Mitt Romney

Why Most "Young People" Don't Care to Vote...

Most young people don’t plan on voting and most don’t care to. I don’t mean to speak for everyone person under the age of 30, but when Scarlett Johanson gave a speech at the Democratic Convention, she mentioned that less than half of those eligible to vote four years ago, ages 18-24, actually voted. That said, it’s fair to assume that in the past 4 years we’re much more familiar with the new guy who plays Obama on SNL, than what he or Mitt Romney actually discusses.  Most voters, at least those old enough to vote, likely don’t care to watch the conventions (which, yes, already took place) and speeches much less all the other Election highlights leading up to the Presidential Debates (probably the most entertaining part of the entire season). Most of us “younger people” don’t take time to stay in tune with much of the Election season for several reasons, and therefore likely won’t vote. Why not? Here are a few possible reasons why most of us “younger people” don’t really care about the Elections, must less care to vote.

1.There’s always a lot of talking going on…

Let’s admit it: most of the speeches, debates and conventions seem like an endless sentence, which we can’t seem to figure out what they started talking about or when it will end. Sometimes hearing a president, or candidate going on about various topics puts us right back at another lecture, which we’d just rather tune out.

2. We don’t know what they’re rambling about.

Again, if we were honest (or at the risk of sounding impotent, I’ll be brutally honest myself) we don’t know what the heck their talking about. This current election has caused me to ask more questions than ever before about our Country and our government. Yes, I studied all these things in grade school or middle school - obviously I can’t remember - so I’m needing to brush up on my American Government knowledge. If we don’t know what they’re talking and arguing about, obviously we not only don’t want to care (because that then requires research), we don’t want to vote (because that would require research and responsibility.) Let’s not get in over our heads here, most of us aren’t even paying a mortgage yet (and yes, I even had to look up the spelling of “mortgage”).

3. We can’t waste our precious time.

All the research and new updates, deciphering what one candidate stands for to another could consumes some of our precious time. It’s a sports season without any game time. When Elections season kicks off, it doesn’t let up until the fat lady…, well, until November 6. You have to follow all of it to stay up with it’s current “play”, if you will. When deciding who to vote for seems to be such an investment of our time, we don’t want to be flippant about our decision. So why follow it? 

4. It doesn’t apply to us this very second.

We like things that are happening now, or tomorrow at the latest. When candidates are discussing issues such as social security, issues that may not affect us until much later in life (but affect us none the less), some of us just don’t care. If an election and an inauguration, (and tax-cuts lowered and an increase in employment) all happened in a New York minute, because of who we voted for, maybe we’d be quicker to vote.

5. It’s not as entertaining as New York Fashion Week.

I’ll admit this if not one else cares to, the most class and fashion we see in the Election season is Michele Obama’s new fall wardrobe from J. Crew. We like a clean and current image that can grab our attention, something that screams “I have a stylist.” And from what I’ve seen it wouldn’t hurt Ann to have a stylist herself. But - if it looks like another episode of West Wing, most of us tune out (unless you’re like my Dad and I - suckers for anything with Aaron Sorkin’s name attached.) We are aesthetically affected generation. If it doesn’t look or feel pretty, it’s not pleasant enough to keep our attention.

Though Scarlett Johannson’s speech likely stirred a variety of opinion’s, much like Clint Eastwood’s monologue (ok maybe not quite that much), she left us with an honest account of our generation’s current involvement in our Country: “Young America why are we only speaking with half our voice when so many issues here directly affect us… ‘We are the generation who feels like our voices haven’t been heard.’ So vote, that your voice is heard.” Yes, voting is responsibility, which requires an opinion, which requires some of your time. Election time is a good time to grow up. Vote.

In the Ring...

President Obama and Mitt Romney are now clearly in the ring for the first Presidential debate in October. The bell has rung, as we are waiting for the face-off and anticipating who will take the first blow.

Over the past month or so, as it became quite clear who the contenders would be, both candidates have stepped up their game to win this upcoming fight in November. Some readers may assume that any young, American, female “kid” (easily categorized as someone who does not a) have a Master’s degree, b) own stock or a home or c) get enough on tax refunds to bank on a cruise to Venice next summer - yes, that would be “moi”) doesn’t have a place to speak into such political events. I admit many of us “kids” may be a bit aloof as to all that we should consider, for now and our future, when voting for the man who should take home the title as our America’s President. Honestly, when it comes down to voting time, outside of maybe a few minor speeches and views of party conventions and celebrity supporters of a candidate, most of what hangs on the final vote for the young and the old in this election comes down to performance.

On the far right you have man who’s conservative lead has won over more than may have been anticipated. He is new to this Presidential match. And while he may not quite have face for GQ, or big names like Lady Gaga opening up for his convention, the the polls are seeming to rise in his favor. Though we know from past elections, this doesn’t always ensure a win, but as a Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has carried himself with a consistent confidence, what some call a Ronald Regan-like or JFK-like resemblance (though I’m certain many Democratic’s rolls their eyes at the comparison.) Mitt Romney can deliver ideas, debates and convictions quite clearly, believable, whether you agree with them or not. His background is apparently consistent and family life is stable and grounded. Though some don’t think this is worth considering when select a President, I highly believe it holds some considerable weight.

