Youth Fail Prediction To Vote In Hordes

It looks like P. Diddy might have an aw ful lot of blood on his hands this week. According to exit polls conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International as reported by Reuters, “Fewer than one in 10 voters Tuesday were 18 to 24, about the same proportion of the electorate as in 2000.” Way to go, guys. So much for that youth vote everyone was buzzing over for the past few weeks. It would seem that people got so caught up in congratulating themselves for registering to vote that they neglected to actually go out and do it. That’s kind of a key element in that whole “who’s going to be president” thing. This lackluster showing at the polls just reinforces the stereotype I hate most about people our age: we’re all talk and no action, that we’re just a homogeneous group without strong and diverse attitudes, that in the end we’re just apathetic and uninformed. Maybe we are. Maybe the other 18-24 year olds put their absentee ballots under some papers and couldn’t find them in time to fill them out, or maybe they failed to take a minute to even request and absentee ballot in the first place. Maybe something came up that prevented those 18-24 year old people from going to the polls – perhaps they were watching Fahrenheit 9/11 and snickering about how lame President Bush was going to look after he lost. Maybe there was an election party to attend. Maybe they forgot. Maybe they thought they were voting when they registered. Or, maybe they were coddled into thinking that because it looked like so many 18-24 year olds were going to vote (and all for Kerry, of course, because every 18-24 year old must live in Liberaltown, Massachusetts and attend Kerryphile University) that their vote wasn’t imperative. It could be that after being inundated with so much Michael Moore, celebrity-ridden, MTV nonsense that they felt sure that most of the country was unilaterally against President Bush. Oops. Take a look at that interactive voting map. Maybe we youth are still young enough so that visual stimulation is more effective than verbal. See all that red? President Bush won the popular vote, too. Guess you’re going to be moving to some other country with Barbra Streisand and Cybill Shepherd. Now you can look forward to staging cut-rate productions of “Yentl” and hearing about how great Elvis was for the umpteenth time. Have fun with that. I’m not sure that if every youth voter had actually summoned up the strength to fill in a bubble or push a button that Kerry would have won. But at least we could have said that we, as a voting block, had exercised our right to vote – no matter which candidate we decided to vote for. Now, it hardly matters whether you were for Bush or Kerry or whether you were in the 10 per cent that voted either way; you’re just one member of that apathetic, unmotivated group called “youth” that ignored its civic responsibility.Upset? Indignant? Cast a vote in four years. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be part of generation “whatever.”