A Scan of Critical World Developments
A Millennial Awakening
A spectre is haunting the West: the spectre of millennials. The rise of the xenophobic right—think Donald Trump, Marine LePen, Geert Wilders, and the like—has justifiably attracted considerable attention, but a less-noted counter-dynamic is equally significant: the surge of youth support for left-wing candidates. In the recent UK election, turnout among young voters was up at least 50% from 2015, and, drawn to Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-austerity manifesto, they broke more than 2:1 for Labour. In the French presidential election, leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the first choice of young voters, mounted a competitive campaign, doubling his support from the prior election. Youth fueled the strong showing of the Green Left Party in the Dutch parliamentary elections and overwhelmingly supported democratic socialist Bernie Sanders in the US presidential primaries. And young voters have been the key base of support for Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain. Millennials, who came of age during the Great Recession and have lived with the deepening threat of climate change, are rejecting a status quo that foments economic inequality and environmental degradation. For those whose future is most at stake, another world is not only possible, but also necessary.