The millennial’s challenge in politics


A few weeks ago, a story was reported by National Public Radio that may mark the beginning of a new style of politics.
According to NPR, Jon Ossoff (who is a Democrat running in a special election in Georgia), was the subject of the type of attack ad that we have been waiting for.
In the attack ad, footage was taken from Ossoff’s Facebook page and Youtube to expose how he behaved in college. As you can imagine, the videos show a normal college student drinking and being with friends.
To his opponents, however, this is obviously being used as political ammunition. They labelled Ossoff as a spoiled frat-boy millennial, who clearly isn’t mature enough to hold office.
It’s possible, of course, that he may not be the best candidate, but it’s not because of what you see in this video.
Frankly, nothing you see in the ad is particularly concerning. Ossoff made a video talking about beer while dressed as Han Solo a decade ago. Nobody cares.
What’s more important is what this means for the future of politics.
We are going to be able to see nearly all of a person’s history with nearly no effort, and it’s going to change the game.
Firstly, those that are planning ahead and think that they want to be in the public’s eye should be cautious with social media, since everything you say will be remembered and used against you.
The rest of us are going to have to change our standards for politicians. If we decide who is eligible for power based on what was on their Facebook when they were young, we will have nobody to vote for.  Everybody does stupid things in their life, and for the most part, it’s harmless.
For example, if we try to use illegal consumption of drugs or alcohol (in Ossoff’s case, underage drinking) in college to justify why someone is ineligible for office, literally nobody at Augustana can ever run for office.
What we will find as we continue into the “information age” is that nobody is perfect. We will know more about our politicians than we care to, and will have to realize that we were just as bad. I guarantee that those who released an attack ad on Ossoff were doing things that were just as bad in their day, and that they just happened to be doing it before the creating of social media and the internet.
None of this is to say that we shouldn’t take social media seriously, of course. Anyone looking to see the power behind social media can look at President Trump’s campaign see that social media matters. For some, it’s how they get all of their information.
All this means is that we have to use discretion. The information age and social media are going to be playing a large role in our lives, and this little attack ad is the first of many that will take advantage of that.
When you use social media, remember that everything on it will probably never be forgotten.