Thursday, January 20, 2005

Getting Out the Youth Vote (Not)

Getting Out the Youth Vote (Not)

The author (better known as Pandagon) is earlytwentysomething, and despite the retro-1992 Wayne's World reference in the headline (What were you, Ezra, about eight?), here's a good nugget about youth and the Dems:

That young people didn’t find the threat of military conscription motivating is surprising. Or not. Maybe they just wrote the threat off as an everyday confrontation with the political sphere. And maybe, just maybe, the fact that we do that is also why we don’t vote.

Unlike some other demographics, youth has its primary governmental interactions with cops, a group that seems to exist solely to harass, at least until you turn 35 or so. But the unpleasantness extends even beyond badge holders. Politicians generally pay us just enough attention to scold; from Lieberman flipping out over violent video games, to Dole tripping out over obscene movies, to Biden legislating against raves, to Bill Bennett attacking rap music (presumably between sessions at the slot machines), politics is one never-ending nag session.

The bottom line is that most youth have an oppositional relationship to politics, and indeed to the government itself. Whether it’s culture wars, threats of a draft or harassment from a cop, the public sphere seems generally arrayed against us, or at least hoping we’ll delay our involvement for four more years.

Note the bipartisanship of the scolders. We old Democrats scold at our own peril.

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