From Hooters and other boob-themed restaurants, to Kraft American Cheese and my parents’ marriage, it seems like the millennial generation is ruining everything nowadays. While usually the generation sticks to destroying things by using social media and (lack of) purchasing power, last week the kids used voting to rock the political boat and throw Steve Russell overboard.
Steve Russell served as Oklahoma’s U.S. representative for the 5th Congressional District for two terms before being unseated in last week’s election by underdog Kendra Horn.
For the first time since the election, Russell is talking about why he thinks he lost. In a Facebook post he wrote Monday titled “Breaking the Silence,” Russell reflects on his re-election campaign and why he lost — the main reason being the changing demographics.
“I continued to hold the Republican base and perform well among some Independents and Democrats, but the rapid core of annual millennial population growth of 20 percent since 2010 made a direct correlation to the electorate,” Russell posted.
You can see the full “Breaking the Silence” Facebook post here. In it, Russell goes on to discuss how the millennial population in OKC has grown by 20% yearly since 2010 and that their increased turnout at the polls has led to a political shift toward the left. He also doesn’t thank, congratulate or mention the woman who worked her tail off to defeat him – Kendra Horn.
Russell also admits that millennials are the future and reiterated the importance of reaching out to Hispanic and African American communities while campaigning. So why did a campaign that recognizes the weight these populations pull in elections do so poorly at the polls? Well, let’s take a look at a snippet from his Facebook post…
Millennials are the future of America, and Oklahoma. The 5th District has the lowest unemployment in the state, with 3.2% as compared to 3.7% statewide and 3.9% nationally. They are attracted to Oklahoma or want to remain. My wife and I raised five of them. Time and experience will engage this important population with the values that matter as they marry and raise families. I am optimistic about the potential of our country’s future but saddened by its self-indulgence and lack of respect for one another.
Now at first, this paragraph starts off great. Millennials are the future of America because duh, everyone else is going to start dying off as the years go on. But then Russell goes on to say that he hopes “time and experience” will make millennials adopt “values that matter.” Now being a jaded millennial who has worked in the corporate world over the last 5 years where I have typically been the youngest employee, I’ve heard this argument before. Older (usually white male) individuals have consistently told me that millennials’ desire for things like easy access to health care, the importance of environmentally conscious practices, rights for the LGBTQIA+ community were pipe dreams.
But the truth is, those are each things that millennials not only value, but also see possible. That being said, those are also three things that Steve Russell has not always been on board with (look here, here, and here). Yes, millennials are the future. But if the GOP is going to survive to see it, it needs to realize that it’s not the millennials who have to change – it’s the candidates.
Yeah, millennials self indulge because #TreatYourself. Follow Hayley on twitter @squirrellygeek