May 8, 2014

Dock the Vote

commentary by killre

So three Yahoos named Susan Saulny, Richard Coolidge, and Jordyn Phelps (henceforth referred to as Dewey, Huey, and Louie) recently posted a, um, I guess I'll call it an article discussing the evaporation of the so-called "Obama Generation," the legion of young voters what got him elected prez, but are not expected to exercise their midterm democratic balloting rights.

You are, of course, free to follow the jump and either (a) watch the video or (b) act like a grown up by frantically stabbing the mute button and reading the text instead.

Or you could just trust me to print the pertinents below.

Why it took three people to write this "article" is beyond me.  Most of the text is nothing more than a transcript of the video, and Huey-Dewey-Louie somehow manage to get a few of the finer points wrong, despite their triple-teaming.  The vid is an interview of John Della Volpe.  He's the Director of Polling at Harvard's Institute of Politics.  As we all know, a dip in voter turnout for the midterm elections --particularly among young voters-- is, like, totally unprecedented.  Volpe has a few theories as to why such a wild anomaly might happen.  He says the theories are backed by numbers.

One passage caught my eye/ear:

"...young people voted for Obama in 2000 and 8 so they could have a stake in what was happening in government ... I think they're frustrated that they weren't asked to do more."

That's an... optimistic view.  I sincerely hope it's accurate.  Too bad it isn't.

I strongly suspect the truth is much more in line with human nature, especially the nature of humans living in 21st-century U.S. of America.  Now, don't get me wrong: I don't have my finger on the pulse (or any other body part) of young voters, nor do I have collated data that I won't actually reveal, nor am I trying to paint everyone with the same broad brush.  However, it seems to me that young people voted for Obama in two-thousand-eight because they liked him better than John McCain and the Avon lady, not because they wanted "a stake in ... government" --no more than most voters, anyway.  Moreover, I don't think their failure to vote since 2008 is because "they're frustrated that they weren't asked to do more."  I think they thought 2008 was enough.  A significant percentage of them probably never learned much about how the government works, and they don't know how important their vote might be, even in a midterm.  There are probably many who are only dimly aware that there are elections this year; and many of those are convinced the balloting must surely pertain to someone else.

Besides, even for the ones who do know and do know and do know... it just doesn't have the JAZZ of a presidential election, does it.

P.S.... Bud "DEFCON Ratings Are Like Golf Scores:
          The Lower The Number, The Higher The Heat" Selig must go.