Thursday, February 14, 2008

Beware the "Youthquake" for Obama

Producer Russell: If I may, speaking from a producer-director standpoint: Kids can relate to this show. These guys aren't phonies. Kids can spot phonies; they're very smart.

Noah Vanderhoff: Kids know dick. I watch 'em in my arcades. They stand like lab rats hitting the feeder bar to get food pellets.

--Wayne's World, Paramount Pictures (1992)

This revealing exchange from an otherwise juvenile movie comes to mind when I watch everyone oooh and ahhh over the spectacle of many of our nation's youth wetting themselves with excitement over the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama. Sure, there are young conservative youth who support conservative and Republican candidates as well, and I have to admit, I am not too enthused with their input either.

Time Magazine had a cover-story article about the role of our youth in this election, and most of the article dedicates itself to talking about the youth movement for Obama, because quite simply, that is where you see most of the youth action: our youth love Barack Obama. I have previously posted about the overwhelming support for Obama among my 8th grade students, even though they couldn't articulate why they supported him, beyond the fact that Obama is black.

Please don't misunderstand, I am not saying that youth should not get involved in politics - As a young Reagan supporter, I fondly remember the political sparring I had with my Mondale-loving 7th grade history teacher in the in the fall of 1984. What I object to is this insistence (mostly from the left) that we must give so much weight and credence to what our youth have to say. The simple fact that the youth are falling all over themselves for Obama tells you a lot. I appreciate the famous quote that has been falsely attributed to Winston Churchill: If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain. It still makes a lot of sense to me, and that is why our youth tend to lean to the left. They are still in the naive and utopian mindset of "Let's pretend". Let's pretend that money grows on trees and that we can save every poor person out there if we just cut them a check; Let's pretend that we can raise and raise taxes, and it will have no negative effect on people's financial behavior; Let's pretend that we can pass laws telling employers that they can't fire handicapped employees, and it will have no effect on the hiring of handicapped people in the first place; Let's pretend that we can enact draconian environmental laws and it will have no effect on our health and prosperity.

The Time article brings up the last time that youth had a major role in a presidential election:

Frustrated by feckless Washington, energized by the unscripted, pundit-baffling freedom of a wide-open race, young people are voting in numbers rarely seen since the general election of 1972 — the first in which the voting age was lowered to 18.

What the article fails to mention is who the youth in the 1972 election overwhelmingly supported: George McGovern! The most leftist candidate (short of Norman Thomas or Gus Hall) to ever run for president.

Being excited about the youth's participation in the political process is all well and good, but attention does have to be paid to whom the youth are supporting - and who they are supporting is a socialist, partial-birth abortion-supporting, neophyte one-term Senator with some rather disturbing racial beliefs, judging by the Afro-centric church he attends in Chicago.

I would say that I hope that Barack Obama is as successful in his campaign for president as George McGovern was in his, but that would leave us with the Son of Cain in the Oval Office instead. What a messed up election this is shaping up to be.

Good Day to You, Sir


Anonymous said...

I was one of those newly enfranchised voters for McGovern in 1972. As I hazily remember, there were a lot of things I did in 1972 that were not prudent.

After getting a real job and having real responsibilities, I grew up real quickly and found that pie-in-the sky didn't fill the belly or pay the rent.

Looking at the possible choices for November, I am not sure that there is a prudent choice there either.

Don, American said...

When will Obama say something? Anything that means something.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I too, was a newly enfranchised voter in 1972. I didn't do the dastardly deed of pulling the lever for McGovern. I saw through his crap. The fact that I was in the military at the time made me susceptible to the promise that he would get us out of Vietnam. While I ended up there in 1972, our involvement didn't end because of McGovern. I wish it had been faster, but it took a long time to undo the mess we were in. McGovern was a snake oil salesman when he said that he would pull us out immediately. I and most of my buddies knew that was BS then, just as it's BS now. Prudence dictates a choice. It isn't a Democrat now, just as if it wasn't a Democrat then. That's a view from many years ago and I hold to it now.

Anonymous said...

My political views changed during the Reagan governor years in California. As a democrat, I could not but feel inspired by the changes he made in this state. He further impressed me as our President. I am a 6th grade teacher and I try to get my class to the Reagan Library on a field trip. There is an outstanding display which explains Reagan's change from democrat to republican. I love to see my student's reaction to that display - of course, I have to make it part of their walking "quiz" or they would probably ignore it all just to see the Big Plane!! Thank you for posting your point of view. I'm always amazed at your insight!

Darren said...

I'm disappointed that of the three major candidates currently in the race, I cannot in good conscience cast a vote for any of them.

For the first time in my life, I may vote third party for President.

Texas Truth said...

I like the phrase "newly enfranchised voter in 1972." That was my first national election. November 1972. I stood in line for three hours and voted for Richard Nixon.

I worry about young voters and their uninformed opinions about the political process and the candidate’s platforms. In fact, I have used the quote "liberal at 18 and conservative at 30" for years.

If one wants to see a movie about youths and the political process, try looking up and watching "Wild in the Streets." It was released in 1968.

It sure seems similar to Obama mania today. I may do a post about the movie on my blog.

Take care and keep up the fight. We must to keep this country conservative.

nunoftheabove said...

I am not particularly proud of my first vote and have come along way from my yellow-dog democratic upbringing.

Just to show how brain-washed I was, driving to the voting center I heard that the election had already been called for Nixon based on the polls that had already closed on the East coast.

I kept driving and voted anyway.

At least my tenacity is now rightly on the conservative side.

Anonymous said...

I realize this a bit outdated, but you are absolutely wrong about how the youth voted. In 1972, Nixon won the youth vote, or at least split it, as did Reagan. Change your mind...who's brainwashed here? You my friend.

Chanman said...

Nice try. You are wrong about Nixon winning the youth vote. But you also mentioned splitting the vote, and if you are talking about raw numbers, you are correct: Nixon got 48% of the youth vote, which was not far behind McGovern's 52%.

However, seeing as how McGovern lost the overall popular vote by a margin of 60% to 37%, I think it is fair to say that an overwhelming number of McGovern's meager amount of votes came from youthful voters.

Again, for McGovern:

52% of the youth vote
37% of the overall vote

Brainwashed indeed.