Miss Elle’s Friday Final: On the Young and the Wageless
(Or, How to Stop Worrying and Accept the Inevitable)
Bloomberg Businessweek posted an interesting article on (yet again) why young voters might not vote as much for President Obama in the 2012 election and I have to wonder why we keep wondering. I’m sure part of this phenomenon has to do with concern for Obama’s admittedly dwindled base, but I’m also starting to suspect that there’s been an underlying idea that young people are always ripe for the picking when it comes to politics. Surprise, they’re not!
Look, the downgrade in enthusiasm was bound to happen. Reelection campaigns are kind of like action-thriller-horror movie sequels: never as good as the first movie (but probably a lot more gory) and not everyone’s rushing out to theaters to see it. If it seems like a lot of young people are waiting for the Blu-ray special of the 2012 election campaign, it’s because they are. What occurred in 2008 was a masterpiece of an election, but it’s definitely not something that can or will be repeated.
And why should it be? So many issues being debated (or filibustered) in Congress today affect plenty of young people, and it is possible that Obama hasn’t lived up to everyone’s expectations constantly. Not to say that his lack of commitment in some areas should equal his 2012 downfall, but that people have a right to be frustrated with him. Young people have a right to be disaffected. They have a right to not care.
If President Obama or Mitt Romney plan to dredge up any kind of young people enthusiasm this year, they’ll need to start taking our worries and cares a lot more seriously. No more playing around with health care or abortion rights or yes, even immigration policy. Stop searching for another 2008, and start focusing on the right now.
What do you guys think? Should the media be so heavily concerned with a 2008 part 2? Do you feel disaffected or unenthusiastic about the 2012 elections? Why?