William Strauss on the next great generation, Politics

April 26, 2006 | By Lexi Miller

Millennials, a term for those born in or after 1982, have the biggest opportunity to shape politics, but their involvement in the future of political parties has been unsuccessful because of skewed misconceptions about their identity, according to motivational speaker William Strauss.

Strauss, who is the co-author of “Millennials Rising : The Next Great Generation” told a crowd of GW College Democrats that students are being overlooked by the established political parties. However the current college- and high school-aged youth that make up the Millenials are transforming the image of the alienated youth into an engaged citizen, he said.

While the image of this generation has been cast as mere followers of trends set by the earlier baby boomers generation and Generation X, in reality, Millenials represent a break from the trends of political apathy and social decay set by previous generations, said Strauss.

He promoted the teen identity, tore down the image of apathy, and said Millenials are “the next great generation,” investing in progress and shedding the angst.

One student at the event expressed the frustration she felt because the issues that matter to Millenials are being “completely overlooked.” Another commented that she felt issues were being communicated in a way that tried to grab her attention, rather than making her knowledgeable about issues.

By having Strauss speak, the College Democrats expressed the importance of political activism within the community, said Nate Grossman ’09, who attended the event.

Grossman said he was intrigued with Strauss’ confidence in the Millennial generation.

Strauss encouraged students to take pride in their convictions and make their voices heard. Students were receptive to the confidence that Strauss exhibited in the Millennials’ ability to shape the future.

“I was flattered by his idea that we were ‘the best generation ever’ and wanted to learn more about our potential,” said Chris Wieman ’09, who read Millennials Rising in his pop culture and community class.

“Now that I know what other people think of our generation, I want us to live up to those expectations,” said Wieman.


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