What happened to the youth vote?


This was the year you young voters were supposed to take control. The table was set. The power was in your hands � all you had to do was use it. You made a date with the real world � not an oxymoronic �reality� TV show, but the actual place where the future gets decided. And what did you do? You didn�t even show up.

Sure, in absolute numbers more of you voted than in 2000, but the percentage of eligible 18-24 voters who turned out stayed flat at 10 percent � which means millions of you decided you had something better to do than stand up and be counted.

I can�t imagine a scenario that puts you more at stake. You are the ones who are dying in the desert in Iraq (and in other places soon, but let�s not go there now). You are the ones who will be handed the keys to a trillion-dollar deficit. You are the ones who will be faced with the cost of paying for the retirement of the millions of baby boomers with a Social Security system that probably won�t be there for you. You are the ones who will inherit a permanently hostile world and an environment that is degrading in ways that will fully reveal themselves only after all hope of avoiding disaster has passed.

What the hell happened to you? You are the ones who prefer to get your news from Jon Stewart. You are supposed to be the savvy ones, the people who can�t be spun. Well, I guess that turned out to be a manifestation of the old salesman�s saying, �you can�t shit a shitter.� You spun us all. You registered in record numbers. You showed up at Michael Moore�s �Slacker Tour� by the thousands. You pretended to give damn. But it was all a ruse, wasn�t it?

And so the laugh is on us. You treated the whole thing as a game � another chance to confound expectations, and prove we don�t understand you at all. Mission accomplished, idiots. We had you completely wrong. We thought you cared about protecting your own asses. Turns out you are a generation of Kobe Bryants, proving that the world revolves around you by destroying it.

Us old farts obviously did something fundamentally wrong along the way. We created the mess we, and you, find ourselves in. We also created a padded, stimulation-rich environment where you were insulated from consequences. And we thereby sired a generation so ignorant and apathetic that it couldn�t be bothered to make a few scratches on a piece of paper, or play a video game that actually mattered. Instead you will be X-boxing in your staterooms as the Titanic slides beneath the waves.

One Comment

  1. interesting timeing, i spoke to my 23 yr old sister and asked if she voted—NO.
    why, i ask—becuase of the lines, she says.
    she was a BUSH wanna-be-voter anyway. pffft.


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