The Farce of Youth Political Classification

A lot of times the political views of people can tell you exactly what you need to know about a person. So, I tried to find out as much as I can about some people, without them knowing, simply by asking what are their political beliefs. As the self-proclaimed Black Advocate, obviously I’m very liberal and fall on the left almost exclusively, as do many people who advocate for social justice and equality across the spectrum. So, seeing this trend of center-right politics among college students was interesting. Though, having took several psychology classes it was clear why exactly that was…

a) First and foremost, this wasn’t a statistically sound experiment. The people weren’t completely random and the pool was entirely too small to even fathom coming to any kind of conclusion.

b) Most of the people saw “liberal” as a nasty word, as it still has a stigma attached to it which is why many liberals choose to go with the word “progressive” in place of “liberal’

b) Some people just wanted to be contrarians and/or simply regurgitate the views of their friends/family

c) Most didn’t have a clue what they thought, so, in wanting to sound intelligent they choose to claim to be moderates/independents so as to not be deemed partisan

All of those things are what you’d expect among younger people. Sitting down talking with these people from anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes it was clear who knew what they were talking about and who was faking the funk. In any case, the past midterm election had the lowest voter turnout since 1942. 1942! The reason? Voter apathy, lack of knowledge, pure ignorance of the electorate? You decide.

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Youth voting in particular was also extremely low. The youth generally have an ambivalence to politics and, quite frankly, they do not have a dog in the fight of politics majority of the times. The laws do not, generally speaking, have to do with them. So, they are generally uninterested and lack participation in the political process.

At the same time, it is well-documented that college has a liberalizing affect on people. The more education you have, the more liberal, and therefore more democratic, you become. So, given that most of the people I spoke to were Freshmen, it is safe to say the tides could readily change. However, the farce of youth political classification still remains. They largely, do not have an idea what they’re talking about. Generally speaking of course. So, take whatever they say with a grain of salt. I know I did.

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