Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Every four years, when we have a Presidential Election, I inevitably hear about how there is a youth movement gaining ground, how so many young people are registering for the first time and getting involved, and how the younger voters will make a difference in the way things are run.

Oh -- and they are all "liberals", i.e. "progressives". Allegedly.

This is such bunk that I can not take it seriously anymore. Having had plenty of time to think about it over the twenty-three years that I have been voting, I have come to the conclusion that the "youth vote" is a myth. Young people getting involved in the political process has nothing to do with being more concerned about the future than previous generations of American youth. The reason so many younger voters appear to be active is that they are legally eligible to vote for the first time ever. Of course they're getting involved in the current election. It would have been illegal for them to vote in the previous one.

Making a big deal about the youth vote in a Presidential election is like going to bars every four years and noticing that there are more people between the ages of 21 and 25 drinking alcoholic beverages. Or checking drivers' license stats and finding that there are kids in their late teens who weren't driving four years ago.

When there are more forty year olds registering to vote for the first time than eighteen year olds, that will be news.

No comments: