In Millennial Makeover, Winograd and Hais depict a true idealogical realignment. As with the five major realignments they outline, this one stems from a big moment in history— 9/11, but only in conjunction with the technological developments that both complicate and simplify life for our generation.
Being a millennial myself, I thought it was a great read. I agree that our generation seems more group oriented and also more focused on social impact than previous generations— but then again, maybe everyone is at this young age, before they get jaded. I found it interesting that Winograd and Hais specifically tied these attributes to the democratic party, and the 2008 election certainly demonstrated that as young people connected to the campaign via social media and voted in droves to elect President Obama.
Like many of our readings this semester, the book emphasizes the importance of utilizing emerging technologies like social media in order to reach millennials. As the generation most likely to embrace technology, innovative thinking and strategy is critical in order to win us over. As campaigning, fundraising, and lobbying strategies have already been changed drastically by the ways of the millennials— is realignment the next step? The authors sure think so.
After this month’s recent Planned Parenthood nonsense, I look forward to the future, which the authors identify as a time when “the power of social issues to drive our political debate will wane” because the electorate will be much more socially tolerant and accepting as a whole.
Of course, the book came out before the 2008 election— and it predicted correctly that the Dems would win, with Obama as their pick. As millennials continue to vote and mature as candidates and participants of the political arena, their reach will only expand (the book points out that we’ll make up a large share of the electorate by 2016), and if the consensus effect continues to play a role in decision making, its likely that many will be on the same political page. As a fairly liberal democrat, I would be very interested to hear what someone of the opposite perspective would think of this book— I think I’ll pass it along to my brother to see how his interpretations differ!