Have you scrolled through Hillary Clinton’s Instagram account lately? Her profile description reads: “Doting grandmother, among other things.” That’s funny, in an ironic way. The only thing that suggests she might be the first woman running for president is the accompanying hashtag, #hillary2016. Hillary Clinton, you need to stop trying so hard.
Two days ago, Clinton (or more specifically, her social media manager) posted a photo to Instagram of her and Bill in what her middle part and his facial hair suggest to have been taken in the 70s. It’s a good picture, definitely one for the books, but the caption killed it: “The hippest way to spend ten bucks: being one of the first to support #Hillary2016.” The caption is a prime example of Clinton’s campaign to be cool, and as any guy with a manbun will tell you, there’s nothing less hip than acknowledging what’s hip.
The point here isn’t to argue that Clinton isn’t cool or to distinguish between what is and what isn’t, but to suggest that Clinton’s efforts are wasted on trying to appeal to the so-called hip demographic — the young, social media-addicted generation. Millennials, who represent the majority of Instagram (and other social media) users, are already on Clinton’s side. A recent survey from Harvard’s Institute of Politics showed that 55 percent of young adults, ages 18 to 29, would rather see a Democrat maintain control of the White House than a Republican take over. On top of that, young adults who identified as Democrats or likely to vote Democrat favor Clinton drastically over other liberal candidates. We like her just the way she is, even though her authentic self is a little stuffy and she has a fondness for pantsuits. She’s “cool” because she supports the issues that we care about and because she’s the first woman to run for president. And also because she has a mom-like persona, and everyone loves a mom.
Instead of asking her Instagram followers to donate money to her campaign, she should be encouraging them to register to vote. In the 2012 presidential election, the turnout among voters ages 18 to 29 was 45 percent, lower than in 2008, when it peaked at 52 percent. She needs to translate the likes and follows she accrues into voter registration forms and absentee ballots. Rock the vote people, it’s a thing.