The Youth Vote

Jason Fertig

I know NAS is non-partisan, so I will ask this question purely from an curiosity-based point-of-view.  How can so many younger Americans vote for policies that will saddle them with so much future debt?  I really want to lay the answer to that at the feet of the education system for failing to teach civics, for failing to cover both sides of major issues, and for spending precious class time on fashionable topics like sustainability.  Mark Bauerlein made similar points in an essay on Minding the Campus

We know why faculty lean left.  But why do students? 

I assert that President Obama prevailed nationally because he was "more popular than his opponent," not because his supporters were in step with his positions.  Mitt Romney's iPod playlist may have hurt him in the general election more than we realize. 

Many on the right believe that halting higher education's drift into the gutter will produce a more knowledgeable electorate that may sway the results of future elections, but that plan fails to address the reality that one party is perceived as "much cooler than the other."  If conservatives want to compete nationally, younger voters need to hear (in a catchy way) that "it's cool to be a Republican."  I'm not sure they can prevail in a general election without doing so.

 

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