Why is it the DNC’s fault that young people aren’t voting?

21 Jun 2016 02:54 am
Posted by: Donna

voting rates 1964 to 2012
Looks like most of us have some ‘splainin’ to do about our voting regularity

DeRay Mckesson is a great activist, who is running for Mayor of Baltimore under a platform of civil rights, social justice, and reforming policing. I have no beef with him. I do think his statement about the DNC and youth outreach is misguided, though. And not just because of how, in recent months, the Democratic National Committee has been relentlessly characterized as corrupt, in bed with oligarchs, and engaged in election rigging if not outright election theft on behalf of Hillary Clinton, on the basis of zero evidence.

No, what I want to know is, why this sudden interest in young voters, who have never been particularly interested (statistically) in showing up for elections in most of our lifetimes? Hell, per the chart I posted atop this post, from this Census report, it appears that lots of not-so-young Americans (up to age 45 and above) have also been biffing off on election day from the mid-20th century on. I wasn’t exactly a regular voter until well into my mid-thirties myself, and I’ve prided myself on paying attention!

Here’s a Washington Post interactive tool that shows you just how bad it is.

Voter turnout is notoriously low in midterm elections compared with presidential election years, a trend that typically favors Republican candidates. Voters who fall into demographic groups that have traditionally been Democratic strongholds — young adults, African Americans and women — have wider turnout gaps than other groups, a challenge that Democratic candidates must negotiate every midterm election year.

This goes back decades, and I have a hard time believing the blame for it can all be laid on the DNC or Democratic candidates, who are trying to get elected with the voters who are likely to show up in the election. Not when Republicans made a concerted effort, starting in the Seventies (from my earliest memory) to make “Democrat” and “liberal” dirty words and the coolest kids in the media (looking straight at you guys like Lewis Black and Jon Stewart) ridiculing partisan political participation throughout the 90s and 2000s.

I do want the Democrats at the national and state level to be laser-focused on registering new voters, which is the best way for us to do the “outreach” that the naysayers insist we need to do, and it would sure help if said naysayers would stop trying to destroy the Democrats, such as by farting on Democrats, literally.

If you don’t like Democrats and don’t want to be one, fine. Do your own thing. Make your own party. Just don’t spend your entire life trashing, mocking, and maligning us, but then wondering why “the DNC” isn’t performing election miracles to your satisfaction.

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