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Our potential problem in the General Election: Old people vote, young don't.

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AlinPA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 12:43 PM
Original message
Our potential problem in the General Election: Old people vote, young don't.
My wife and I have made an informal "study" of the people seen around the candidates at rallies, and other events (TV, newspapers)
Republicans: mostly old white men and old white women.
Democrats: mostly younger, racially diverse men and women.
My statement about voting of young vs old comes from a lot of data that I've seen.
If we can get young people to vote out to vote, we should be OK.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. People don't change. The old die. The problem is non-existant. The resourse is HUGE and
should be exploited. The shifting demographic, old dying and new voters entering the equation, favors DEMS immensely. And, there are a lot of potential progressives in the mass of new voters. They need to be registered.

We DO NOT have a problem, but rather the opposite----PLUS an opportunity to engage many more young voters every cycle.
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. um, people start to vote when they become older..... the young "forget" to register
and often don't show up. the old people who voted 20 years ago maybe dead, but are replaced by a newer block of older voters- while there kids, as per usual, stay home- no matter how many MTV specials try to "rock" them out of it.

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Essene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. It isnt forgetting. It's not caring or feeling a stake in it.
Most youth dont know the details of the issues and are more likely to take some type of "government is bullsh*t" view.

It doesn't matter.

Voting is meaningless.

All the politicians are the same.

The discussions are stupid.

The Other guys have the media and government controlled (i.e. lefties insist everything is controlled by the right-wing and conservatives insist everything is controlled by the left).

Etc.

In the end, many people do not perceive themselves as PART of the government... having power in it or know much about it.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Actually, the rate of youth voting is rising, a very positive trend, and there are
always new voters to register every day. That too is very positive and points to a fertile ground for making a difference, by registering new voters. It is good to know how far the goal posts can still be moved before the elections.
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Essene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Agreed... but that participation needs to be long-standing and include local politics, too
We can't afford to have young voters show up in bulk in Iowa and then vanish in other states.

Just like we couldn't afford to have a white candidate in the NYC Mayoral race of 2001 play nasty race baiting against a popular latino candidate. Why? Not only was it wrong, but minority voters TUNED OUT for the general election.

The DNC needs to start caring about the long-term outcomes and put pressure on candidates.

And there has to be yearly, strong investment in more local participation by the under-45 voters.
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. and not having a stake when there's a war on- is fucking stupid.
but people vote with their pocketbooks- and that's why Obama is pitting the youth against the boomers.
he's trying to rally the youth by appealing to their sense of entitlement.
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Essene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I'm not sure what you mean by all that...
Younger folks should indeed have a sense of stake during a "war," but it helps when we can identify what the war is and who the enemy is. Identification with our national interests was much easier when the "war" was about al qaeda in afghanistan. That's gone.

And as for money... i think young people are generally wrong about this stuff. They have power they do not appreciate, and their lack of understanding about the world lends them to easy conspiracies and cynicism. People have a LOT more power than they realize, if they get organized (starting locally).

Think of the movie Gangs of New York when the irish decided to organize, as powerless as they were.

That's a true american story. Happens all the time, regardless of whether we see it or admit it. The rise of the "christian coalition" is nothing less than a textbook grassroots movement and power grab. As a tiny minority, they can leverage dramatic power AT THE LOCAL LEVEL and thus systematically garnered national power to the point that they can literally define litmus tests for GOP candidates.

And i do not think Obama's strategy is about appealing young peoples' sense of entitlement. I think it's a lot more complex, but it fundamentally is about stirring up excitement to participate.
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. i agree with most of your analysis- maybe i shouldn't have said fucking stupid
because since there's little chance of a draft- there's no reason to worry about their own asses. so fucking selfish might have been more accurate.
if there was a draft, we'd be seeing them turn up at the polls.
i think Obama propogates the RW myth about social security being "in trouble" in order to give the youth of america a reason to be stirred up - their own self interest. if you haven;t seen the brainless vitorol against the "boomers" being spoiled, ruining the world, needing to "step aside", robbing the youth of america from their future enttlement (the ones they haven;t quite earned yet, LOL) then you been looking the other way. i total think Barack is exploiting their "lack of understanding" as you describe it, in order to fire up the youth of america. dumb, because they don;t vote as often as the older folk he disparages.
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Essene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. the social security crisis isnt a "RW myth" im afraid n/t
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. oh yes it is, more total bullshit about "big govmnt" read up, pal and get back to me.
got nothing more to say bout that manufactured "crisis" .
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Essene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. ... n/t
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AlinPA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. Totally agree with the resource. Young people concur with many (most?) of
our issues and principles: environment, tolerance to all, fairness, care for poor, freedom to live one's own life, respect for women... I have often heard Michael Moore talk about this. The problem is that we have not yet used the opportunity. I agree with the shift: the old, intolerant are being replaced by the tolerant and educated.
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Essene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. this generation war rhetoric is kinda... off-target

Instead of generalizing that all people over 45 are intolerant and stupid, perhaps youth should find common ground, learn from them and then find their own voices.

Frankly... this attitude is going to make YOU the next generation of intolerant old farts.
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AlinPA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Please read my original post: I am referring to republicans (old, white, intolerant..)
BTW I am 70 yrs old.
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
2. Unless this time they do - Maybe for Obama anyway....
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Essene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
4. Because for a generation, political rhetoric has alienated folks from THEIR government
Edited on Sat Jan-26-08 02:00 PM by Essene
We talk about government like it's a foreign invasion.

The notion that we're all part of the government, that it's our government... has been lost.

This impacts young voters the most. The participation increases once people have families, settle down into a location, buy homes and pay growing attention to current affairs (local, state and national).

The key is to get young people active LOCALLY... not just every 4 years in national elections. The problem is that younger people feel little connection to local issues. That's the place to focus attention.

The Green Party approach where they galvanize around a national ticket once in a while... is the exact anti-thesis of what needs to happen in america.



Id like to see mandated Civics classes in more states, where folks have to do fantasy debates and elections based on LOCAL and state issues... as much as on national and international. Youth need to better understand the government, their role in it and their power. This was the founders' dream.
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