Talkin' 'Bout My Generation

From the AP Wire -

RALEIGH, N.C. -- More young people in North Carolina engaged in binge drinking than voted during recent presidential elections, according to a report released Monday by a campaign reform group.

Lovely! Aside from reports of a few impressionable Tar Heels walking into a certain campaign office south of their university, my generation isn't getting involved in politics. This doesn't bode well for North Carolina.

About 29 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 25 voted in a major election in 2000 and 2004. That compares to the 37 percent of people aged 18 to 25 identified as "binge drinkers" in a 2004 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report. The report classified binge drinkers as individuals who had at least five drinks on one occasion in the past 30 days.

So what's the solution? More youth candidates or younger office holders? Perhaps same-day registration would solve this concern:

Under state law, residents must register to vote 25 days before an election. About 915,000 of the 6.4 million voting-age citizens in North Carolina aren't registered to vote.

"Young people and busy blue-collar workers don't pay attention to the election until the final week or so, and by then it's too late," said Bob Hall, Democracy North Carolina's research director. He said the lack of participation slows "the development of democracy of, by and for the people."

I'm meeting with, among others, Rep. Cotham and Melissa Price, the new VP of the NCYD. What do you think we can do to get my generation more involved?

Comments

Change Their Attitude

I imagine they feel as some of us did at that age: 'what difference does it make?'

If you feel disenfranchised and like no one listens or pays attention to what you think - you disengage.

Remind them that the 'grown-ups' are playing with their future - don't trust us to always make good decisions. It doesn't happen.

People my age trusted grown ups to effectively deal with Watergate. Look what we've got now. Watergate times 10!

YMMV

I'm going out on a limb

and suggesting that "what difference does it make" is usually a cover up for "I don't really have any idea what's going on." Cynicism just sounds better than ignorance. And the college student who has (or will take) the time to understand political issues and process is rare (especially if you don't count the single-issue activists, who contribute more than their share to the image of politics as a past-time for fanatics).

Here's a question: how many reading this comment are engaged in North Carolina politics primarily based on what they learned in 10th grade Government class? Now raise your hand if you decided at some point to go figure out what was going on on your own. I think that early voters suffer more from ignorance than apathy, and it's because we (as a society) miss the openings that we had in their earlier years to give them a useable context.

Hard to Say, Lance

I think it depends on what era you grew up in and also where you grew up - what was going on around you.

I'm cynical as hell - no foolin' - but I'm tired of the BS so I decided to get involved. My neighbor believes in the 'Golden Rule' - whoever has the gold, rules.

Also - I wasn't thinking of college students particularly - more like 'Joe Average' who isn't a college student.

Not knowing what's going on - well, if you depend on TV for news .... you get what they give you. Some remarkably bright people are remarkably ignorant.

I had civics class in 1976 and American Government in 1979; they were both useless way back then. Everything I know now, came from my own searching for answers.

Do they even teach civics and government anymore? They were required to graduate where I come from.

It's all about being listened to and having a voice

If the younger folks realize that they have a voice and they're being listened to (seriously listened to), they'll come out.

Mostly, folks my age are too busy getting drunk or getting laid (or, rather, trying to...) to pay attention to anything else. What's sad is that I'm nearly 30 (crikey!) and [i]it's still true[/i].

If the local Democratic leaders and elected officials made an effort (or even half of one) to reach young folks, we'd come out in force. Unfortunately, North Carolina politics is mostly run by old white guys that think kids don't know nuthin'.

Hence, my frustration with my elected representatives to the General Assembly...

Thomas S. Brock
www.brocknet.net
www.brocknet.net/WordPress/

OnslowCountyPolitics@gmail.com
http://onslowcountypolitics.brocknet.net

Thomas

What have YOU done today to make the world a better place?

Let them know. . .

That they can participate in politics, stay informed on the issues AND abuse alcohol through binge-drinking. It got me a great degree, with honors, in political science.

Seriously, I think it's going to take transforming leadership, the kind that only comes along every thirty to forty years, to inspire youth participation in politics. Two guys named Kennedy come to mind. . .and so do two guys named Obama and Edwards.

War is over if you want it.

For Whatever Reason

Those college students sure love Obama.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

i think

its the 'idea' of Obama. I dont have a lot of faith in their actual support of him.

But, they have more than enough time to get to know him and do some good.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Obama could be gold for field ops

As long as volunteers come to the party office instead of an Obama office ...

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

I see students at the high school level who are more informed

than students/citizens at college age.

I sat in a room of 200 teenagers a few months ago a Speech and Debate State tournament - and listened to a reasoned discussion of civil rights, The Patriot Act, Religion in a Free Society, the Free Market, and several other issues. This was in the break room, not in a competition room. These young men and women could give each and every one of us a run for our money in what they knew, and should probably have the right to vote right now. Some of them were only 14. They were amazing.

edited to addhigh schoolers seem to love Obama, too.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Which one?

I was president of my HS debate team a few years back ...

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

This was held at Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines

Myers Park, Cary Academy - can't remember any of the other schools that were involved. These young adults were incredibly well informed and fun to talk to. I loved it.

For what it's worth - in Districts,at Cary Academy my son earned 2nd Alternate in Lincoln-Douglass for Nationals, and he's a Novice this year. He did that AFTER being knocked unconcious by a door as results were being posted, being taken to the REX emergency room, having his forehead super-glued together. He continued his event with blood on his suit - and kicked ass. (I'm only a little proud.) Next year, Nationals will be in Las Vegas next year, so he's got his sites on placing higher next year.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Congrats to your son

I've met him and just like his mom, he's an amazing person. What's he aiming for? Hope he has his sites set high, because he's the kind of young person we need to lead in our future.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

He's a late bloomer

He doesn't know. He's a junior, and in today's world, should have had his sites set on some schools, taken the SAT's at least once, etc. He likes the look of NC State - literally. The architecture appeals to him. ::shrug::

He is fascinated by politics and the Constitution. Anyway. He's at the age that if I mention something, it's anathema, so I'm staying away from suggestions, and letting him come around to where he needs to be on his own. It takes awhile, but he gets there. When he found out that at some schools there is a major called "Political Philosophy", he was quite...jazzed.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Any architecture is better than gothic architecture ...

Which has no place in Eastern North Carolina!

Needless to say, us Wildcats don't like dem Blue Devils ;-)

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Any architecture is better than gothic architecture ...

Which has no place in Eastern North Carolina!

Needless to say, us Wildcats don't like dem Blue Devils ;-)

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

These kids are not typical, though.

Randomly poll 200 teens and ask them to name their representative in the US House. How about in their state legislature? Name three of the first ten Amendments to the US Constitution?

They don't know this stuff because nobody really thinks that they should.

Only 1 in 1000

can name the 5 rights enumerated by the 1st Amendment.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

hmm

speech, religion, press, association...
what am i missing?

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

No,

Those kids are most certainly not typical - but they are the ones who we can count on to be involved, the ones we need to not lose.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi