The Apathy Of Generation X

This essay The Apathy Of Generation X has a total of 1461 words and 6 pages.

The Apathy of Generation X

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For the past 25 years it has been wondered why the young people of America have shared the same apathetic attitude towards politics as the older generation of Americans. Indeed, the issues concerning young voters are just as important as those concerning older voters. Why the newest voters choose to abstain their right has long been studied. While it has been proven that the vote of young people can make or a break an election, most candidates are reluctant to relate themselves to young people. When that Tuesday in November comes, young people choose not be heard, assuring themselves future neglect by the part of elected officials.


There are reasons that young people do not vote, or get involved in political actions. They range from apathy to just plain not having enough time. One of the larger reasons is that most candidates are much older then those 18-25. This would put the generation gap in between candidates and the youthful voters. A 19 year old Trinity College student remarks about Bob Dole, I think he is making himself look older by speaking about certain issues we (young people) can not relate to. When asked to give an example the student stated, "he made a reference to World War I, I thought he was going to say he fought in that one too!" (www.mtv.com/chooseorlose). While Bob Dole is a isolated instance, many youthful voters feel that there is a ever growing distance between them and the older generations. Another reason that young people are turning away is lack of education towards politics. While this could be said for any age group, it seems to be more prevalent in younger people. The lifestyle of younger people does not allow for a everyday exposure to politics as those of a older generation. Thomas Banks, a 19 year old student, when asked why he was not watching the 1992 Presidential Debates responded, "I guess because I don't really see what's going on at college. I feel pretty isolated. It doesn't seem as important to me as studying. I guess". Although not in a career yet, the life of a student is proving to be just as busy as those in the older generations. People in the full time labor are not the only ones who can use a hassle-full life as an excuse not to get involved. There is another major reason that young people feel isolated and set apart from the political world. For those who take the time to educate themselves, and to participate in what activities they can; they soon find that the major candidates have paid little, if any attention to the issues that effect young people the most. Chris Weinkopf, associate editor of National Review, when speaking about how Bill Clinton and Bob Dole are talking to young voters said, "I think both of them are really just paying lip service to young people in the way they address issues" (www.mtv.com/issues.html).


When young voters make themselves heard in an election, they can turn the outcome like no other age group can. Even with minimal turn-out on the part of 18-25 year olds. Elections have been won or lost because of who young people do or do not support. In 1992, 50% of registered voters under the age of 30 turned out to vote. In that election, Bill Clinton received 50% of the under 30 vote (Bush received 30%, Perot 20%). Clintons 20% margin of victory in the young people vote was his largest in any age group and may have very well put him in the White House. Since John Andersons independent run at the White House in 1980, young people have been the strongest supporters for those outside the two party system. Now in 1996, even though Ross Perot has a dismal 5% overall, his support amongst the younger voters is in the double digits.


There are many things that will make young people get involved. The biggest thing that gets the attention of youthful voters is the same thing that gets the attention of older voters, money. When the financial status of a young person is threatened, they are more likely to get involved in political activities. Issues such as student loans, tax cuts, minimum wage and Pell Grant minimums are issues that turn the heads of younger voters. Other issues that effect young

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Topics Related to The Apathy Of Generation X

Elections, Ross Perot, Bob Dole, Voting, Bill Clinton, Low information voter, United States presidential election, apathetic attitude, student remarks, chooseorlose, thomas banks, generation gap, everyday exposure, bob dole, presidential debates, political actions, lack of education, trinity college, generation x, young voters, apathy, time one, gap, mtv, age group, neglect, generations

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