Another countdown to the “most important election in our lifetime” has begun and something like 93% of likely voters have their minds made up for president. These numbers largely represent the Democrats voting for drone bombing civilians, spying on Americans, raiding medicinal marijuana dispensaries, deporting paperless illegal immigrants and Republicans voting for more debt, increased spending, social entitlements, and bailouts.
The pattern continues. Masses conform themselves to the repetitive and destructive spectacle known as the presidential election. In the near future, the can being kicked down the road will ricochet off a Dead End sign and a decision will be forced.
No wonder the turnout of 18-29 year olds for 2012 is so widely doubted to reach the same high as 2008. There is no new roadmap for the Millennials offered by either Romney or Obama. The political power this young cohort possesses, however, should not be underestimated. By 2014, more than 20% of the electorate will be Millennials, and in 2016 they will be greater than a third. This block would do well to begin defining the terms under which the game will be played. Every descriptor of this generation is a political plus.
There is very little, if any, “identity politics” in this up-and-coming generation. Under 60% are White, almost 20% are Hispanic, 14.2% are Black, 4.3% being Asian, and 3.2% are of mixed race or “other” according to the Pew Research Center. They are less likely to carry on the religious and culture wars of their parents yet they hold the same priorities of economy, health care, and education in moving the country forward. Combine that with the unprecedented level of access to social technology and you would expect a sea change in political action, right? Well, there remains another factor to be considered and it is a big one. The strategy of rocking the vote for a centralizing figurehead is guaranteeing a future of less representation for young people, not more.
Whether they realize it or not, Millennials have at their fingertips an alternative design of decentralization and interaction that gives them an advantage.
Consider the example of John Logan Jones, a 26 year old candidate for State House in Maine. As an Air Force veteran of the Afghanistan War, Jones is concerned with both the financial cliff and disintegration of civil liberties, so why doesn’t he run for Congress as he is overly qualified? “The federal government seems too far gone in many ways, so we need state government to take an activist role in reasserting powers that have been ceded to the feds for decades,” Jones explains.
According to the U.S. Constitution, John Logan Jones speaks the truth. Written as a limitation on the general government, states were afforded power to decide for themselves on practically every issue under the sun, or certainly those authorities not explicitly delegated in Article 1, Section 8 to Congress.
From the War on Drugs to the Department of Education, from Obamacare to gun control the domination or usurpation by the federal government against the states and the people is part of daily life in America. What happens when the federal government not only abuses its powers but assumes entirely new ones not mentioned in the Constitution? Who, then, ought to enforce the Law of the Land?
Conventional wisdom makes the states out to be little elves working for Santa Claus (as portrayed by Washington, D.C.). The youth are in a great place to nullify this popular notion with common sense and political ingenuity in 2014. Is the federal government our boss? Ask the 16 cities and counties passing resolutions declaring non-compliance with the 2012 NDAA “indefinite detention” provisions.
Ask Virginia’s state legislature about their law rendering those powers unenforceable. Examples such as these are too numerous for this column but sufficed to say the precedent is set for what the youth should see as their political calling. Millennials carry the moral high ground in saying “No!” to any national program when it is their economic and personal liberty at stake.
As distrust and apathy towards Washington builds, the masses will turn to their state or municipalities for answers. The answers are in the Principles of ’98, the exercise of interposition and nullification advocated by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to prevent President John Adams’ unconstitutional 1798 Alien & Sedition Acts from injuring the freedom of Kentuckians and Virginians. Far from an historical fluke, such resistance was exercised on behalf of New England states against military conscription during the War of 1812 and then by Wisconsin in 1859 against the federal government’s Fugitive Slave Act. This American heritage of localism is being quietly revived but without young people leading it as a movement, it may not be enough to roll back the Empire and Police State.
Generally, local ballots are more accessible for newbies, campaign budgets are less bloated, and fewer votes are required for victory compared to federal offices. With some elementary understanding of history and the proper relationship between states and the federal government, the youth will flourish as candidates with vision. As a bonus, count on local media eating up the story because after all, who doesn’t enjoy watching a student in a suit being iconoclastic on the 10 o’clock news? Adorable! And instant earned traditional media coverage is only the beginning. Coming up the pike is remarkable technology for data collection essential for mobilizing voters on election day, not to mention the social media advances sure to emerge among connected activists and gracious donors. Political action most definitely is a draining exhibition but logistically speaking, it has never been easier for those of the entry level.
What will the size of the debt be in 2014? How many new wars will we have? Millennials ought to prove their low 2012 turnout is not due to apathy, but the complete opposite. They care too much about their future to waste time with Washington, D.C.’s schemes and are instead ready to lead the way towards truly Constitutional government that properly answers to the people close at home. Of course, Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers should join in too. Only a nullification generation is capable of downsizing the monolithic institution called the federal government, for a chance at a more perfect Union with the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our Posterity.
originally published at Conbustible.com