Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, January 29, 2016

Youth Voters

Booman has a piece about young voters getting disillusioned with democracy.

I wrote the following comment, which I am cutting and pasting because I'm lazy:

I've been teaching for two decades, and I have to say - with all the grumpy, get-off-my-lawn crustiness I can muster - that young people are really self-centered.  Not in the same way that a self-centered asshole like Ted Cruz is self-centered, but they are basically rooted in their own experiences and little beyond that.  And their own experience is very narrow.
So, when Obama comes along, he's the first ever of his kind, because they didn't live through Kennedy or Clinton or even Reagan who could light up a room with charisma.  I remember telling my students in 2009, "Given what you've invested in him, get ready for Obama to disappoint you."  I've spent my adult life studying and teaching history and government, so when I come face to face with the institutional constraints of a presidential-congressional system, I'm not disillusioned, because I've seen that movie.
When my kid was three, he'd freak out when you cut his hairs and nails, because he thought they would never grow back.  Growing up is realizing that what you think are traumas at 16 are just Thursdays when you're 46.  As Phil Connor says in Groundhog Day, "Maybe God's not omniscient.  Maybe he's just been around so long, nothing surprises him."
I haven't been around that long, but I know enough to realize that this song has been played before.

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