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Indy318's avatar

Why is politics no longer interesting to the young?

Asked by Indy318 (1012points) July 21st, 2008 from iPhone

Like most teenagers, the topic of politics has never been a “conversation starter” because we just don’t find politics to be that interesting. I may go out of my way to find out who won last night’s ball game but won’t turn into CNN to see who’s leading the lastest polls. Personally I find politics to be very fake and corny because it just seems like they’re saying what people want to hear and not what they truely believe. Call me naive but shouldn’t politicans honestly take into consideration what the population has to say instead of just striving to get the most votes. Although I will not be old enough to vote for this election, I don’t plan on casting my ballot in any elections in the near future. I predict that this election will probably have some of the lowest young turn out ever. What do you think?

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21 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

I don’t know. I don’t see it that way. I think that you are going to see a damn good voter turnout by American youths. It seems to me that there is more interest in politics among young people now than anytime since I was old enough to vote. Seems to me that the last time there was this much interest was when Nixon was in the white house. I guess that the one good thing about a really bad administration is that it tends to wake up the youth of this country.

jlm11f's avatar

I think you are wrong. I think this election will have one of the highest turn outs ever (in terms of younger voters too). I also think that politics is still interesting to the young, it just depends on who you are and your personality. But if you have ever seen fluther users such as lefteh give their opinion, you will see that many young kids really do care about politics and find it interesting. I hope that once you are eligible to vote, you will reconsider your decision and help shape the country’s future.

PS – I consider myself “young” and I am very interested in politics.

btko's avatar

Perhaps it’s because you are thinking of CNN as a source for reliable news on politics? Politics is one issue that none of us can ignore. It affects all of us.

People are disinterested at their peril.

Stocky's avatar

Not voting is the best way to make sure that nothing changes

PupnTaco's avatar

Was it ever?

tinyfaery's avatar

I’d say those of my generation (so adequately defined as X) have the lowest number of voters than any other in history; many people I know people who have never voted and continue not to. I work with youth under the age of 25, and I find them highly interested in politics. Many of them are working on campaigns to elect Obama, to stop the campaign to end gay marriage, those dealing with environmental issues, etc. I’d say the opposite is true.

I agree with astrochuck; this generation of young people seems the most interested in politics than any other, since I have been eligible to vote.

marinelife's avatar

About the number of young people voting, you are wrong. Not only did they vote in record numbers in this year’s primaries, the trend is projected to continue into the November election.

“LOS ANGELES, June 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/—With the U.S. presidential
primaries now officially over, it appears that young and first-time voters
18–29 years old registered and voted in record numbers, and that trend is
expected to continue this November according to Declare Yourself, the national
non-partisan, non-profit youth voting initiative.
Based on verifiable data culled from exit polls and other sources, more
than six million people between the ages of 18–29 actually voted in the
presidential primaries, which marks a record. The turnout is more than double
that of both the 2004 and 2000 primaries. The majority of young voters—
approximately 4.9 million—cast their primary ballot for a Democratic
Of the Democratic electorate in states in which exit polling data was
available in both 2004 and 2008, the Declare Yourself analysis shows that
voters aged 18–29 made up 14.5 percent of the electorate in 2008 as compared
with 9.4 percent of the electorate in 2004; a 53 percent increase. On the
Republican side, 18–29 year olds share of presidential primary voters
increased roughly 10 percent, even as turn-out increased in all age groups.”

As to your attitude about voting, how does not voting improve the system? It is your life that will be affected in years to come by these leaders. They will decide how much taxes you pay, if there will be a draft, whether you will be able to count on social security in future, if your health care system will be improved, how much effort will be made to work on cleaning up the planet.

Is campaigning crappy in the US? Wasting money and far too long? Of course it is. How about working to change that?

nayeight's avatar

I care about politics! I’ll finally get to vote in this years election and I’m very excited. Ever since I was little my dad would watch meet the press & CNN on Sundays and in my teens I started watching with him. I’m 21 and some people my age don’t care and some do. I guess it all depends on how you were raised/introduced to it. Also my teachers in high school always encouraged us to be aware of what’s going on in politics. I really just hope that we have a great voter turnout this year, we need a change.

Indy318's avatar

I guess it is true that it depends on who you ask. Maybe its because I am not old enough to experience the voting practice or its just that little of the elections outcome will actually have an effect on me. I’m judging that interest in politics increases along with age since you become a taxpayer that actually needs to plan out their future. It is true interest has increased for this years election. However I think it has more to do with the fact we had a woman and African American running for office and the fact that Bush is turning into one ofbthe most disapproved presidents in recent history rather than the values and morals that the candidates themselves represent. I’m glad that some out the there do take time to acknowledge our political platforms. I may just need some time to figure out this politics thing.

skfinkel's avatar

I think and hope your assessment is incorrect. Never before have we needed the young people to vote for their healthy futures as much as now—and they seemed to know it and voted accordingly in the primary. I have high hopes that this generation of young voters will be a major force in the upcoming election.

mrjadkins's avatar

I work in education and I would say that this year the kids seem a lot more interested in politics because the politicians exploded out into the social networking tools they kids are using. Politicians using Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. to post about their travel itineraries and sharing their posts were the topic of conversation in many classes at the schools I was in.

