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Young voters showing apathy

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Young voters showing apathy

During the 60's, young adults made their presence felt not just by their use of marijuana or weird clothes and hairstyles, but more so because they were intent to make a difference. They protested rallied and marched to any cause they deemed worthy. Furthermore, young adults also realized the importance of voting by taking their issues right to the polls. Unfortunately, times have changed and today's young adults no longer feel the need to make a difference. Today's Generation X has developed a lackadaisical attitude when it comes to voting. The main reasons for apathy among young voters are today's young adults lack interest, knowledge and trust in American politics.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, voters between the ages of 18 and 24 have had the worst voter turnout rate of any age group in every congressional and presidential election since 1980. For example, of the 10 million eligible voters between the ages of 21 to 24, only 37.2 percent were registered to vote in the 1994 congressional elections and only 16.5 percent voted. Although they fared a little better in the presidential elections with 38.5 percent voting in the 1996 Clinton-Dole showdown, it is still worrying that not even half the eligible voters in that age group exercised their right to vote. The 60s, on the other hand, saw more than half of 11 million young voters, taking to the polls. We clearly have a lost of interest in politics among America's young adults. Most young adults today would rather watch MTV's "The Real World" than the evening news. For many young adults, especially those in school, too many other events are more important than voting. The top priority of most students is to graduate; everything else is on the back burner. Therefore, many students do not take the time necessary to follow politics and be well informed of the issues at hand. Furthermore, the issues usually are targeted at older voters, such as, health, taxes, and family issues. This is due to the fact that older citizens have long shown more of an interest in politics and are more passionate when it comes to voting. Thus, many young adults choose not to vote because they believe that an ignorant vote is worse than no vote at all.

Democracy is something everyone learns as early as kindergarten. When the teacher asks if it will be kickball or dodgeball at recess, the majority usually wins. It's an easy lesson for a 5-year-old to learn. Raise your hand for what you want. However, one of the most simple and necessary elements of a democracy is the reliance on active participation in the government by a majority of the population. If the participants are not influenced to be ...

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