The White House & Alphabet Soup Politics

X, Y, Z… its apparently all the same to the White House and the Council of Economic Advisers. Last week, they tried to reach out to Millennial voters with an email making references that would appeal to Gen Xers and an infographic that would be insulting to most 6th graders in Generation Z. We all know, if Democrats could persuade Gen Y Millennials to come out and vote in the midterms, they might have a chance at holding the senate. But using emojis to brighten up depressing statistics probably won’t get out the vote in the November.

A Millennial explains it all  - - Veribatim Web Design and Consultation LLC Mail

First, the email is supposedly written for a Millennial, by a Millennial; cutely titled: A Millennial Explains It All. Obviously, referencing the wisdom of Clarissa. The problem here, Clarissa Explains It All, is often claimed as a show from Gen X. 19 year-olds included in the White House’s infographic for Millennials were born a year after the final episode of the show. Millennials know Clarissa because of Netflix, Nickelodeon re-runs and our cool older siblings. Oh yeah, we got the love od vinyl from them, too (though way it to pitch to the Indie kids). Maybe this was just an attempt to pet our natural Millennial vanity–because every twenty-something wishes they had been born Gen X.

But, then, the Council of Economic Advisers dumbs down the message to grade-school level–right after they praised the number of college graduates in this generation. The infographic is filled with ridiculous tiny pictures to highlight the Democratic agenda checklist. If Millennials didn’t already feel like a jilted date left home on Friday night, treating our issues like a Saturday morning cartoons will remind us how important we are on the White House priority list. Save your McScrooge moneybags for the post-Millennials.

This email also linked to “a bit more than 140 characters” (even though members Gen Y use Facebook more than Twitter, and don’t insult me with that we don’t read bullshit) report on Millennials. While the infographic has peppy statistics about diversity and healthcare, the report (in listicle style, Buzzfeed noted) showed a much darker side of our collective generational experience. School is expensive, we can’t achieve the American dream of home-ownership and the recession hit us harder than our parents. Oh, and all that debt won’t be paid off anytime soon because our careers started shackled to the worst economic downturn since the last World War. And our salve is pictionary dice games and iphone skills? Should we thank Democrats for our youthful determination to get a degree? Don’t congratulate yourself with that hand-clapping emoji just yet, Mr. President.

Incorrect generational references, and economic catastrophes aside, we know what this email is really about: bringing out the youth vote. Millennials turned out for Obama in 2008, changing the election for him. But they have never shown up with hope in their eyes the same way since then. And most of Gen Y doesn’t plan to vote next month either. A cool infographic isn’t enough to change their minds. Sure, the hardcore liberal activists will show up, but less than 25% of Millennials will bother going to the polls at all. And many of those who will vote aren’t happy with the current government.

Earlier this week I wrote about what issues Millennials care about in 2014. Infographics wasn’t on that list. But the economy, jobs, and foreign policy were. Maybe if the White House wants to woo Millennials they should drop the Sesame Street act and put up some transparent answers to the economic situation in this country.

About Katrina Jorgensen

Katrina Jorgensen is a devoted advocate for Millennial issues with deep concerns over the direction of America's foreign policy. She seeks to promote political education and empowerment for her generation. You can find her on Twitter @Veribatim. With her focus on Eurasia, Katrina acts as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Young Republican National Federation, part of their International Committee. She is a writer and communication specialist in her day job. She regularly contributes to conservative blogs such as Red Alert and IJReview. She has worked as freelance journalist for think tanks, major media outlets and print newspapers. For 6 years, she ran her own web design and consulting company in Texas. Her true passion is non-profits. Katrina has worked for and advised multiple international NGOs. She volunteers her time and provides marketing advice to local charities and other not-for profit-organizations. Katrina also loves reading wonky foreign policy blogs, instgramming her cooking experiments, losing herself in a fiction novel, and exploring new places with her husband, Kai.