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For a lazy generation, we Millennials are killing off quite a lot of things. From the diamond industry to local stores to the hotel and taxi businesses, we are constantly destroying parts of our societies and recreating the world as we all know it.
While this is something that is anxiety-inducing to some and invigorating to others, it is a point that, whether it is true or not, is used to devalue us as a generation. It is also a story as old as humanity itself, each new generation, as it comes into adulthood and begins taking power from the generation before it, there are always growing pains involved.
Whether or not the diamond industry is being killed off by us Millennials is negligible, at best. It is the reaction and backlash that it creates that is important. Will we create a future like the American Revolutionaries did, one that will strengthen our country and be celebrated for generations to come? Or will we create a future like Hitler or Stalin, that darkens our nation’s history and becomes the lesson of what not to do to other nations and our progeny?
I think that, at this point and time, we are at a deciding point in our future. My generation, the Millennial generation, is gearing up to take power and to make something of ourselves. Will we continue the path that President Trump and his colleagues have laid out for us, or will we take the approach that Bernie Sanders has laid out for us? Will we, instead, create our own path and make a future and legacy all our own making?
In this essay, I attempt to explain my take on the paths that we must choose from, our current circumstances and what I think lies ahead. Our generation will take up the reins of power and shape the future, that is for certain. It is the path that we will take that is to be seen, and soon, we will.
The paths that our country will take, while the Democratic and Republican parties align with two distinct paths, they do not necessarily dictate the paths. As we have seen lately, with the increase in Independent voters, political parties, while still applicable and powerful, are losing some of their sway and power. Increasingly, people are voting less for their preferred party and more along the lines of their own, specific issues such as LGBTQIA rights, gun control, immigration, and birth control stances.
As a result, you have more Democrats voting for Republicans and vice versa, depending on the rhetoric of individual political figures and the media. Therefore, I based the paths that our country may take on individual political figures instead of on parties or the idea of the left or right wing political group.
President Trump begins our listing of political figures affecting the path that our country will take for two reasons. First, because he won the election and secondly because he is President of the United States of America. These are two different reasons because they mean two different things.
By winning the election, Trump not only showed that his particular vision, beliefs, and values are acceptable to the people of America, but that American citizens see them as a viable option for the path of our country as a whole, in general.
The fact that he is President, however, means that he will continue to affect America’s near future for at least the next four years, if not longer, in a direct fashion. Meaning, that he can affect the wellbeing of millions directly by what he says, does, tweets, signs, and vetoes. While related, these two avenues of affect are completely different.
President Trump's path for America is one of relatively closed borders. It is one where, much like India and Saudi Arabia, traditional religious and social systems and beliefs affect all residents and citizens of the United States.
For example, religious beliefs about marriage and intercourse would affect the legality of same-sex marriage, abortion, and birth control. While it would allow for more freedom for women and safety for children from underage marriage than some nationalities and regions, it would still be much more conservative and traditional than what we have as the norm at this point.
In this picture of America’s future, the government’s budget would focus heavily on military spending, tax cuts for corporations and a minimal safety net and social security. There would also be a focus on making America’s borders less permeable and more security for entry points such as airports and boat docks. There would be more religious traditions and less religious diversity tolerated, from what has been seen so far from President Trump’s administration.
America would also focus more on military might and less on foreign trade than we have seen for the past 12 years or so.
Bernie Sanders has become the face of acceptable socialism. A brand of American, democratic socialism, if you will. He pushes for universal healthcare, free college tuition for public colleges, a more permeable immigration system and full women’s and religious rights.
As a result, of course, many in the current Democratic and Republican parties either love him or hate him, more seem to dislike him, however. Even so, there are a multitude of Americans who have flocked to his progressive movement and have made him a powerful outsider in politics.
While he did not win the Democratic presidential bid, he was, possibly, part of the reason Donald Trump won. In part, he publicized and gave voice to the part of the Democratic party that not only did not like Hillary Clinton, but that believed that the Democratic party was too conservative. This made the Democratic party more fractured than the Republican party.
This promulgated in Democrats not voting or voting for Donald Trump or third-party candidates. It also made Independents that would have otherwise voted for a Democrat either not vote, or vote for Donald Trump. This fracture in the Democratic party can still be seen in the Progressive part of the Democratic party that has been outspoken against Democrats and Republicans alike.
This progressive movement within the democratic party will do one of three things. It will either weaken the Democratic Party, reunite the Democratic Party, or create a more powerful progressive party than any of the other third parties within the United States.
The creation of such a party, if it could stay powerful enough within the American political sphere, would most likely weaken both the Republican and the Democratic parties. This, the creation of a powerful, third political party within the United States, would be the purest form of a Bernie Sanders victory and legacy within the American political system.
In this type of future, there would be more of a focus on the social welfare of American citizens, such as an increase in the safety net for the unemployed, students, disabled and other at-risk populations. There would also be a markedly smaller military presence and budget that would culminate in a smaller military with less military operations overall.
There would also be a focus on creating a more heterogenous state that attended to the needs of various populations such as the LGBTQIA populations, homeless, military veterans, the elderly and more. There would also be more foreign trade with globalization more embraced and accepted.
Of course, we could, as a generation, move completely from the political paths expressed here in this essay. As I stated earlier, we could create our own political reality. This reality could be a mixture of the two political systems that I discussed, or, it could be completely different. We may even continue the path that we have been on for many decades.
One that is fiercely a two-party system with two opposite sides fighting constantly for power and legislative gains. The only thing that I do know, however, is that our generation will come into its own. We will shape our country and our destinies. We will create our own political and national realities, possibly ending more than just the diamond industry, in the process.