What “The Politician Season 2” Teaches Us About the Younger Generation

Last June 19, 2020, the season 2 of the Netflix Orginal series, ‘The Politician’ was released. Starring Ben Platt as Payton Hobart, the season explores the struggles of a young and new-to-the-game politician, as he enters the senatorial race. Up against a significantly older and more experienced candidate, his team faces a lot of belittling and disbelief. Gaining more and more traction as the election approaches, the stories in ‘The Politician’ reflect the realities of the younger generations.

Their activism is not from innocence

The common point of defense of older generations–when it comes to the activism of young people—is that they don’t know much about the world. It’s true, the youth hasn’t been here as long as the boomers, and there’s nothing we can do about that.

However, the young have seen enough to finally take a stand. They’ve watched celebrities who know little to nothing about politics take the seat of a public servant. They’ve witnessed public servants serve their best interests. They’ve seen the economy crash and the health of the planet wither.

Young people may not have gone to war or experienced a phone with instant messaging, but that does not warrant the older generation to belittle their struggles, much like what Dede Standish’s team does. The younger generation is living their 20s in 2020. That alone should be enough.

They care about the environment

Climate change is the most pressing issue for younger generations because they’re the ones who have to live with the effects. What’s worse is that one of their biggest worries is whether the planet will be able to hold up when they’re old and gray. As one of the voters said in the ‘The Voters’ episode of the season, young people don’t care if they’ll own a car or a house, but they care about having clean air and water in the future.

The show also tackles the zero waste movements as well as environmental activism led by the youth. While huge corporations remain the culprit for massive carbon footprints, younger generations have taken it upon themselves to start a more sustainable lifestyle.

In ‘The Politician,’ Payton Hobart recycles his shower water by using it to make coffee. This is quite an extreme means, but it illustrates the lengths younger generations are willing to take. Rest assured if they had houses and cars, everything would be powered by solar panels.

They are not apathetic

People would usually claim that younger generations are always on their phones, taking selfies, and playing computer games. This might be far from the truth, and this is why Payton Hobart targeted young people for his campaign.

In the real world, the voter turnout for 2018 set the record after four long decades. 36 percent of the votes came from people aged 18-29, from 20 percent in 2017.

Younger generations’ activism is also loud—may it be on social media or in the streets. They are quick to spread news via sharing links or retweeting, helping other people be informed about current events. In 2019, 7.6 million people participated in climate strikes, as Greta Thunberg led the plead those in power to start paying attention to the state of the environment.

Watching this show can be infuriating and frustrating, but it’s a must-watch for everyone. It echoes and justifies the cries for help of the younger generations.