Look, I get it. I’m a millennial, and like every one of us I’m tired of being blamed for everything terrible going on in the world, whether it’s killing department stores, Applebee’s, golf, or diamonds. It’s been happening for generations; even Socrates, one of the most esteemed philosophers of the ancient world, said “The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”
So of course we want to prove them wrong. We want to show them that Millennials are the future of the world, and that we can make the world better than we found it. We are cautious, but hopeful. But how do you make a difference in today’s world? The biggest movements America has seen, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women’s Suffrage Movement, the Vietnam War Protest Movement, all were born in a time where there were at most three different kinds of media: Newspaper, Radio, and eventually Television.
Stories of protests and marches would dominate the headlines daily, and it would be on everyone’s mind. You wouldn’t be able to escape it, and finally people would put pressure on politicians to act. Now, we have the luxury of news on our fingertips: the 24 hour news cycle, and social media platforms such as facebook and twitter have softened the impact of protest. Yes, marches get media coverage, but those who do not wish to see it can look at a banal story about a dog being elected mayor or some other trite. President Trump’s war on “fake news” has also eroded the public’s trust of traditional mainstream media, but whether you believe him is another story entirely.
This has combined with the desire for Millennials to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, we want to believe in the romantic notion of “revolution” and “resistance,” we want to be the Rebels not the Empire, the Starks not the Lannisters. But where do we start? Many have decided that the place to start is the media form that grew alongside us, the internet. We saw the Arab Spring, and how revolutionaries and protesters used twitter to organize resistance. Why not now?
The issue, however, is we have been painted into a corner. Stick with the #Resistance and you’re labeled a “lazy, entitled Social Justice Warrior,” start marching in the streets and you’re called a “dangerous, Alt-Left, Antifa anarchist.” Meanwhile, Neo-Nazis and the KKK march in our streets with rifles and torches, calling for ethnic cleansing. Innocent people like Heather Heyer have been murdered by Nazi sympathizers, and it sadly may not be the last casualty.
There’s only two ways this will ever end: Tensions rise until someone on the left kills someone important and a mass crackdown on political dissent begins, destroying the very fabric of our nation, or the true Resistance soldiers on, proudly facing death itself against the darker nature of America. We must be prepared to become the new martyrs for the Republic, to ensure the Union survives. Each time they spit on us, beat us, or even kill us, more will realize that their agenda is one of petty hatred.
But if the #Resistance is allowed to remain, and armchair activists continue to wallow in self-congratulatory rhetoric, nothing will change. The Democratic Party wants us to remain the #Resistance, because it is easy to control. Instead we must break the bonds that have shackled us to regressive influences like the Democratic and Republican Parties. It will be arduous, but now is the time for Millennials to become greater than what the world says we are.