Its summer now. Kids are into Batman and Hancock and whatever movies are going on out there. Young people are enjoying their time off right now. Maybe that’s why it seems they are not into politics right now. It’s summer.

Indy318's avatar

that’s the sad part- politians have to spread into such socal network like myspace and facebook. This shows desperate they are to get votes. You could say that the young wouldn’t even care for the elections if they werent right up on their faces. I’m afraid that people will only vote based on the 30 sec ads the candidates put up and not dig deeper into their platform. Who knows, we might just put in a man based on his appeal and not his creditionals, oh wait we just did that 4 years ago.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m assuming your rather young Indy. Truth is most voters are extremely uninformed. More people know who one American Idol than the candidates who won the primaries. And many people do vote based on appeal, media coverage, and 30 second spots.

Desperate to get votes? Of course they are, they want to win. You can say pandering, I say utilizing new media to reach the young voter.

Don’t vote, and you’ll see nothing change; we call this a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Trance24's avatar

I only feel like we should be involved in politics in order to find out “what is going on” with our country. I think it is important to know who is in the important offices, and who wants to get into them. Because we are going to have to be the ones that vote for them. And I do not want people voting if they do not even know what the person really stands for and what they have done in their political career. And what they plan on doing in their future political career. I believe that you should know what is going on in your surroundings in general and politics is a part of that.

i am 17 and I try and keep up on politics as much as I can, but admit that I am not as up to date as I should be. Teens are busy and the last thing they want to do is turn on CNN. But it is something that should become a more common practice. I would never vote with out “clear” knowlege on the person I want to vote for.

Indy318's avatar

Trance i think you are the only person that understood my question. Both being 17, we probably live lives that don’t allow to have time to follow up on latest election news, although we should. I fear that teenagers voting in this election don’t have the slightest clue as to the background, platform, and the goals of the candidates. I strongly urge the young to do a little research before voting, instead of “oh I voted for obama because I friend did”

Trance24's avatar

I completely agree with you indy. I can’t tell you how many people in my school said they would vote for so and so because of their appearance, sex, or race. During the primaries all the girls in my school wanted to vote Hilliary “because she is a bitch, so she will get things done.” Even if I had liked Hilliary that would certainly not be why I would vote for her. This isn’t student council we are voting for, its our country we are voting for.

Indy318's avatar

so how do we stop this nationwide epidemic of airheaded teenagers from casting their votes. Of course parents, teachers, and other adults should try to put some sense into the youth but how many of us will actually listlen to what they have to say. Teenagers are treating the presidental elections more like an American Idol finale than a race to determine who will eventually rule the free world. Sure myspace and facebook bring teenagers attention towards the election but they are no more creditable than the “news” networks like CNN. Without that, most teenagers wouldnt even know the top candidates. This is why we shoulnt have teenagers voting for in elections. They should wait until at least 21 because before that the outcome of the election won’t have a realistic inpact in our lives. By our 20’s we are independent and take into account issues such as taxes and social sercurity but right know all I know is that my parents pat taxes and I don’t need to be woorried by serious issues like that. However shouldn’t stop teenagers from educating themselves on national issues because our generation will one day have to face and resolve these issues.

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

I would have to disagree with you. I’m a proud fourteen-year-old freshman, and I am pretty involved in politics. Not only have I been part of my school’s student council all through middle school, and I plan to continue this coming year, but I’m also very interested in real-world politics. A vast majority of my friends are also interested in the presidential campaigns of 2008. We actually care about the issues and who’s going to be running our country.

jlm11f's avatar

@ flyaway – welcome to fluther and that’s great to hear that you and your friends are politically active :)

Trance24's avatar

@flyaway we are not saying all teenagers but a majority of them. It is amazing that you find yourself involved with politics and actually care about what is going on. Congratulations for stepping up. We need more people like you.

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

@Trance24; Thank you. =)
I agree that not enough teenagers care about politics, which is a shame, because it’s important to care about the issues that the president will be addressing and who the man [or hopefully woman soon, though I’m glad that Hilary is out of the running] that will be running out country will be. However, I disagree with Indy318, who said, “we shoulnt have teenagers voting for in elections. They should wait until at least 21 because before that the outcome of the election won’t have a realistic inpact in our lives.” I don’t believe this to be true. In fact, research shows that our minds aren’t fully developed until age 25. If Indy was going to argue such a point, the age should have to be changed to 25, not 21 [the risk evaluation and other parts of our brains at that age are still extremely active and impulsive at 21.] But the voting age being raised shouldn’t be a factor at all, in my opinion. Indy has made a generalization about our society that is backed up only by opinion, not fact.

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