To the Millennials after Election 2016:
I don’t know that a mere “I’m sorry” is going to work. But I’m going to start there. I’m so sorry. We gut-punched you this election season. There is no excuse and I am not going to give any. I am going to open this letter with an unequivocal statement of apology. And I am going to offer you the only thing I can: my energy, my time, my experience, my help. I am going to pledge to help you in any way that I can so that you, my millennials, can rise up, pulling us with you like the Harry Potter Phoenix. Let me also make the observation that even the suggestion that you take us with you when the time comes is presumptuous and arrogant given the kick we just delivered. But I do it because I know you will do it. My hope is in you. When Barack Obama talked about hope, he didn’t speak of hope in the governing systems. He talked about hope, generally. Well, no offense to him, but he needed to be more specific. I am saying it now: I hope in you. I put my hope and my trust in you. You, Millennials, will set this train back on the course to re-claiming what Reagan called the Beacon.
How do I know you will do this? Because for the last few years I have worked alongside you. I have pushed you and watched you bloom. I have learned to appreciate that you are fearless, courageous, generous, compassionate and competitive. You are the most community-service oriented generation this planet has ever known. You are concerned about really scary things that we continue to pass down. And you showed me every day that you are ready to take that challenge. But I have also watched you struggle because my generation fails you every single day. Instead of passing on wisdom and helping you navigate this world, we are wrapped up in reality television and facebook. We are trying to relive some form an adolescent nostalgia. Tonight, I sit here with heaviness of knowing we have failed you deeply again. I am sorry. My heart is broken for your spirits and your confusion at watching this happen in the world you have inhabited with diversity, inclusion and technological savagery that is beyond impressive.
So, my Millennials, I offer that I will do my best to help you navigate the overwhelming odds we have knowingly stacked against you. I am in a minority when I tell others that I love the Millennials. It’s because I have seen the best you offer and then some. I will do my best to negotiate for you. I will ask tough questions and push you to find depths of emotional courage you didn’t know you possessed. I will do this because that’s what it will take for you to inspire us to join you in rising up.
2018 election season is not far. It is within reach. My goal is that you swarm the 2018 midterm elections in a way that stamps you, not as a party, but as a generation in the history books. Presidential elections change leadership, but midterm elections change the political landscape (see Tea Party, 2010). My vision is that you be able to redefine the political system into one that uses our Constitution in the spirit of our founders, reaching out to every corner of the world to set an example for responsible citizenship and community governance. My desire is that you become so engaged and passionate about our institutions that we, the Gen X and Baby Boomer generations begin to learn from you, what a Democracy can really look like.
Please, my Millennials, don’t let this feeling of frustration pass with apathy and anger at us. We have screwed up. We have walked off a cliff and we have no right to ask for your help. But I am. I beg of you, please be the generation that I have come to love so much. I know you want to leave your mark on the world. Your time is NOW and we need you no later than this moment.
I am going to write you letters, my Millennials. I can reach you only through the medium that you have perfected- online. If I could have you all at my table for dinner, I would. And I have many times. This time, I will write you letters of encouragement, advice, instruction, wisdom, petition, hope, and, in 2018, HOPE, celebration!
Take over the world, my Millennials.
Love you so-