Millennials disapprove of both major parties and reject politics as the solution to America's problems. That is the finding of a new poll conducted by the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard University.
The national survey of Americans aged 18–29 found that millennials blame Republicns and Democrats alike for the current state of American politics, with 53 percent saying they would recall and replace all members of Congress.
This hostility toward sitting politicians can be explained by who millennials think these politicians represent. When asked about their own member of Congress, only 10 percent said they thought their congressmen mostly represented their constituents. In contrast, 33 percent thought they mostly represented themselves, 27 percent thought they mostly represented campaign donors, and 25 percent thought they mostly represented their political party.
This reinforces what the Reason-Rupe poll found earlier this year—that millennial voters are more independent than previous generations and less attracted to the partisan politics that is epitomized by Washinton, D.C.
The hostility toward Washington-style partisanship is further highlighted by the IOP poll's finding that only 39 percent of respondents would be "likely" (with 57 percent being "unlikely") to agree to attend a political rally or demonstration, even if they agreed with the issue and had free time. This number fell even more to 33 percent when asked whether they would be "likely" to volunteer for a political campaign.
This political apathy should not be seen as a negative. A less political America is a less divided America, and millennials are by no means disengaged with their communities. When asked if they would agree to volunteer for community service (assuming they thought it was a worthy cause), nearly seven in ten said they would be "likely" to do so.
This suggests that millennials see an alternative to futile attempts to impose rigid political solutions that will inevitably be compromised by the horse-trading and rent seeking that is endemic in Washington, D.C. Instead, they would prefer to tackle America's problems at a more local level and in a more hands on way. This is surely an encouraging sign for libertarians.