Wrapping my head around local politics 001

Warning: Buzzwords ahead about millennials.*

As a millennial, I want to “get involved” in my “local community”, and don’t know the best way to “mobilize my resources”.

vomit. I hate admitting that. But I still want to figure out if it is possible for me (little old me) to do something meanigful in the arena of local politics. (Here’s a rough overview of what I’d like accomplished)

So, what does any resourceful person do?

I headed to Google and searched for:

  • "politics for millennials"
  • "local politics for millennials"
  • "young people involved in local politics"

The results (or, judging by the top five hits for each search) are totally underwhelming. Here’s a few:

Themes from articles about Millennials

I’m generalizing, but I noticed a few themes:

  1. Millennials get lumped together.
  2. Millennials are still considered an outgroup. (It seems a lot of people writing aboutmillennials, to other people who are not part of that group.)
  3. The “departure from the norm” of voting engagement/preference of millennials is implicitly a result of their youth or liberalism, rather than a reasonable assessment of the political system.

I’m going to go out on a limb here, borrowing from pretty straight-forward realities behind education:

People care about things that matter to them, and will go to great efforts to pursue their own interests, and are nearly impossible to motivate in any other way.

Please see: school. (I steadfastly resisted learning anything that I didn’t want to learn about. Conversely, something I want to learn about, I will pour myself into learning.)

In other words, a perceived disinterest in politics is not a reflection of millennials, it’s a reflection of “the system”.

Defining Politics?

Lets define politics:

  1. “Politics” is loosely correlated to organizing life around ourselves to care for the common good. (Not the official definition, just my working definition.)
  2. “Politics” is wrangling between elites to bring about things that make them feel good, while talking down to us common folk.

Regarding “politics as a tool of the elite”, this Snowden quote seems appropriate:

Politics: the art of convincing decent people to forget the lesser of two evils is also evil.

Those two interpretations of the word “politics” are irreconcilable, and when people complain that millennials are not involved in “politics”, they usually seem to be referring to #2. (Anytime someone says voting is a “duty”, that should be a red flag)

I don’t care at all about “politics”, but I care a lot about how people are treated by other people.

This fits into two groups:

  1. How people of equal power treat each other
  2. How people of unequal power treat each other

People with power can tell people without power what they can and cannot do. If those people with power are also representatives of the government, they’ve got fantastic enforcement mechanisms to drive compliance.

What I (a lone, single, powerless millennial) want to do

There’s a few things that matter a lot, and can be partially/wholly implemented at a local level:

  • Many contributing factors to police brutality. Here is 15, at least ten of which could be done mostly at a local level.
  • Racist zoning laws
  • Supporting “fractal” development instead of centrally planned development. Strongtowns on housing. I.E. let people do with their property as they see fit, be it live in it, work in it, run a business from it, or all of the above simultaneously. (This is illegal in most places)
  • Keep awesome food sources legal, instead of running afoul of angry bureaucrats. 

*I hate the term “millennial”, and, in fact, keep misspelling it. It implies homogeneousness, youth, and immaturity. All unfounded, besides the fact that we are, in fact, younger than people born before us, because physics.

Resources: