It seems as if every day leading to November a new attack ad, speech or controversy hits the public by surprise and, as candidates and parties attempt to save face before the media, the whole process leaves many young voters disinterested.
There are many American students who came to voting age between the 2008 and 2012 presidential election cycle.
Due to the nature of today’s two party system, voters are presented with an overwhelming abundance of standpoints and opinions from either party.
With an small selection of potential candidates surrounded by so much brouhaha, many students become apathetic.
For the past two weeks, candidates from both parties have gathered to parade at their respective National Conventions, where their soap-box blather of insults and self-promotion serve more as entertainment as opposed to actual education on their proposed policy.
During the Democratic National Convention many turned the channel to the NFL’s season opener, indicating that while an estimated 25.1 million people watched an event of supposed importance, there were also 23.9 million individuals more concerned with whether or not “America’s Team,” could beat last year’s Super Bowl Champion—a sporting event carries near-greater worth to people than potential government leader. The candidates and their parties have an equal share of the blame.
In 2008, it was difficult to find anyone without an opinion: 49.3 to 54.4 percent of the youth voter demographic ages 18 to 29 turned out, proving to be the second largest youth voter turnout in history.
This bright story has a dark future though as several projection polls for the 2012 election cycle have a youth turnout of below 35.5 percent, indicating over a 10 point drop in youth interest.
It doesn’t take much to unearth the general student opinion that the political situation is simply too complex, intimidating and inaccessible.
Beyond the realm of on-campus speeches, many candidates do little to accommodate youth and student voters.
The importance of youth has been widely praised by the representatives of Oval Office and the White House over the past century.
As the President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “The education of our children is of national concern, and if they are not educated properly, it is a national calamity.”
Eisenhower’s words can be widely applied to the way candidates go about educating youth voters, as they are indeed causing a calamity.
Presidential incumbents and candidates would do well, not only for themselves, but for country, to reach out to campuses and youth.
If 2008 was any indicator, the youth are begging for clarification on issues and the opportunity for involvement and it could benefit both sides to further education of candidates’ policy and ideals to the youth.It seems candidates are doing themselves a great disservice by essentially abandoning 10.6 percent of the American population.
Whether or not this is intentional is up to an individual to decide, students certainly should not feel alone in their confusion.
Clint Eastwood spoke to an empty chair at the Republican National Convention and Vice President, Joe Biden told a congregation of African Americans earlier this year, that the Republican party wishes to “chain” them.
Our politics have become theater, our politicians actors, and our candidates are asking the populous with their displays, “Are you not entertained?”