Hip to Be Square
The younger voting demographic targeted by president Barack Obama this past election appropriately labeled the GOP as "the party of old white men" but could like wise be stereotyped as being "the party of young reckless voters."
It is only fitting that this same under thirty demographic responsible for the majority of Barack Obama’s votes would care more about color, gender, or how cool the candidate is rather than the important political issues at stake, namely the economy, national defense, and healthcare. I don’t know what else to call electing a man who has nationalized our banks, cut defense spending by thirty five percent, and is now running a car company, but dangerous to America as we know it. It leaves a lot of people asking, "How could this have ever happened?"
There is no doubt that timing played a role in Obama’s election. He capitalized on the policy fatigue of republicans by campaigning on the empty slogans of "Hope, Change, and Unity." And succeeded in emotionally reaching a previously untapped voter demographic, young people. Obama earned 67% of the vote in the 18-29 age range accounting for the largest ever voter showing in that demographic for a presidential candidate in American history. But now that he’s won it, how difficult will it be for him to keep? If President Obama doesn’t live up to the high expectations he set for himself in the next four years, the support he received from the younger more impressionable voters could be in serious jeopardy.
For the first time a great part of the 18-31 demographic will be experiencing the effects of their own decisions when trying to find a job, pay taxes, or obtain an inexpensive loan. Some may be on the cusp of deciding whether or not to pursue a graduate degree, start a family, or buy their first house. It is then that they’ll realize the man they banked their hopes and dreams on was not the superhuman being that so much of the media portrayed him as. People wanted change but how long until they realize the only change they truly wanted was not to elect another "old white man"?
If you recall last election it was Obama, Hilary Clinton, and the Sarah Palin that garnered excitement, electrified crowds, and galvanized young voters. The republicans are desperately in need of a new candidate that can represent minorities, connect to a younger generation, and remain relatively out of the media spotlight to avoid attacks from the left.
A short list of potential presidential nominees still under the radar for 2012 include a host of governors; Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, and Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty currently lead the march. Barbour epitomizes the GOP stereotype. Jindal lacks the tenacity required to defeat a high profile opponent. Sanford is the most vocal but that’s not always enough and considering the recent discovery of his extra marital activities, he might have sabotaged himself. It appears the ever so likable Pawlenty is the strongest hopeful of the bunch, but even some conservatives have raised questions about his being too moderate.
The GOP has yet to declare a favorite but of all the aforementioned none will be as threatening to the American way of life as our current president. Who will be the first candidate to show younger voters how un-cool it is to be saddled trillions of dollars in debt, how un-cool it is to be susceptible to another terrorist attack, and how un-cool it is to have the government still controlling the private sector? Maybe only then, as America continues to be fundamentally changed from the inside out will the "young reckless voters" elect a candidate with "old white men" values.