In 2008, the youth of America rallied behind a young dynamic, charismatic, and historic presidential candidate — Barack Obama.
He was hip. He talked with great optimism of hope and change for their generation and in turn those under the age of 30 supported his election with 66 percent of their vote.
Disillusioned by high unemployment, war, the lack of transparency, environmental policy, etc., some young people abandoned Obama with their votes and grass roots support in 2012. Having said that, Obama was still able to garner 60 percent of the vote of those under 30 due in large part to the fact that this age group is more racially and ethnically diverse.
In 2012, it can be argued that Obama owes his re-election to younger voters.
If we look at some key battleground states it becomes quite apparent how important the youth voting bloc is. This is what Pew Research Center concluded:
“In four of the key battleground states, Obama may not have won without the youth vote. In Florida, 47 percent of voters 30 and older backed Obama, while 52 percent supported Romney. But by winning younger voters by two-to-one (66 percent to 32 percent), Obama eked out a narrow one-point victory in the state (50 percent to 49 percent).
“The pattern was similar in Ohio – 48 percent of voters 30 and older voted for Obama. When younger voters were included, his share of the vote increased to 50 percent (vs. 48 percent for Romney). And in both Pennsylvania and Virginia, the youth vote helped push Obama over 50 percent.
In 2008, Obama won half or more of the vote among those 30 and older in all four states. Thus, he probably would have been able to carry the vote, even with less support from young voters.”
In light of the president’s ability to attract young voters by such high majorities, wouldn’t you think that President Obama would be loyal to those who got him to the White House and kept him there? It doesn’t make sense that Obama and his administration would let down the youth who put such faith and trust in him and his administration.
Well the record is clear that the young Americans who supported Obama with such fervor are the Americans most taken for granted and burdened by his tenure as president of the United States.
Here are some examples of how America’s younger citizens have been taken for granted:
Unemployment: The U.S. Jobs Report in June 2013 shows that the unemployment rate among young people remains double that of the national average. They are suffering an unemployment rate of 16 percent — meaning that people who want to work cannot find a job.
This is what former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta, wrote in The Guardian last week:
“High youth unemployment causes immediate and long-term economic damage. It means young adults take longer to get married, buy homes, and begin families. In the long run, it means slower economic growth and lower tax receipts. Countries with prolonged high levels of youth unemployment risk social instability.”
Student Loans: Just this month the Obama administration botched the handling of student loan interest rates. The president’s failed leadership resulted in interest rates on federally subsidized.
Stafford student loans soaring to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent. This act alone will cost the average college student an additional immediate $2,600.00 student loan liability. Ironically it is the Democrats that have blocked the president from keeping rates low on student loans.
Obamacare: The lynchpin of the funding of Obamacare is the youth of America. The Obama administration’s funding scheme requires millions of young Americans who are currently uninsured to sign up for coverage or face a penalty.
The young are being burdened to pay for the old. The Obama administration is further burdening young Americans at a time when they are already burdened with high unemployment, high student loan debt, and the difficulties of starting out.
This is what John Fund reported in The National Review:
“Young people will be asked to buy policies that don’t reflect the low risk they have of getting sick. Obamacare allows health insurers to vary premiums based on age, but they can only charge older customers up to three times as much as healthy young customers, while most insurers have as much as a five- or six-to-one ratio. This means lower prices for older (and wealthier) folks, but high prices for the young.”
“They’ll have sticker shock,” House budget chairman Paul Ryan told me.
Indeed, the law will require four out of five young Americans to pay more than they otherwise would for health coverage — yet another form of generational theft from young to old that ought to sour young people on the government’s so-called help.
President Obama has duped the youth in America in his promises and performance. They supported him, worked for him, voted for him, advocated for him, believed in him — and in the end they are being used, abused, hurt, and ignored by him.
I cannot remember a time when in 2008 the youth of America was so positively and constructively mobilized and energized to become politically involved. And therein lies the tragedy. America’s young people in 2013 are now disillusioned, disappointed and fearful for their futures.
They feel let down and taken for granted by the very person they put so much faith and trust in.
A recent USA Today/Gallup Poll found: “The optimism towards the future that characterizes American youth doesn't seem to extend to older members of Gen Y. In a Generation Opportunity online survey, 89 percent of 18 to 29-year-old millennials say that the economy is affecting their daily lives, causing many to cut back on their spending on food, entertainment and vacations.
Eighty-four percent reported delaying a major life change because of the economy.”
Today America’s youth has no reason to trust politicians.
Obama preyed on America’s youth to get what he wanted at the expense of what they needed, expected and what they were promised.
If anything, the youth of America have now learned something from the president. Fool me once — shame on you. Fool me twice — shame on me.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman — Click Here Now.
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