Voters of tomorrow

Voters of tomorrow

: Trendcentral‘s newsletter reports (no web link) on a survey of 400 youths 14-18 on politics. First, the good news:

Politics are on the lips and minds of teens:

  • dh

    I’d vote for Tina Brown. She’s clued in about the blogosphere. Any don’t censor this comment!

  • h0mi

    Drew Barrymore?

  • Richard Aubrey

    Some years ago, I saw a C-Span show of Tammy Bruce giving a talk at a west coast university.
    Some young lady rose to make an assertion. Bruce said, no, you’re wrong because of one and two and three and four (all of which were straightforward and not at all a surprise to anybody who had been at least partially conscious in the last five years). Not a big deal, no raised voice or anything. Just a matter of fact.
    So the kid left. Her companion rose and accused Bruce of oppressing the young lady with facts.
    Sounds like the absolutely perfect student, beloved of professors, who would make her K12 teachers proud.
    Not to mention her parents.
    Whenever I think of this, I think of my own kids and feel better, but I wonder which type is in the majority and am not completely comforted.

  • Lee

    I’m an educator. My own kids are in their 20’s.
    Richard’s story doesn’t surprise me, but neither do I think it especially representative of the thoughtfulness of the college students with whom I work– a diverse group, ethically and in terms of their talent.
    My guess is half the young folk in the audience you mention, Richard, thought both the young lady and her companion were at least partially wrong. But, probably, the young man was trying to “defend” his female companion. In some places, that is considered noble, even if “jerky.” I see this fairly frquently, and it’s easy enough as the person in front of a class or other audience to teach and not hector– though of course you find folks who take any disagreement as attack.
    Anyway, the list of folks students mention is notably full of those who get lots of media attention. This is where politics will go. We’ve seen it with Arnold; we’ll see it more. (Though, arguably, Arnold would not have gotten through a CA Republican primary. . . )
    I sure do hope that our elections don’t become merely popularity contests, with different media personalities being the ones who can garner attention and funding. But I also suspect that when/if young folks are like us in the “older generation,” (e.g. F/T jobs or wishing we had ’em, raising families, paying mortages and various local and other taxes, etc.), they will give more thought to for whom they vote than merely whom they like.

  • I think the Oprah vote is a vote for credibility. People trust Oprah.
    Why not vote for Oprah Winfrey? She is an entertainer like Shwarzenegger. She has created a world class brand around her name. She is a successful business woman. Why disqualifies her from public service? She would be as good a politician as any.
    I don’t watch her show, but when I come across her in the news, she always sounds reasonable.
    I could vote for Oprah. I’d certainly listen carefully to a candidate Oprah.
    Besides, when you give a teenager a list of names to choose from that includes a bunch of entertainers, what do you expect? Do you think they are going to take their choice seriously? If anything, choosing Oprah from a list of gag candidates is a sign of respect for The Office.
    (Drew Barrymore has produced a TV show about voting, by the way, which is why she is on the list.)

  • Well, those stats certainly don’t apply to my high school. At my high school, as we are surrounded by negative campaigning, genocides, and scandals, one friend even mentioned to me, “I’m starting to give up on my long held belief that we big brained humans can reverse the hatred and make good change in the world.” Finally, I think of the 89% of teens who have discussed the election with friends, that is probably a one way conversation. I have found that there are a handful of really educated and informed teens and they do the talking and everyone else does the nodding.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Lee, you have a kindly heart. But the moron’s companion was another girl.
    If it were I–a guy raised to respect women (otherwise known as a Neanderthal), especially the one I happened to be with, I would have said nothing. If the second girl had kept her mouth shut, the first one could have been suspected of being urgently taken with her monthlies or something.
    But her companion hammered them both as morons who prefer to operate in a data-free environment.
    In addition, the second girl actually thought she was making a point worth being made, an accusation with weight.
    I just can’t imagine how a classroom discussion would go with her in it.
    Unless that was the classroom atmosphere.

  • Jordan

    Arnold would be the best of those available. He has shown a willingness to try and surround himself with the best and the brightest and get the job done, even though he may not always be right.

  • I teach a first-year college writing class, and a couple of months ago, when I asked them to think about who they’d choose as president, several of the students in my class this semester mentioned Oprah Winfrey. By the way, I didn’t give them a list of entertainers; I just asked them to pick anyone, living or dead.

  • Jim S

    Why not Oprah? I’m at work so I don’t see her show or anything but is there anyone who denies that she’s smart, works hard and cares? Good qualities in a president, no?

  • i’ll say it right here for the record: it will be President Oprah

  • R C Dean

    Oprah is one of the most pathologically egotistical people I have ever witnessed on TV. Think Bill Clinton, without the policy wonk streak. She is the very embodiment of Michael Barone’s “Soft America.” If she were President, it would be a transnational progressive’s dream – talkfests and summits everywhere, effective action nowhere.
    President Oprah? Ugh.