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is voting for young people Essay

Words: 2232, Paragraphs: 15, Pages: 8

Paper type: Essay

It all started out by a T-shirt printed and distributed by Urban Outfitters that said “voting is for old people”. Urban outfitters is in many malls and it’s a very popular clothing brand. A public statement criticizing the slogan, saying that it could not further the truth- that voting is not for everyone. Urban Outfitters said they never intended to discourage anyone from voting. They wanted to draw attention to the relative lack of participation of young adults in politics. The central argument of this book is that over the last four decades, politics and voting have become more and more province of the elderly. Many young people just don’t vote because they don’t follow politics. I agree that elderly people do vote more than younger people just because us younger people don’t follow politics as much as older people. Voting can be for younger people or older people we just have to make it that way.

Chapter 1, newspaper readers change over time. The younger you are the most likely you are to read a newspaper. People have been giving up on newspapers and canceling their subscriptions. According to Wattenberg, many young people have not picked up this habit as reading a newspaper ( 9). President George Bush even mentioned he didn’t read newspapers as well. American public who reads a newspaper has been declining for quite some time (10). According to the table on page 13 as years go on reading a newspaper every day of the week declines. Older people are more old school as for younger people we’re more into the internet.

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On this chapter “The Aging of regular Newspaper readers” I felt was quite interesting. Personally I wouldn’t read a newspaper. To be completely honest, I have never read a newspaper. Politically why do we need to read a newspaper when we have tv’s, social media, the internet and much more? Also, I feel like as young adults we just don’t like to read? The only time I read is when I absolutely have to which is for school. I just feel like we really don’t need newspapers that it’s a waste of time. Who really pays for newspapers these days?

Chapter 2, Television outbeat newspapers by far. According to Wattenberg, one of the reasons TV Guide became a top-selling publication was that many newspapers would not print television schedules for fear of the competition from the new medium (29). As the chapter shows, the audience for TV news has become increasingly skewed toward the elderly in recent decades. When politics is on you, young people are off somewhere else, or are reaching for the remote control (31). Moreover, as with the findings regarding newspapers, data over time show that such generational differences were not always the case. Young people have come to tune out politics on TV, both in the United States and in most established democracies. Tv news is a dying Dinosaur. As shown on page (35) it has declined a lot over the years. Cable news has well suited the life style of younger people. All in all, younger people soft news shows can provide entertaining coverage of political events. TV can make the young people aware of at least some aspects of current events (56).

According to this chapter I feel like as a young teenager watching tv is something I like to do, and it will get teens to increase their watching towards politics. My mom turns the news on every morning and I sit there on the couch with my cup of coffee watching the news. Personally I feel like it’s good to know what’s going on in this cruel world. Compared to newspapers, I feel like tv is a lot better because it has sound and pictures which would interest younger people more. Not only does the tv have political stuff but it has movies that interest young people and elders. I liked the way the author set up this chapter and how he went about it, he used good points to why tv will help younger people compared to newspapers.

Chapter 3, If you’re not 30 then don’t bother. What Wattenburg is talking about on the difference in knowledge people under 30 have now days compared to those over the age of 30. When there was a poll taken it seems like people under 30 weren’t to far from those who were 30. In this chapter, the internet is brought up to support how it’s strange that young people aren’t aware of life experiences. There were more surveys taken. They found that the American public paid more attention to stones that were foreign. In 1974, about thirty-one percent was the number compared to the 19% in 1974 which meant it declined from 47 to 36%. Wattenburg wonders what news story is going to get the attention of young people in 2004. The main groups/stories that younger groups were interested in were 1- entertainment, 2- sports, 2- science and technology, and 4- culture and arts. Older people followed more political news.

Following the last chapter, I do see the concern. Younger people aren’t as active as the older generations. With internet and television people under 30 should be paying more attention to what’s going on in our politics. I think that some of the judgement Wattenburg has is invalid though. Younger people are beginning to pay more attention to politics. With how our government is going, it’s getting more and more younger people’s attention. Older groups are more active yes, but I don’t think young groups should be excluded in any way.

Chapter 4, Those who care about who governs or what is happening in our government system is more likely to vote. Wattenburg says how hard it is to get young voters into the polls. You are practically having to force them in. President Nixon thought that allowing age groups like 18 year olds would help. That’s not the case, he thought it was the spirit needing to be added. Sadly, it was just a disappointment. According to Wattenburg, the major point I want to get across is that the problem of low youth turnout is by no means just an American one (101). The reason young people fail to vote is not the age they are but rather their lack of exposure to politics.

