You know all those campaigns to encourage the young folks to vote? Participate in the political process? Engage in democracy? You know, the “Rock the Vote” campaigns and such? Voter registration drives?
A poll of more than 3,000 students by a New York University journalism class may prompt one to ask: Why bother?
Although 90 percent of respondents said voting is “very important,” many attached as much economic as democratic value to the vote:
â€¢ Two-thirds would trade a vote for year’s tuition.
â€¢ Half would trade their vote permanently for $1 million.
â€¢ A fifth would trade their vote for an iPod Touch.
Their reasoning varied:
“At the moment, no candidate who truly represents my political beliefs has a chance of winning a presidential election.”
“It is very easy to convince myself that my vote is not essential. After all, I’m from New York, which will always be a Blue State.”
“I would be reversing history â€” a lot of people fought so that every citizen could be enfranchised.”
“Anyone who’d sell his lifelong right to vote should be deported.”
But … before we start beating up on the young’uns for their churlishly economic tendencies, shouldn’t we give the same poll to some of us presumably idealistic adults who purportedly cherish the right to vote as the foundation of democracy?
Me? I’m holding out for a year’s worth of mortgage payments. How about you?
Categories: American Culture