Obama is comfortable, considerably cool (David Letterman has noted). He treads with a Rat Pack kind of collected swagger (I almost imagine a Sammy Davis Jr., sans the mustache, especially after discovering the guy can actually sing). Our President is a likable guy, the kind of guy you almost picture your Dad hanging out a with. Though many comment that our President is no business man and doesn’t know how to pull us out of debt, and that his past four years has only sunk us deeper, he knows what it takes to win. Four years has certainly equipped him to know where to punch and how to punch ( and being a President whose wife occasional covers Vogue and who will be highlighted in next months Glamour magazine, I’m sure his creative and well-equipped researching teams are prolific). After all, e has won this fight before.

As we wait to see how these two conduct themselves face-on, their televised messages are a bit of a foreshadow of the the fights coming. There’s Mitt Romney’s ad highlighting Obama’s love for the upper-class party of “friends” during our strickened season of unemployment. Then there’s the Obama campaign message highlighting Romeny’s lark-like voice, claiming Romney’s frivolous outsource of employment to foreign countries is indeed “the problem.” These guys are just warming up and I’m sure their team of well-informed witty writers have collected more damage to rain down on the opponent by October. At least for now we have a good idea of all the backstabbing and mocking we’ll be seeing soon.

It’s going to be an entertaining fight. While some may already be pretty sure who they will win, as they say, “it ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings.” On one end you have an outstanding business man who knows how to create jobs and see some basic needs that he ensure’s us will be met, who also seems to be loyal and dependable, in nature while not attempting to lasso for us the moon in any extravagant promise of immediate change in our country’s current dilemma’s in order to win our vote. On the other end you have a man well-supported, well-liked, and some-what weathered, though likely overwhelmed and well-spent in this high-demanding line of work.

As a whole, I’m not sure anyone feels completely secure in one man’s ability to tackle the other and turn this Nation’s economy crisis upside down. Who knows what this next debate will bring for America. Let it at least be stated for the record, if this was a singing contest, I know who would have my vote. “Ooooo, let’s stay together…”

"I am Spartacus"

spartacus

If you’ve seen the movie “Spartacus,” you know that quote doesn’t have much of anything to do with the presidential elections. But it was the first thought that came to mind when I saw the latest Newsweek. Though we’ve come quite far from our barbaric ways of governing, these “diplomatic” debates have been about as bazaar as this cover. While not quite the equivalent of watching a game of gladiators, lately these republican debates have been about as entertaining, making Newsweek’s choice of candidates in loin cloth quite fitting. And if watching Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich fighting like to boys at recess over who lost the last game isn’t entertaining to you, certainly Ron Paul with his high-pitched voice, playing the bobble-head-like referee keeps things interesting. All making fun aside, in these few paragraphs, I don’t wish to sway you right or left but rather would like to observe our reaction and response to the 2012 causcuses. (Don’t you just hate that word?)

If you haven’t seen it, “Spartacus” is a film by Stanley Kubrick about a heroic and rebellious Roman slave, played by Kirk Douglas, during the Third Servile War. (**SPOILER ALERT**) At the end of the film, the Roman Emperor demands that the zealous Spartacus reveals himself in turn for every other Roman slave’s freedom. After Spartacus (Douglas) exclaims “I am Spartacus” everyone else around begins standing and claiming “I am Spartacus,” leaving the Emperor so enraged that every last slave is crucified. The end. I know. It’s grueling. But these debates sometimes feel like that; like a bunch of savages in suits shouting “I am Spartacus,” “I am Spartacus,” “No, I am Spartacus!” Though altogether the film is irrelevant to the elections of 2012, doesn’t it feel this barbaric at time? Like we’re looking for this one, zealous, heroic individual to stand up and identify himself? 

As young adults, some of us are more eager to listen and trust all we hear.  It can be an impressionable period of life. While it’s ideal to always be eager to learn, there are some people we encounter who have such a compelling presence or a voice so fluent and forthright that we tend to cling to their words like gold (as if man could produce such an element.) And somehow we let the idea of these men build up in our mind to that of heroes and gods. But after you’ve lived enough life (which might not be saying much,) likely, you come to a place where you realize these words, which you clung to like a hidden treasure, were nothing more than words. It’s disappointing when men we’ve held up so high don’t meet up to their word. It’s disheartening when men we admire don’t fulfill our expectations. We have a way of building men up in our heads, and expecting them to be more than they are.

So in comparison to our personal interactions, for these candidates, the stakes are higher. The audiences are much larger. And so their words are inevitably greater than anyone can honestly fulfill. And who knows how much of what they’re saying are even their own words to being with? Inevitably, it will be their word that wins us over and elects the next President. Still, we can’t forget that their word is just a word. And each candidate is just a man.  One Psalm delicately puts this matter in perspective for me every time; “Man… is but a breath” (Ps. 39:5.) While the White House has held many men who’ve shaped America for the better, it takes more than a breath to tackle all our Nation faces and win.

While Gingrich and Romney are already fighting to the death in diapers, Obama warms up in the Oval office, and Ron Paul gets pumped up, the words being prepared for these final debates will surely be more ornate and full of life than they will sound after the Inauguration in 2013.  We ought to keep in mind, not one man can hold the weight of all we expect and need. And while there certainly may be a right man for the job, even Spartacus dies in the end.