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.