Saturday, February 6, 2016

Never Trust Anyone Under 30

     A lot of things puzzle me about the state of affairs in this country. For example, we remember that the "youth vote" was so important back in 2008 to galvanize the Obama phenomenon and help elect the first black president.

     President Obama's signature accomplishment is the Affordable Care Act -- except now the Affordable Care Act is running into problems, mostly of the financial kind. Why? Because not enough young people are signing up to get medical insurance. So it turns out that the people who were behind this major social program are the very same ones who are now putting it in jeopardy and could even cause it to fail.

     You just can't trust those young people.

     Meanwhile, all the pundits are still talking about the youth vote, as if there's something special about it. They say Bernie Sanders represents the future because he is popular on college campuses. But they blast Hillary Clinton because her supporters are older, and so the supposition is that she represents the past.

Would the "youth vote" even recognize this place?
     I actually applaud the 74-year-old Sanders for appealing to young people. I think that in itself is to his credit.

     But my question is: What's so special about the youth vote? My vote counts every bit as much as a vote cast by anyone under 30. And people in our demographic group actually do vote -- a lot more than 20-somethings do.

     I'm in my 60s and plan to be around to vote in at least another three or four presidential elections, not to mention plenty of elections for senator, congressman, governor and everything else in between. So I'm the future, too.

     If you want to know what the youth vote is really about, check out this Salon video to see how much college students know about American history vs. what they know about Snooki and Brad Pitt. And then ask yourself: Do we really want to put our future in the hands of these young  people?


DJan said...

What really gets me is how many people of any age do not vote! We women all over the world were excluded for a long time. Did you know that some countries like Saudi Arabia STILL do not let women vote? It's a privilege and I've never once missed a chance to cast my ballot. So anybody at any age who exercises their right to vote is a winner in my book. :-)

Laura Lee Carter said...

Excellent observations Tom. I had not yet made the connection in my own mind between Obama Care and kids who won't buy medical insurance. Here in my small, poor town most won't buy health insurance. At least half are already on Medicaid or Medicare. Those of us who are retired and hopefully older and wiser realize that the cost of medical care is the most important unknown in our financial future.

RJ said...

I don't think it is that the "youth" vote is any more important than the senior vote or any other. It is just that we are so split as a country goes now that any any subgroup can swing you into a majority position.

I quit worrying about the pundits. In my opinion the more you listen to them the more divided we become.

Jono said...

What do they (pundits) know? They get paid to put out some opinion that will get people to watch and increase the cash flow of their employers. Why would anyone trust them?

Stephen Hayes said...

A humorous post with a ring of truth about it. Young people today may be far more advanced than we were when it comes to electronics and social media, but they know far less about the world and American History and this frightens me.

Anonymous said...

It was the youth who attended anti-war rallies in the past, not the seniors. These days, there's no passion anymore.

bruce said...

Today, youth's passion doesn't extend much further than the nearest smart phone or youtube video. There is no cohesive factor, like the Vietnam war, to stir to pry them from the apathetic coma they are in.

Tom Sightings said...

RJ and Jono, I agree with you about the pundits. Trouble is, they're all over the place and it's hard to avoid them. By the way, I don't mean to cast aspersions on all young people. After all, I have two children of my own who are part of the "youth vote", and I love them dearly. It's just that sometimes, in my cynical moments, I recall the words of Winston Churchill who said something like: Democracy seems like the best way to run a government, until you spend five minutes talking with the average voter.

Olga Hebert said...

TImes have changed. I remember how informed and in charge I was in my college days.

Janette said...

Yes, we do need to trust them. Just as many of them voted in the 2008 election as "we did" in 1976. They are currently the largest , diverse and most educated (34% have BA degrees vs 23% in our generation) voting block in the US. They grew up not knowing the capital of Idaho, but knowing the capital of Iraq. A thirty year old has lived through their parents loosing jobs and them not finding one themselves during the great recession. They know what it is like to be denied health care because it is too expensive, while watching the wealthy (and the older people) get the health care that is needed.
They have been tested until they are purple.
They grew up under the definition of what "is" is. They tend to have sex early & marry late, because they have free access to contraception and want to have money before they have a family. An incredible number have the desire to be Financially Independent as the goal in life.
The country needs to go in the direction they wish. It is their future. Yes, I am going to have to live through the changes, but I readily accept and engage in conversation with them. They have a viewpoint that is more like my own. They don't vote as often, but they are not old people either. If they think that it will make a out.

Anonymous said...

When I saw that video a few days ago, I was a little suspicious. I wonder how many students they talked to in order to get the ones who have obviously not paid attention to the news. It reminded of the Planned Parenthood "gotcha" videos... well edited.I don't know for sure, but I would guess we have some very well educated, very engaged young people and some not so much... just like adults. I don't even follow Hollywood and celebrity news and I knew a lot of those answers... but I also know who our vice president is :)

Anonymous said...

Ah demographics...the granny vote counts too. Funny, but my granddaughters who all now confess they voted for Obama are for Trump. Angry about many things it seems.

Maturity is being able to recognize a demagogue I tell them.
H.L. Mencken said it best...Demogogue- a politician who lies to idiots and promises what he knows he can't deliver.

There are no quick fixes. Tell the average voter that and they get very upset. My guy is still Govrnor John Kasich.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

You make some excellent points, Tom! I think people of all ages need to get out and vote in this important election year. I'm always a little wary of segmenting the population into neat categories: I know some oldsters who are terribly ignorant about history as well as young people and some young people who are very well informed as well as some whose grasp of history is woefully inadequate. We all need to educate ourselves to vote responsibly when it matters so much. The young who don't know much of the world beyond video games and the Kardashians scare me a lot. But so do some seniors I see around here (in an Arizona Sun City) who think Trump is prime Presidential material.

Barbara said...

I just want to know what to do when you don't want any of them. Some you don't like, others you know can't deliver what they promise and the remainder are such jerks they won't be able to work with congress to get anything done. I'm at my wit's end. I believe in voting but is choosing the lesser of the evils the right way to go.

Jane said...

Uh oh, someone is starting to sound like a cranky geezer:). Here's the deal... People think someone else is going to pay for these programs, not them. I've kept my mouth shut on Obama Care, because I have insurance, but have always wondered if it wasn't a windfall for insurance companies, rather than health care reform. Young people have entry level jobs, often with student loans, and tend to be healthy. It's a hard sell if you live paycheck to paycheck.

People have died, here and abroad, for the right to vote. It is shameful not to, regardless of the merits of the contenders.

Anonymous said...

Today's younger generations think that health care necessitates having health care insurance. In my day, health care insurance was not something that most people had. Yet, most people got some sort of health care - as inadequate as it may now seem by today's standards. When I was in college (when the earth was cooling) a dentist in the college town removed a troublesome wisdom tooth for me, after which he asked, "Can you afford $10?" and had me stop by the school's infirmary to get a shot of penicillin (the relatively new wonder drug) to prevent infection.

A couple of years later, when my husband and I left school, I had to change OB/GYNs. The "new" one asked how much I had paid the "old" one so that he could subtract that from his "package deal price for delivering our baby". I won't even go into my parents exchanging chickens and eggs for health care from old Dr Keathly!
Cop Car

Wisewebwoman said...

Loads of anger around. The youth tend to be disengaged, they see the world the f***up it is and what endless war does to other countries. Also climate change and no one addressing the deeper issues of our times.

Julian Barnes is iffy for me. Some of his stuff is great, some dense as in "England, England" which I tossed.

And Florida, flea markets would have appealed to me too.