A fountain of youth missing

Nick Campbell

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Traditionally, the youth vote used to be the demographic least discussed. The reason being is that according to the website Rock The Vote, youth voter turnout only reached a peak point in 2008.
The election of Barack Obama saw voter records shattered by the youth vote. In 2008, an estimated 22 Million voters under the age of 30 voted in the election. The highest turnout since 1972, it propelled Obama to the White House. Of all the demographics in the country, it was the youth who played the ace for the President. Now in 2012, has the GOP placed the youth vote into play? In Tampa, the GOP convention kicked off with the hope of unseating the President.
A question not discussed thru out the whole convention, was the future and impact this election will have on the young voters in this country.
The convention had the typical rancor of a partisan convention, and that was to be expected. What was clearly absent though, was how their plan will affect students.
You could surmise that in doing so it would force them to explain the cuts to education in their budget. Or has the GOP completely written off the youth vote?
You could argue that President Obama has the youth vote in his pocket. But considering how finicky this generation they are fools if they write them off. On one hand our generation is politically aware, involved, and willing to speak up. But on the other, we’re easily misinformed, easily manipulated, easily discouraged.
The same youth vote that carried him into office is becoming young adults. The new youth vote that’s replacing us, are coming in with a unique view on politics. This generation tends to not do as much research on the issues, and tends to be more pessimistic about politics.
When it comes to race, this generation has been exposed to diversity. As a result, they are more likely to not see a lot of racism. But subsequently they are oblivious to it as well.
So when you read the dialogue on forums and threads across the web, there is this hidden resentment of Obama. The perception that blacks only voted for Obama because he’s a black man. The perception that the tough job market in the country is somehow the fault of the government.
All these perceptions are openings for the GOP to exploit, but yet there was no mention or any posturing to the youth.
With this blown opportunity, it almost assures Obama will recapture the youth vote. That prototypical image of the “Angry White Guy” used to accompany the image of the Tea Party. But under the radar of the political landscape emerges the “Angry White Kid.” You can see them on Yahoo forums; they’re on Facebook and Twitter.
It’s not that Obama betrayed them, to the contrary he’s been fiercely advocating for them. Four years is more than enough time for this resentment to set in.
The media is powerful, social networking is powerful, and equally powerful is ignorance. So the enthusiasm gap mentioned by pundits is in fact misunderstood. The GOP has America’s problem with instant gratification working for them.
One thing working against the President, would be his assumption that Americans understand what is delaying the economic recovery.President Obama is also underestimating one key fact: A person is smart. People are dumb.
He who exploits this wins the election.
The GOP has failed to do that at their convention, so they missed their one shot at the youth. It either shows their arrogance by assuming the youth vote doesn’t matter. Or it shows that a more sinister revelation that we do matter, but can win without us.

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