AN OBSERVATION ON BENJAMIN STUDEBAKER’S POST
A really excellent post. You bring up some great points. One thing does, however, stand out. Other democracies do, in fact, have publicly funded higher education (I don’t like to use the term “free”). If your critique of democracy as it applies to young people were generalizable, then what accounts for this? It seems that there is something peculiar about American democracy. Perhaps it is what I call the “I Got Mine!” principle. A true democracy, to function well, requires a sense of mutual responsibility. American democracy, unfortunately, is often predicated on the question, “what’s in it for me?” Even as this posts points out, it doesn’t seem to be a enough to point out the huge benefits of providing access to higher education without charging the students. Of course, the old people referred to are to blame as it is their job to socialize younger people to recognize their responsibility and mutuality toward others.
Young people overwhelmingly support Bernie Sanders in this election, but many of them are not showing up. He crushed the demographic in Massachusetts, but still lost the state narrowly:
Young voters are just not keeping up with older folks:
This has been true for a long time–Millennials did not invent low youth voter turnout:
Many people see figures like this and their knee-jerk response is to scold young people for failing to show up, often attributing it to the laziness or lack of civic virtue of the current crop of young people. But as we see above, young people have been less active in politics since long before Millennials came on the scene. There are larger reasons why young people tend to feel disenfranchised by democratic politics–it’s because the system discriminates against them.
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