In the 2010 elections, young voter turnout was very low, even slightly lower than the 2006 mid-term elections. This election, about 20% of voters under the age of 30 went to the polls. This is not surprising because midterms generally fail to bring even half of all American voters out to the polls and national apathy has a predictably higher influence on young adults. The 2010 midterm elections could very well have been the most important midterm election in the lives of most young people, and yet we had an utterly pathetic showing at the polls. It seems that many young people are unaware of the importance that politics today has on their lives tomorrow. Politics was always important, but the times in which we live make political knowledge more essential than usual. There are currently several wrongheaded policies being pursued by the current politicians in Washington D.C. Members of the Millennial generation should be most alarmed by the levels of deficit spending the government is engaging in. The deficit for the fiscal year of 2009-Obama’s first year in office-was over $1.4 trillion. The deficit for the fiscal year of 2010 will be around $1.3 trillion. That’s over $3.8 billion every day in deficit spending alone. Our current national debt is over $13.7 trillion. In 2009, the United States paid over $380 billion just to service (pay the interest of) the existing debt. Trillion dollar plus deficits are projected for many years to come. The fiscal path we are on is simply unsustainable and if we don’t reverse this course soon, things will get ugly.
It is the young adults of today who will be forced to pay for the trillions of dollars recklessly spent by the government. Our economic prospects and opportunities continue to dwindle as our country spends itself into oblivion. Largely as a result of the massive government spending, the Millennial generation will likely be the first generation in American history to have a lower standard of living than the previous generation.
Since the founders’ generation, every generation has handed off a better country than the one they inherited to the next generation. What was once a proud part of the American story is now a relic of the past-a story of the America that once was no but longer is.
We were promised that if the nearly trillion dollar stimulus was passed, unemployment wouldn’t rise over 8%, though now it’s over 9.5%. The Democrats tell us that we must spend our way out of bankruptcy and into prosperity, but any rational person knows this is a counter-intuitive strategy. And this comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced shortly after the Democrats won control of Congress in the 2006 elections: “After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: Pay as you go, no new deficit spending.” Even leaders of quasi-socialist countries in Europe implored Obama and the Democrats to stop the massive deficit spending.
One more big issue that young adults should be aware of is the consequences of environmental policy favored by liberals, namely “Cap and Trade” regulations. A “Cap and Trade” bill was passed in the House last year, but was fortunately stalled in the Senate. The goal of “Cap and Trade,” which is sometimes referred to as “climate legislation,” is to stop or slow down human-induced climate change by restricting the carbon emissions of businesses and establishing a “clean energy economy” where businesses can trade and sell their unused “carbon credits.”
The Democrats are eager to implement this nonsensical policy despite the fact that no scientific proof of humans causing any significant changes in the climate exists. Trying to legislate the climate is something that a spoof legislative body on “Mad TV” or “Saturday Night Live” should be doing, not the United States Congress. Most importantly, “Cap and Trade” would raise energy prices significantly because it is essentially a tax on energy. Energy companies would be forced to pass their energy costs to consumers and already-struggling middle class families would have to pay $1,500 more per year in energy costs. By Obama’s own admission, energy costs would “necessarily skyrocket.”
Any chance our economy has of recovering would disappear after “Cap and Trade” went into effect. Liberal Democrats try to make it seem like they push for “Cap and Trade” because they are concerned for the well-being of future generations-they believe they have a “moral responsibility” to “fight climate change.” Young people should be actively protesting against “Cap and Trade” because, paradoxically to what the liberals say, it is bad for the future.
With all of this in mind, it is curious why young people do not vote in great numbers. Young adults are generally highly educated and have easy and instant access to huge amounts of political information. They must use this to inform themselves about politics and current events. If young adults would keep themselves politically informed and vote consistently, then politicians would have to listen to us and would stop sabotaging our future. Hopefully, young adults will take that initiative.
An excellent way for WCU students to get involved and learn about politics is to join the College Republicans. We are looking for new members and we welcome any students interested in learning more about conservatism. Several of our members spent over 435 hours phone banking this semester to help Republican candidates get elected. As volunteers, we got to meet Senator-elect Pat Toomey twice. We met and got a group picture with Governor-elect Tom Corbett. We also worked the phones right alongside Lt. Governor-elect Jim Cawley.
Regardless of how much or little students know about politics, getting involved with the College Republicans is a great way to learn and meet like-minded people in the process. Come to one of our meetings and meet other conservatives who care about the future. Be an active part of the political process, nationally and on campus. For meeting times and more information, please do not hesitate to send an email.
William Hanrahan is the Secretary of College Republicans and a student at West Chester University. He can be reached at WH750423@wcupa.edu.