Sunday, June 25, 2006

the world around them

Yesterday I griped about Richard Morin's piece in the Post about an East Carolina University study on the impact of The Daily Show on young people's attitudes toward politicians. Today the Post (via Zachary Goldfarb's "Sunday Politics" column) reports on an additional survey that says that the relationship between young people and politics is, once again, on the rocks.

This survey comes from the Panetta Institute and is based on research from Peter Hart. Leon Panetta, Bill Clinton's former Chief of Staff and the head of the Institute, appears to be most concerned by the fact that a growing number of young people (specifically, college students) are not interested in pursuing a career in public service, including running for office. But the report -- as opposed to the Post article -- suggests that this may be the result of the rise in ethics violations among those who are currently in office.

(In other words, young people would prefer not to be in the same company as bribe-taking, morally corrupt individuals who, nevertheless, proclaim that they are providing a service to the public.)

What's odd about the way the survey is reported is that there is no acknowledgment that the numbers are, overall, reflective of the national mood: the majority think the country is headed in the wrong direction, they have a low opinion of Congress, they are concerned about their futures and they have a low opinion of the President.

If you polled their parents, wouldn't that generate the same results? Haven't we been hearing over the past three months (from everyone but Ken Mehlman -- who is paid to sound optimistic about the fate of the party) that Republicans are concerned that they will not be able to rely on their base to vote in the midterm elections this year because they are dissatisfied with the performance of their elected officials?

In other words, why, when young people do something, is it a sign of a generational downfall and not a reflection of the world around them?

Kids these days . . .

By the way, I came to the defense of Rock the Vote yesterday on YPulse (those of you who know me can now pull your jaws up off the floor) and got a response from Anastasia, who is my idol. You can vote for her/YPulse in the MarketingSherpa blog poll as well -- and you should. (YPulse is in category #5, "Marketing to a specific consumer demographic".)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Could it be a classic generational "young people of today..."

As someone who has taken part in not only voting but also canvassing,it does feel great to feel like your part of something (at least of your are young idealistic political geek).

Also if are eligible to vote and don't you don't have any right to complain about the state of affairs. So what credibility to those people they quoted in the POST article have, most of whom likely didn't vote?