Friday, May 22, 2009

Commentary from a member of the ‘Stupid Youth’

In response to the blame game highlighted here , I have something to say in defense of my fellow young people - American or Canadian as the case may be.

First of all, I will grant the author a few points about the foolishness of youth. In general youth are more idealistic, optimistic, and leftist. Following graduation the average youth is bombarded by messages of one's world-changing persona. In addition, they want to distance themselves from the mistakes and leverage of the preceding generation. That is understandable and to be expected. Studies have shown that the young are more liberal and that as people age they become more conservative. Fine, but does being young - which I will say is under thirty - necessitates a complete lack of understanding of any and all political happenings? Does being young mean that your only concerns are frivolities? I will admit that there are more than enough of people who fit that description. However, I would gather that many of said people will remain ignorant and unconcerned with politics for the majority of their lives. Some, not all. Some youngins' just need life experience, but many will follow the general American and Canadian tradition of being misinformed and uninterested in politics goings-on.

Furthermore, youth can jump on the bandwagon because of ignorance. Yet, do not many adults do the same? The young are also skeptical, which would mean they are questioning and will not believe something just because some high-up says it is so. Perhaps I am padded from my peer's stupidity to a degree by being in University. University holds a higher percentage of those interested or at least concerned with politics and the world. I will say that students are most definitely not immune to the sway of apathy or leftist tendencies. But, I find that many of the youth I know are far from entirely ignorant. Even if the young lean to the left - for reasons said below - I think they are no more to blame for problems than the older generation.

May I offer an explanation for Obama's victory - different from that of "stupid young voters." I will combine it with an explanation for why the young are so pro-Obama. First of all, Obama has charisma. He sounds good, he looks good, and he inspires a feeling of empowerment. He is different, both because of his skin and his political leanings. Voters were drawn in by his charisma and the blissful idea of breaking barriers and electing a black president. (Which as an aside, is a minor form of racism itself). Now, to return to my generation. We have been labelled often as "post-materialist." This entails being overly concerned with outward issues and changing the world. Such issues include the environment and peace. Because we do not, as a rule, have to work for our bread and butter at age ten, or even at age twenty five as the case may be, we instead focus on other social issues. This phenomenon is partially responsible for the voter's choice of Obama.

As a final word, there are those who will remain ignorant - or stupid if you will - in every age group and ideology.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Em. Great post, and I linked it in the appropriate thread at SDA, where the same Cap'n Capitalism post is discussed.

    You'll want to comment on SDA every now and then, to let folks know you're here. Worked for me.


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