It seems like only yesterday Mr. Barack Obama was swept (sort of) into presidential power on a tide of Internet fund raising and marketing to young voters, ages 18-29. Hope drifted in the air to such an extent you could literally breathe it in and America, nay, the entire world, would soon be awash in good jobs, everlasting peace, and a resplendent nirvana for puppies and kittens everywhere.
But then reality. Ugh.
As is usually the case, investing such ridiculously high hopes in a run-of-the-mill politician is bound to end in frustration and disillusionment. Why are we being such sticks in the mud all of the sudden? We hate to be the messenger of sour news but, according to a Harvard University newspaper poll, young voters are less enthusiastic about voting this year than last. How far has the shine dulled? A mere year ago, 36% of Generation Y voters said they would “definitely vote.” This year that percentage has slumped to 27%. Additionally, the percentage of young voters choosing to describe themselves as “politically engaged” fell from 24 to 18 percent.
The Harvard paper goes on to suggest that the plunging numbers might be attributed to disillusionment following Mr. Obama’s failure to implement his grand campaign promises. He certainly had the political savvy (or advice) to tap into the idealistic nature of young voters naïve enough to believe he was anything other than the standard model politician. The problem with promises is that sometimes people expect you to keep them and, when you don’t, the resulting disenchantment can sweep you from office as quickly as it swept you in.
Playing to the Wii, MTV, and Facebook generation is fraught with peril anyway, because they don’t have the requisite amount of patience to wait for change before they click away. And with unemployment numbers stubbornly clinging in excess of 10%, voters of all ages are:
1. Afraid of losing their job.
2. Tired of looking for another to replace the one they lost.
3. Sick of the grandstanding, teleprompter reading, Sycophant-in-Chief
But that’s just our humble opinion. History tells us that American leaders who don’t solve economic problems rapidly become yesterday’s news and tomorrow’s footnote. Voters of all ages are notoriously impatient when you start messing with their livelihood. Does anyone out there still cling to vaporous “hope” and experience a shooting thrill through their nether regions at the nebulous phrase, “Yes, we can?” Looks to us like, “No, you didn’t.”
The Young Wealth Team
Flickr / jurvetson