The votes are in, we have a new President-Elect, and the country is in a bit of a tailspin. Whether or not one agrees with the result, polls show that baby-boomers gave Donald Trump the most powerful position in the world. Had the millennials come out in droves (less than half voted, representing 19% of the total vote), it is reasonable to assume the results would have been different. This was a strategic miscalculation—or lack of calculation—on the part of the world’s largest generation, because their disaffection toward both candidates and the election itself produced a result that has many protesting in the streets (much like Brexit).
Instead of making their voices heard, the millennials let the baby boomers cast votes while looking in the rear view mirror. “Make America Great Again” is a powerful slogan, but many policies surrounding it are regressive. Much of what made America great before does not have the same relevance today. Most jobs are not going to come back, and those that do are likely not ones that deliver a return on the education investment millennials have made…plus, those jobs will soon anyway be outsourced to technology and artificial intelligence. Moreover, building walls are not consistent with the millennials’ desire to build bridges, and religious resurgence is unlikely to be embraced by the most secular generation we’ve ever seen. And as far as education policy goes, what policy? We have heard the least about this—the true engine behind making America great again.
By nature, the older we get, the more we find comfort in nostalgia and the more we fear change. However, nostalgia is not something you learn; like wisdom, it is something you earn. But that is about the only thing nostalgia and wisdom have in common.