Monday, June 12, 2006

Young Voters, Yes! Evangelicals, Eh?

No one seems too surprised that the Gen-Y and to a lesser extent Gen-X types support same-sex marriage, or at least say, "What's the big deal?" However more info suggests that they may stop whining about how unfair life is to them and be a major source of progressive changes.

Out in California, do-gooder foundation exec, Deborah Rappaport does a quick analysis of the political benefits of courting the 18 to 30-year-olds. She concludes that Howard Dean and his minions should not waste time on born-agains. As she put it, "(I)t might be easier and more effective to turn out young people who actually agree with us than to change an evangelical’s mind"

Personal Aside: I knew Deb and her not-yet-rich-VC hubby Andy pretty well when they lived here. That's another story. It's fabulous that they have been so active in giving money and support to progressive causes. Too many got-bucks Boomers turn to the Dark Side or just sit on their capital.

She notes that this group votes right -- the only age set to vote Kerry...and to go to the polls in increasing numbers. There are nearly as many of them in the Boomlet as in the Boom. They vote and they vote progressive.

Deb has a sensible list of strong reasons for the Dems to make this group central to their election strategy:
  1. They actually like us. This is the only age group that voted for Kerry.
  2. They will vote if we reach out to them effectively. Young people had the largest increase in voter participation of any age group in 2004.
  3. There are a lot of them, 60 to 70 million. This generation is almost as large as the Baby Boomers.
  4. This is most diverse generation ever in America. One in three is a racial minority.
  5. We keep losing when we write young people off. Democrats have to try something new if we expect a different result.
That leads nicely into an idea attributed to Albert Einstein -- "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." It's long past time to stop that kind of behavior. Her suggestion is spot on for this.

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