In my last post, I talked about how my generation — the millennials — are looking for positive and inspirational change but we also need far more compassion for those whose views we oppose. Some of the significant disagreements and differences in our country are the interests and viewpoints of young adults in America, the millennials, compared to Mr. Trump’s generation, baby boomers. PEW highlights the differences and similarities between the two ages in regards to today’s most controversial topics; race, immigration, same-sex marriage, abortion, global warming, gun policy and marijuana legalization.
(All facts and percentages stated are credited to PEW research center.)
Race and african-american discrimination
The majority of both millennials and boomers agree that the country needs to make changes to give blacks equal rights to whites, but millennials are far more likely to have this view. 68% of millennials feel that continuing the efforts in creating more opportunities for blacks is necessary, whereas 57% of boomers share this feeling.
The story of discrimination is slightly different. 52% of millennials feel as if discrimination is the main reason why many black people can’t get ahead in America. 36% of Boomers say discrimination is the main reason why many blacks are struggling; a number that has risen 6 points since the year 2000. Millennials being a more diverse generation certainly contributes to this 16 point gap but isn’t the only reason for the differences. White millennials are 8% more likely than white boomers to agree that our country needs to make changes to give blacks equal rights to whites.
Immigrants and immigration policies
The majority of both millennials and boomers agree that immigrants strengthen our country because of their ability to work hard and the natural talents they bring. As expected, however, there is still a substantial generational divide between millennials and boomers. 79% of millennials agree that immigrants strengthen the country, a 23 point difference from the 56% of boomers that agree with this statement. The generational gaps are also apparent in the public’s view on two key concepts driving our current immigration debate: the Mexico/ U.S border and granting permanent legal status to immigrants brought to the U.S illegally when they were children (Dreamers). Almost three quarters (72%) of millennials oppose expanding the wall.
Over time, across all generations, the U.S population has grown more accepting of same-sex marriage. Just two years after the Supreme Court decision that required states to recognize same-sex marriage nationwide, an almost two-to-one ratio of U.S citizens (62%) is in favor of acknowledging and accepting same-sex marriage. Leaving around a third (32%) of citizens disapproving of the decision, baby boomers and in this case generation “Silent” are responsible for the majority of that 32%. Just 56% of boomers and 41% of Silents approve of same-sex marriage. 2017 was the first year in which the majority of Boomers supported same-sex marriage.
*generation “greatest” unaccounted for*
Both Millenials and Baby Boomers have similar viewpoints on abortion. 62% of millennials and 53% of Boomers agree that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Views on abortion have been consistent for Boomers over time, for millennials, there has been a modest increase in the share of individuals who say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
As a whole, almost three-quarters of the public currently believes that the temperature on Earth has been getting warmer, over half of those three-quarters think that human activity is a contributor to the temperature rising. 81% of millennials believe there is substantial evidence of the temperature rising, 65% say it is due to human activity, the other 16% believe natural patterns cause it. 69% of boomers feel there is significant evidence of global warming; 47% think human activity is the cause of the temperature rising and the remaining 22% feel it comes from natural patterns.
In the most recent decade, there is little to no variation across both millennials and Boomers regarding gun laws. Millennials continue to feel that it is less necessary to protect the right of Americans to own guns and more critical for the government to focus on controlling the overall gun ownership of American’s. Whereas Boomers feel it is more important that the government protects Americans rights to own guns and less critical that the guidelines and requirements necessary to own a firearm are reinforced and improved for those owning guns in the United States. When asked the question “is it more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns than to control gun ownership?” 51% of millennials agreed while 57% of Boomers said no.
Overall, 61% of Americans believe that marijuana should be made legal. Since the year 2000, the support of legalizing marijuana has doubled. Also, across all generations, the majority of those in favor of legalized marijuana has grown as well, 71% of millennials and 56% of Boomers are in support of legalized marijuana.
To summarize Generation “Everyone” thoughts:
Considering all generations (generation “everyone”), the fact of the matter is that the majority of U.S citizens who voted in 2016 now feel unsatisfied with the president’s efforts, leadership and decision making. Although the president’s performance is disappointing to generation “Everyone,” understanding his background and age can bring some justification to these results. Better understanding these things can create a more sympathetic perspective to considering his views and create a more positive approach to dealing with the failures of our leader as American citizens. Mr. Trump is a human just like the rest of us, but now his opinions and actions are amplified due to the position of power he has accumulated. The majority of people born in the 1940’s are proven to develop different views and opinions compared to those born in the 1980’s, 90’s and especially 2000’s. There is no individual to blame for these differences; it would be hypocritical for anyone to point the finger for the nation’s problems, it would be counterproductive to expect one man or woman to create all the necessary changes to bring complete happiness to the American people.
As we become more open-minded as a nation, there will be continuous opportunities to express our needs and wants to our president while simultaneously producing positive change. Instead of complaining and playing the blame game, we must create awareness within our peers to ensure they own this information, and thoroughly internalize what we as individuals can do to help build changes in areas that our president seems to overlook and disregard.
As we continue to evolve and become more open-minded as a society, we must invite our president to grow and continue to teach him that our younger generations believe in all humans being equal and no type of money or material accumulation, skin color or family history should separate the importance of one individual compared to another.
The moral of this story is the younger generations, as well as older, have the opportunity to make sure history doesn’t repeat.
WE. MUST. VOTE.
The most effective way to make sure we solve the leadership problem the United States is to research and understand when the polls are open in your area. Check out SaysWe, a social voting platform that helps you get ready and gives you notifications when there is an opportunity for you to vote.
The smallest efforts will leave the most significant marks. Please share and subscribe this blog to help those around grow and understand, and in the words of Grammy-nominated recording artist, Logic;
“You gotta climb over your ego to master your will”
Peace & Love,