The Youth Vote Is Ready for a Committment From President Bush

Amanda Houle

To my dearest George: I long for a relationship but I feel that in the coming months, you won’t return my calls.

You say that we shared something special but I’m wondering was it all just to get me into the booth. You tell me that I will not regret this, that you’ll lower my tuition, that you’ll keep my friends safe in Iraq, that I’ll have a job after graduation, and that you’ll always be there for me. During the campaign you wined and dined me. It was all sweet talk and ‘I care about your feelings’ and ‘I want to hear what you have to say.” But, now that November 2 has come and gone, I’m starting to feel like a cheap date.

I know that next month you’ll be bragging to your buddies on the Hill about how you tapped my vote. And I won’t have anything to show for it.

I’m never invited to your policy meetings or introduced to your friends. I even get the feeling sometimes that you are embarrassed to be seen with me. What are you so ashamed of? I service your community, I defend your honor abroad, I work multiple jobs, I shoulder your economic burdens and I still have time to come home at night and listen to how your day at work went. Plus, I’m a slave for you. I’m always willing to knock on doors, to telephone strangers, to brag about you and tell all my friends what a great guy you are.

I often fantasize about the possibility of us sharing a committed relationship. I am full of hope for the future and enthusiasm for the present. I have this feeling that this could be more than just a one night stand.

Here and now, I am professing my devotion to you. After all of the campaign glitter has been swept away, I’m still here. I’m good for more than just a single vote – I am in this for the long haul. I’ve got tons of ideas and concerns that are worth your attention. You will always be able to count on me for support and advice; I vow never to leave you hanging.

But with my devotion comes a responsibility on your part. I want you to be there for me. I’m going to hold you accountable for all of those promises you made.

In the end, I just want to be appreciated. A relationship means listening to what I have to say, considering my needs when you make a decision, inviting me to your panels and mentioning me in your stump speeches. For this to work, you are going to have to make me a real part of your life.

All meaningful relationships require strong commitment. I promise to be come through on my end if you will do the same. We’ve got so much potential, I can’t let it all just slip away.

I guess what I am really trying to ask you is … do you want to go steady?

Sincerely,The Youth Vote-A. Houle, C. Bindler, and D. Bartels all contributed to this piece. They all work for Youth04.