, and millennials are eating what they’re being fed with ravenous hunger in their need for purpose and identity in an age almost devoid of both. This is something to get passionate about, this is something relevant.
Now it’s far easier to accept and even join a narrative that is already established for your generation; the majority tends to gravitate towards the facile. The majority also tends to opt for a more emotional outlook than logical one. But the emotional outcry against Trump was, and still is, at a level of absurdity that millennials who sought an alternative to the political leanings of their peers recognized.
An entire sort of underground internet-operated movement of Republicans and Libertarians emerged with the sole purpose of poking fun at the trigger-warning, safe space inhabiting Leftists who preached tolerance yet practiced categorical intolerance if you didn’t adhere to their very limited points of view.
Now at this time both movements are growing rapidly and simultaneously with the controversy. Politicians are responding, either condemning or condoning both “movements” all the while everyone fails to recognize or see the silver lining in all of it.
Many will be quick to point out that Trump indeed divided a nation. But it is my profound belief that this controversy, this clash of ideals, is preferable to political indifference and actually healthy for growth on an individual and national scale.
Americans need to learn that this vibrant political response from millennials isn’t a horrid thing, this isn’t a cause for paranoia nor a cry of oppression. This is what our nation was founded on. This is something most of the world does not have, not even close. So let’s all be thankful for that alone.
Brendan Bradley is a sales professional and a political columnist from Philadelphia.
The views of Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.
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