It has something to do with the fact that we’re too bewildered by the deluge of escaped sanatorium inmates lining the pulpits and ballots this season. How can we consider encouraging this madness and participating in a process that may just end some of these characters in our legislature?
But, it’s more than that. We don’t get a lot of credit, and it’s true – if you don’t vote, you don’t get to bitch about the outcome (not that that stops us) – but maybe there are more reasons that we don’t go to the polls before spending the day Tweeting about the results.
Here are the top five reasons Gen Y won’t vote in 2010:
5) We moved away from home. So many of us registered in our home states at 18, but then left for college. Now we might be living somewhere else, or maybe we’ve lived in more than two other places besides the one we originally registered in. This generation goes out-of-state for school more than any before us, and we because we’re unattached financially, we don’t necessarily have a problem moving for school or a job. But, by now, we see it as a hassle to change our voter registration every time we move, and we feel too far removed from our home state to really care what’s going on there.
4) Christine O’Donnell and The Crazies. These people are getting out of hand. Yes, we hate professional politicians, with their lying and cheating and back room dealing, but this is getting ridiculous! There’s a reason candidates are supposed to get vetted before running for anything. Christine O’Donnell is crazy, yes, but her nuttiness is overrated and over-publicized by an equally nutty media. Mostly, though, I think she’s just a ditz. She’s the newer, younger Palin Barbie. Add her to Dan Quayle Jr. (what’s his name, again?) who said, after the man had been in office a year and a half, “Obama is the worst president this country has ever seen,” and New York’s obscenely homophobic gubernatorial candidate, Carl Paladino, not to mention all the other crazies flying under the radar, and the combination itself is enough to make a sane person think they should get into politics just to shut these people up!
3) We’re out of the loop. We don’t watch TV. We watch Hulu or use the DVR, fast-forwarding through the commercials. But some of those missed commercials are campaign-related, especially this time of year. We also don’t subscribe to newspapers, where local coverage would not only keep us better informed of the elections happening in our districts, but papers also go in-depth explaining state-wide ballot questions in an easy-to-understand way (most of the time). WTF is Question 3 and why should I care? Well, we really don’t know.
2) Midterms are not a bandwagon to jump on. Because mid-term elections are regional, meaning they’re state-wide, not national elections, there’s no real overarching cause to support. The national media covers the election, but why should I care what Joe Biden is doing in Delaware? I don’t live in Delaware, I don’t ever plan on living in Delaware, and I really don’t care what happens in Delaware. To quote the immortal Ferris Bueller, “They could be fascist anarchists…” and I still wouldn’t care.
1) Disillusionment. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we elected Obama. You’re welcome! But until we feel courted again, brought back into the fold, and pandered to by the parties telling us they’re going to act on OUR issues, we’re not going to vote for them. We feel ignored, pushed aside and a little rebellious. Populist, anti-establishment anger isn’t reserved for members of AARP and the Tea Party. Where’s the love?
Seriously, though… Go vote.
Photo by laverrue