For this chapter, I feel like it’s the same as previous chapters. Many younger people just don’t feel like they need to worry about politics or get into polls, there so busy with other things in life. Younger people are just more likely to get left on the political sidelines. Adults follow more on politics and get more into polls because they see what the world has come to. Their more grown up and have more time on there hands. Personally as discussed in this chapter I think it was not a good idea to lower the voting age because younger people just don’t care. All in all, young people just really lack exposure to politics.

Chapter 5, many people who feel a duty to vote do so out of sense of moral obligation. As Wattenberg says, besides caring who wins, another common reason political scientists have found for why some people vote is that they believe it is their civic duty (119). Parents find it as it’s there “duty” as citizens to vote under any circumstances. As Wattenburg says, voting is something that people who are alive are supposed to do, and having just survived a difficult, major surgery, he was absolutely determined to act as one who is alive (121). As this being said, this girl had talked about her dad going through many problems and still votes no matter what. Twenty percent responded that they considered voting a responsibility, and 9 percent said they felt it was a duty. According to Wattenberg, one out of three young Americans expressed a view of voting as a civic obligation. Also, 34 percent responded that voting was a choice and another 31 called it a right. Current generation of young people has a relatively weak sense of citizen duty.

According to this chapter, I personally like the story that girl had talked about. How many problems her parents went through and they still wanted to vote. She had mentioned that asher being in college she has lacked being voting and her being a baby boomer and never wanted to, but I think by her parents going through what they did and still wanting to it’s going to increase her to want to vote. This chapter had mentioned voting is a right, a responsibility, a choice, and a duty. I believe all four of these are correct. I slowly feel like voting for young people will become better it will just take time. Civic duty among recent entrants into the electorate may well provide a window into the future. I think that someone who is unlikely to vote as an important civic responsibility is one who may well have many of its members lost as voters for the rest of its duration. My thoughts is it’s never too late to convince people that it is their obligation as citizens to vote. Politics really matter, and soon more young people will realize.

Chapter 6, Young people voting is questioned on if it really matters or not. If young people are not voting anyways Wattenburg (132) ask does it really make a difference in the voting. Politicians goals and words speak more to the elderly than the young. They want the young to vote though according to this chapter on page 133 because if the young are not voting than the things they need to work on are not being address. The elderly community see things differently than the young. Therefore, they need the young so that they stay up to date on current things. Young groups relate to different parties then the elderly. It helps to keep things more diverse. It states in this chapter that young people are more likely to be liberal and as time goes on and they learn more and experience more they will turn into conservatives.. That was apparently confirmed from the 1972-2004 General Social Surveys data. So overall, elderly people relate more to what is going on in the elections at that time but it would be more beneficial to everyone if the younger generations were voting to keep things more diverse.

The most votes are coming from the elderly and the least from the young. This chapter is stating that with the young not voting like they should be and being so distant from politics that it is causing the current issues at hand to not be brought up like they should. According to Wattensburg on page 137 it states that the young people are more supportive of government policies that will reduce the income policies based on their economic stage in life. I think this is true because we are so worried about how much we have to pay for everything. I think this chapter was pretty spot on. Elderly do vote more and young just d nott. The way I see it is why vote when I do not really care.I agree with Wattensburg that young people voting would be more beneficial. It would be beneficial because we are the generation whose going to be having to deal with the politics in the coming years.

Chapter 7, Hands on responses are at a high. The simplest things as voting is not getting the eyes of the youth but the hands on aspect is getting the attention of the youth. It is stated by Zukin et al that although it does not substitute for voting but this is the young generations way of “ citizen engagement.” It is apparently changing the nature of American politics (152). Volunteer work seems to be the answer. Volunteer work is what the younger aged groups are doing more of. Wattensburg states that you can not spin this any other way though than a positive. 164 The first line of this section states that young people are almost always at the forefront of new types of activities and are typically more adventurous and open to novel ways of doing things. The young want things new and exciting not old and the same. I think this is why we have strayed from the political voting habits that the elderly are clinging to and so actively participating in. Simply said, the elderly community is more active in politic while the young are more active in the hands on.

Russell Dalton on page 152 says that he voting is a placid, old-fashioned way of making ones opinions heard by the government. I completely agree. I understand that everyone has a voice that does need to be heard but this is old fashion. What other way is there though? What other ways could we use to get the younger generations to participate? I think that is the real question. Voting should be for the young even though they all are not as active as the elderly. This chapter brought up volunteering and how it has increased by 18% since the 1970s (155). This is great! This is the way the young generation is stepping up. Though we may lack in the voting polls we help and are more active in the day to day help our city and community needs.

Chapter 8

About the author

This sample essay is completed by Harper, a Social Sciences student. She studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. All the content of this paper is just her opinion on is voting for young people and should not be seen as the way of presenting the arguments.

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