Yesterday, the Harvard University Institute of Politics released survey results concerning young Americans’ attitudes toward politics and public service. A near majority (47%) of the 3,000 18-29 year-old Americans surveyed agree that “politics today are no longer able to meet the challenges our country is facing,” illustrating the growing dissatisfaction among Millennials with current governance structures. Further, 56 percent agree that “elected officials don’t have the same priorities I have” – an increase in five percent since 2010.
These new results confirm the findings of an earlier study by the Roosevelt Institute that determined that “Millennials don’t want a government that just talks at them. They want to build it together.” This does not mean that millennials have parlayed these feelings into inaction. The Roosevelt Institute, for instance, also found that millennials “are engaged politically, just not in the ways and systems that previous generations have engaged.”
Perhaps more troubling, the growing dissatisfaction translates into a fundamental distrust of the United States core institutions of governance (see table on side- banks and media scored even lower). These latest figures provide yet another stark example of the growing deficit in expectations among citizens – especially the younger generation – as discussed in the GovLab’s Re-imagining Governance Map.