Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Voter apathy: Why aren't the young voting?

The voter apathy post brings me to a discussion I had with a young woman a couple of days ago... our daughter, to be precise.

She is half owner of a home at the ripe old age of 22.  She has 2 years of college.  She works hard, and has since she turned 16.  She is a daughter who overcame some rough issues and has turned herself into the kind of daughter most would want to have.

I have had to nag her to vote.  Her two female roommates, in their mid 20's, aren't even registered.

This discussion came up because she watched the Trump appearance on Saturday Night Live and declared it "not funny."

I said she likely wasn't in the demo.

She didn't like that... "we are the future," she told me.

Almost like entertainment by politicians was an entitlement.

I said, yes, you are the future.

"But what do you know about the issues?  Before you voted here locally, what did you know about the issues confronting the county?  Or Battle Ground?"

I went on, "and at the national level, what do you know about, say, Chinese expansionism in the Spratly Islands, or Russian hegemony  in the Middle East, or ISIS and how much money and military equipment ISIS has captured... the fiscal impacts of our trade deficit; the failure of so many programs that have wasted billions... our horrendous, unpayable national debt and the attitude of 'entitlement' permeating this country today... where those you elect want to "give" you everything as if it were free... while none on your demo stop to think that NOTHING is free and you are NOT entitled to take the fruits of others labors because someone promises you that which they cannot deliver and have no moral right to deliver even if they could... the idea that presidential candidates and other politicians want to give away free stuff that others have to pay for to buy your vote?"

Blank look.

"How," I went on, "can you be the future if you don't know anything about our past and our present?  How can you make an informed decision on who to vote for if you don't have a clue about what their history is, what they've done in the past and what they'll do in the future?"

And that's when it hit me:

They don't care because they don't know.  They don't know because they don't want to know.

Reality is an unpleasant construct.  And that's why those in that demographic are so eager to avoid it.

Young people are far more interested in ways to get messed up.  The latest drug.  The best pot strains.  The next great mind/mood altering substance.

They'll do massive amounts of research on the latest craze, fashion, celebrity, band, rapper, drugs.

But they won't pick up a newspaper or research a candidate.

And that, I believe, is why the young don't vote.  Because if they knew what was happening out in the real world, they might.  But if they don't know and don't care, they certainly won't vote.

No comments: