Why Millennials Are Not Interested to Become Politicians

Millennials have been receiving criticisms from older generations. From matters regarding technology obsession to reckless usage of money, the millennial generation just cannot escape from continuous scrutiny. Now, another interesting issue emerged that can affect the future government. Most millennials do not want to run for political office.

How the Study Proved It

A political scientist first presented this new millennial issue. Shauna Shames is Rutgers University-Camden’s assistant professor of political science. According to Futurity, her study is explained in her own book titled “Out of the Running: Why Millennials Reject Political Careers and Why It Matters.” Millennials are considered to be born between the 1980s to the late ‘90s.

Based on Shames’s 52 interviews with university students, millennials do not want to spend so much money in political campaigns. Shames supposedly had a different political science study before this. However, after gathering data from almost 800 students, she realized that information about political views is insufficient.

The massive number of graduate students in the survey comes from prestigious universities: Harvard Law, Boston’s Suffolk University Law School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. These are known in history as schools where political candidates usually come from.

Shames considered these factors about the students in her interviews: backgrounds, ambitions, political experiences, principles, political opinions and view of the government. Her analysis involved the students’ expected costs and rewards in pursuing politics.

The Reasons

As stated before, the main reason why millennials do not want to run for office is expensive campaigning. But, there are other specific reasons:


  • Asking for Money: Millennials think that asking for campaign supporters to raise funds is an “unsavory” task. They are the generation of cliques and believers of the so-called “personal space.” Looking for supporters means compromising their personal space. A political candidate needs to mingle with different kinds of people.
  • Change of Principles: Millennials do not want to compromise their principles just to gain supporters.
  • Hate for Corruption: Millennials are very aware and cautious when it comes to corruption in the government. Asking for campaign money from supporters seems a corrupt move for them.
  • Fear of Media: Millennials prioritize privacy. They fear that media would scrutinize every detail of their personal lives, including their loved ones’. They believe it would lead to danger.
  • Dirty Politics: Due to nonstop negative news about the government, millennials know that politics is a dangerous world.

Final Thoughts

The good thing about this new pattern from millennials is the generation’s less greedy perception about politics. As seen from some controversial politicians, running for office can mean chasing the idea of power. Millennials do not want anything to do with that. They long for a better world. But, they believe that entering politics is not the solution. On the other hand, the danger with this pattern is a weak government in the future. The mistake of millennials is thinking too much about the negative gains of being a politician.  If future researches can change that, then millennials would be able to tolerate the cost.