Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The College Vote -- As in, "Dream On!"

Here are some true words written in summary of the "college vote" in an election year: "The youth vote traditionally has proved more pipsqueak than powerhouse."

That assessment, however, comes in an article in the Christian Science Monitor which also suggests that this year the environment may play a big role as motivator for the 18-24 year-old vote.

And there are few policy areas where the Bush administration has a worse record than the environment (but just let me count the ways this President has failed!).

"The youth vote represents a huge untapped reservoir. In 2000, there were about 30 million citizens 18 to 25 years old, about 16 percent of the total voting population. But in the last presidential election only 37 percent of that age group voted, compared with 64 percent of those over 25 years old, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement reports."

Dismal. In a democracy where fewer than half of the total population bothers to vote, where even less of eligible young people go to the polls, that democracy is ripe to be lost. Don't think it can happen? El Presidente is right now out campaigning on the virtues of his USA Patriot Act, asking for even more power.

"Younger voters, especially Generation Y (born between 1975 and 1995), seem likely to connect on the environment, some pollsters say. They hold green views more strongly than their Generation X (1964-75) counterparts and are more likely to oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge...." But their information is shallow, their commitment weak, their attention easily distracted by the baubles they crave.

Bring back the draft!

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