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Youth Vote in America

Autor:   •  April 26, 2018  •  Research Paper  •  2,074 Words (9 Pages)  •  670 Views

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                                                               Youth Vote in America

                                                           Abhimanyu Singh Balyan

                                                                        GE 3000

                                                                Professor Linda Cahir

The contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, in which neither of them had a wide support from the youths in American, the participation rates were really less compared to previous years. Since 1972, to win the presidency, every Republican candidate had to gain the youth vote, with one exception, which was, George Bush won in both 2000 and 2004 despite the fact that young voters supported his challengers Al Gore and John Kerry, respectively.

In his victory speech in Nevada, Trump said, “We won with young. We won with old”.  But the truth is that Trump did not win with voters under the age of 30 in Nevada.  He gained 31% of young voters there, following Senator Marco Rubio’s 37%. No Republican candidate has managed to consistently capture the youth vote because of what that result suggests. The youth of America have the potential to have a strong influence on their national politics, but they don’t seem to take this into serious consideration. It is really essential that the young people feel empowered to set the course for the country by making their voices heard. But the fear and distrust of the government among young people has often been associated with social protest and political activism. Historically, student protests of the 1960’s and 1970’s often coupled fear of the government with political action. However, in today’s world, the young express their fear and disbelief of the government, yet their feelings do not explain into political activism. They feel there is a lack of trust in the government is especially important for Republicans.  In recent years, even though the youth have become increasingly politically involved in other ways, they have voiced a growing disbelief in voting and political parties. The political parties need to unify the support of young voters, or else they will have to face the difficult task of engaging and inspiring the youth. Nowadays, the young people are overscheduled and overstressed and apparently have lesser amount of leisure time to devote themselves to political activities. This is mainly because a lot of American youth work while they still attend school or college, political activity might suffer due to time constraints. After all, political activities do require dedication and is a time-consuming process. These factors do not seem to work well with the young people and they decide not to waste their time in such events and rather just focus on their work or studies. It is seen according to some studies performed that young people don’t really hate politicians. Due to the age of the internet, the youth is generally more up-to-date than any other generation. As we know, these days there are videos, websites, and other social media, that tells us all about what is going on in the world of politics, the topics and the candidates. The youth is possibly one of the biggest part of the population and are just on the way to adulthood. But many youngsters think that their vote doesn’t count, and politics isn’t as significant in their lives. This is a major situation because their belief matters to the nation as to what they think is the right choice to run the country. In Youth's Battle for the Ballot, Wendell Cultice discusses the phenomenon of political backlash against youthful activism but never develops the relationship between the repeated failures to reduce the voting age and violent protest at American universities. Youths played a small role in reducing the voting age. The main reason of this discussion is concerned with lobbying groups such as the National Education Association, which were led by the middle-aged, as well as with very senior politicians.  Cultice defines youth on the basis of age cohorts, ignoring the class, religious, and racial differences among young Americans. Youths, like their parents, voted according to the dictates of their wallets and prejudices. For example, Cultice indicates that liberal Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern in 1972 could count upon the support of youth. He then notes that backlash candidate George Wallace claimed his greatest support among voters under the age of thirty. The 2016 youth electorate closely mirrors the general population of young voters and remained just as racially and culturally diverse as it has been since 2008, with roughly the same proportion of Whites as in the past two presidential contests. On the other hand, the 2016 youth electorate was less representative of the general population in regard to education, young people without college experience, made up a smaller share of the youth who cast votes than they have in current elections. Young people who cast votes in 2016 were more likely to identify as Liberal than in recent elections, but they were less likely to identify as Democrats. As seen, the largest group in the 2016 youth elections remained the Democrats, is no longer a dominant group, and now there were as many young voters who identified themselves as independents or with other political parties. This unexpected change suggests that young people increasingly embrace a Liberal thought but do not necessarily see the Democratic party as an organization that can represent and spread those ideas. It seems that politicians and the political parties might be starting to get a hold on how to reach the youth of America, because they are desperate for their votes as they know that it is mainly the youth that make up a large majority of the voters. The politicians need young people on their side for their own benefits to help them win. When the massive shifts are to be considered, the constancy in youth turnout stands out, as it has been seen in America in modes of campaigning, laws, and rules leading to registration and voting. More important, in any given election, the turnout rate for a whole generation of youth is a misleading statistic because it covers dissimilarities among young people which are of the same age. The attraction of service for the youth is undeniable and growing. It is driven by the characteristic of this generation. Their propensity toward compassion and their nonjudgmental concern for others, and away from what they see as a political system driven by conflict and ego. For the more general youth culture, there has been nothing less than a collapse due in large measure to hard rock, unrestricted television programming, filth on the internet and especially rap music. If the young citizens are not casting votes, talking about elections or helping out candidates, then they are probably not volunteering their time to other community projects. Scholar William Galston proposes that, “Most young voters characterize their volunteering as an alternative to official politics, which they see as corrupt, ineffective, and unrelated to their deeper ideals. They have confidence in personalizes acts with consequences they can see for themselves; they have no confidence in collective acts, especially those undertaken through public institutions whose operations they regard as remote, opaque and nearly impossible to control”. Young Americans are disengaged from the policy process because they feel marginalized within the political process. Younger citizens have become cynical about the political process and believe that the best way for them to make a true difference is to volunteer with a specific project rather than join the political fight. Possibly the larger context in which politics now operates has turned off a generation, specifically the rise of scandal-based politics that has led young people of America to conclude that the entire process is basically corrupt. Most citizens now agree that negative advertising does not depress turnout, as once thought, but that does not mean that it affects all types of voters in the same way. Of course, young voters are generally the least likely to be biased. It is worth noting that the vast majority of local party leaders who reported a lack of involvement with college clubs or youth groups also stated that they would like to have their involvement in the future. This outcome reinforces the dominant pattern that most politicians see youth disengagement as a problem, but many are unable to solve it. Also, it is seen that young people believe that older politicians do not listen and do not care about their concerns. So as a result, they don’t want to make an effort to make politicians hear them, and politicians don’t want to make an effort to provide to young people. There are numerous other possibilities, such as, it could be that the growing amount of money in politics has turned off younger voters, or maybe the overall professionalization of politics has played a role. It is quite possible that politicians have responded to the changing demographics of voters, that is, the aging of the electorate and have neglected the interests of young Americans. Politicians don’t pay attention to young voters and this is likely because young people do not actually vote, which raises some major concerns and issues. The most effective way to make government more responsive to average citizen is to pay attention to their requirements. Young people are afraid their own best interests will not be served by the whims of collective decision-making and they do not want to be tied to decisions that might restrict their individual progress and success. These characteristics suggest that the young voters have not interacted in enough group settings while coming of age to develop the trust in others essential for effective collective political action efforts. Repeated, successful participation in group activities helps foster the belief that other people can be trusted to contribute to the group’s overall best interests. These seems to be the types of experiences that the young people lack. The party officials seem particularly well suited to helping the young people learn the practical skills needed to develop and pursue a political agenda. They could provide recommendations of their own past experiences to influence the youth that collective organizing can have a dramatic impact on political decisions. If the youth does tend to take voting into serious thought and show that they really do care about the country and plan who to vote as their righteous and well-deserved leader, then it can solve a lot of problems and help the nation be a much better and less corrupt place.

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