What does Generation Edge think about the 2016 Presidential Election?
Donald Trump, the undisputed underdog throughout the election and the Nominee of the Republican Party won the presidency of the United States, winning the electoral vote by a wide margin in the process. Trump’s surprising victory was, at least in terms of the electorate, a wipeout, with The Donald winning not only the conservative strongholds, but also the swings and a few democratic strongholds. From Texas to Pennsylvania, Trump united the nation through a powerful message, sometimes laced with controversial soundbites and opinions. Trump appealed to a forgotten, silent majority: the demographic of white, middle-class, uneducated people, too rich for government funded benefits, yet barely wealthy enough to make it by.
Trump’s victory was not only surprising, but to some extent unprecedented. People from both sides of the isle were left pondering what happened and why. An upset by all means, “reliable” polls had the chances of that candidate's victory as being between 1-34%, stating that “he has a chance”. The underdog won, scaring and surprising many. However, Trump’s victory may come as a reassurance to Generation Edge: according to the New York Times, Generation Edge is the most conservative generation since the 1940’s, at least in a fiscal sense. This immense Republicanism may be attributed to the overarching liberal beliefs of the generation preceding Generation Edge, The Millennials. As is often seen in the shift of power in government, Generation Edge’s political beliefs are the response of the political beliefs before us.
Yet, conservative as we may be, we were generally unhappy and dissatisfied with the results of this election. According to pollsters, over 55% of our generation was very unhappy with the results and over 60% stated they were at least moderately disappointed. With these numbers, and many Generation Edgers now able to vote, one would think Hillary Clinton would’ve benefited from this surge of discontent. However, Hillary failed to capitalize on this dislike of The Donald. While Generation Edge was irritated by Trump, we were also not behind Clinton. Generally, we we went for the middle-ground.
This is why we were so enamored by the likes of Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and Evan McMullin. We refused to conform to the longstanding two-party system, voting for 3rd-party candidates along with not voting at all (a quality we unfortunately share with our predecessor: The Millennials).
This occurred as a large portion of the millennial basis of the Democratic Party- as well as members of the Baby Boomers, not only didn’t vote along party lines, many didn’t vote at all.
So now, members of our Generation have ushered in a new era of American Politics. Ironically, in this generation that is generally conservative, we are now faced with a Republican President that is wildly unpopular among us.
I guess that we will see what is to come. But based on the numbers and general attitude of young people, the next four years will serve as a reality check to our generation, and to a larger extent, the world.
- David Bix