Let’s talk politics. (Yikes!)
Don’t worry, I won’t be touching on any “sensitive” subjects. At least, not me. The people below will do that for you…but let’s face it, politics is a major concern in the U.S. right now no matter your age, gender, race, and religion. Actually, these four factors are especially the reason why we’re seeing a stunning political demarcation in the nation at the moment.
Politics has always involved our lives and our value systems, but in our generation, it has become more than that. It has launched a social war—an emotional battle and a breach of friendships, or even an identity crisis for some, many thanks to social media. For some, disagreement is now disapproval; you may often find yourself in uncomfortable political discussions that end with someone saying, thinking, or feeling, “If you don’t agree with me, you must not accept me as a person, because these are the values that define me.” I’ve seen this happen on both sides, more than I want to admit.
So yes, gone is the myth that millennials don’t care about politics, because have you been on Facebook? Many millennials care about politics more than ever because now it is their identity. Also long gone, are the days when the only political commentary the public could get was from TV and news personalities like Anderson Cooper and (insert famous political pundit here…Rachel Maddow? 😬). With growing distrust in the mainstream media along with the rise of independent journalism via YouTube as the perfect platform, you can now see any individual—whether with TV/journalism experience or not—present their opinions and garner thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of views.
Sure, independent journalism and YouTube political commentaries run risks of being #FakeNews. With even the mainstream media sometimes being caught with twisted rhetoric or unsubstantiated allegations though, and with an ocean of unverified claims and information generally out there, it is incredibly important that we use our own discretion and critical thinking to derive conclusions when consuming any kind of media. It is also equally important that we create an open and respectful space around us for anyone to engage in an educated, logical political discourse despite our differences, and there are some rising political YouTubers out there who are trying to do exactly that, regardless of party. How well do they present their arguments? You be the judge.
Here are just seven of the most influential political YouTube channels of early 2017 (Try to guess their party affiliation–as if it’s as simple as that…I highly encourage you to watch their other videos to get a full grasp of what they stand for)
*Disclaimer: some of these people are far from politically correct so you may be offended, whether you lean left or right
**Note: some of them–like Ben Shapiro of The Daily Wire–do appear on TV as political commentators and are active members of the larger press, but I wanted to highlight that all of these people use YouTube as a major channel to reach a wider range of viewership
1. The Rubin Report
3. The Young Turks
5. The Daily Wire
6. Rebel Media
7. Roaming Millennial
By Hyeyoung Jung · Contributor