The Political Awakening of Millennials

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Lauren Duca, Journalist and Author of “HOW TO START A REVOLUTION,” to talk about the political awakening of millennials.

10/24/19 #2254






"There she is! Lauren Duca, journalist, and the author of How to Start a Revolution: Young People and the Future of American Politics Good to see you. Thanks for having me. Starting...? What's the revolution? Why do we need a revolution? Can't we just have a civil discourse about politics in this nation? Well, I think the revolution includes civil discourse. I think the revolution is about understanding that we all need to have an active role in our democracy, and the ways in which we've been boxed out and alienated from understanding that are so extreme. We have this disconnect where we view democracy as sort of an abstract historical achievement and feel no right to be having any sort of political conversations whatsoever. Now you say "we". Millennials? I think the average American. But what I've studied in my book, and what I'm most interested in galvanizing, is this shift that is occurring for Millennials and Gen Z, where we're no longer passively navigating a broken system, but we're actively seeking to change it. And there's this idea that young people just don't care. Go ahead. Play that out. You just took the next question The... So just don't say they do. Tell me, about what? Tell... well, I would love to say it, but there's this idea that young people don't care, and it's stated as if it's a natural extension of low voter turnout statistics. The reality is, we've always been quite passionate. If we can talk in generational, demographic scale, Millennials and Gen Z tend to be very altruistic. We are passionate about social justice. We want to leave the world a better place than we found it. What's changing now is that we understand that we can take action in a traditional political sense. We feel qualified to run for office and start non-profits. And at a lower level, to contact our elected officials, to make donations, to otherwise raise our voices and express political opinions. And that's changing because before we were waiting our turn. So Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, she symbolize anything connected to what you just described? Because she... I believe it was, as we do this program, she was only 29 years of age? Yes. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a stunning example of this shift. And I think the most amazing thing about her is the way that she's reaching people. She is breaking down policy proposals, right next to beauty advice, on Instagram. And in that, you see what's really missing. So many politicians have made absolutely no effort to reach out to young people. You know, we're told that we don't care. But where's all the stock crap my generation cares about in the average political campaign? You know, it's not... at a superficial level it's not hard to market to young people. Look..."