A Response to the 12 Young People Who Probably Won't Vote (Subtitle: There Will Be Yelling)
“Good, good. Let the apathy flow through you like a sweet boof.”
It’s not hyperbole to say that the upcoming midterm elections are probably one of the most dramatic and important moments since our country descended into bat-fucking chaos in 2016. As we speak, the President of the United States has deployed literally thousands of troops on American soil to fight a tired and weary caravan of immigrants, who will have walked through the entirety of Mexico before they even hit the U.S. border by December if they’re lucky. And our brain-addled Shroomdong-in-Chief did all of that because he is very concerned that his racist base won’t have enough numbers to maintain control of Congress and possibly even the Senate.
In other words, Republicans are on the ropes, which should be the case after slapping a credibly accused rapist on the Supreme Court for the dual purpose of criminalizing abortion and also making sure Donald Trump doesn’t get indicted for whatever bullshit he allegedly pulled to win the presidential election. The stakes are fucking huge right now, and if there was ever an election for young people to be energized about, it’s one where they can personally stem an unprecedented rise of fascism in American government.
So you’ll be thrilled to hear that today’s youth are probably going to sit this one out. Wait, what?
More than half of American adults plan to cast ballots in November, but only a third of people ages 18 to 29 say they will. 12 young adults explain why they probably won’t vote https://t.co/GleF2PCH8I— Intelligencer (@intelligencer) October 30, 2018
Before I go any further, I fucking hate thinkpieces that crap over millennials — I’m 38 and still can’t tell you if I’m one of them or not — because they really have gotten a raw deal from Boomers who left them a garbage fire economy to wade into with a sandbag of student loans around their necks. Also, the generation who raised them clearly forgot to teach them how the hell anything works. For example, the Postal Service. Total fucking mystery to these kids.
So with that said, I’m going to try my best not to turn this post into “Old Man Yells at Cloud,” but when it inevitably veers in that direction, I guarantee you’ll be popping a blood vessel in the middle of Cracker Barrel, too, because holy shit.
Samantha, 22, Old Bridge, New Jersey
Right out of the gate, Samantha voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. It was the 22-year-old’s first general election, but she didn’t get what she wanted, so that was enough for Samantha to never vote again. It also seems like she’s getting a steady diet of Leftist/Rose Twitter, or whatever the fuck it’s called where contrarian assholes monetize shitting all over the Democratic Party so they can play video games on Twitch all day.
But there’s still a lot of powerful people, especially in the Democratic Party, that are centrists, and that’s just a little frustrating when it comes time to stand up to this president and the policies he’s trying to pass. Like the Kavanaugh thing — I get that they’re the minority and that was an uphill battle, but I just feel like there wasn’t a big enough fight put up to that, and I think there continues to not be a big enough fight.
Just so we’re clear, Samantha doesn’t think the Democrats did enough to stop Kavanaugh. A feat that was mathematically impossible the second every Republican senator committed to voting for him after a sham FBI investigation. And yet she’s not going to give Democrats the chance to put up a “big enough fight” by voting for them in the midterm elections. Samantha even acknowledges that she has an absentee ballot sitting at home, so voting wouldn’t even be that hard for her. Instead, she’s going to sit back and let “grassroots groups” do all the work, which somehow doesn’t involve people showing up to vote.
Scream into a pillow yet? This was only the first kid.
Reese, 23, Hudson, Ohio
Reese wants you to know that he’s a deep thinking poli-sci major who reads Voltaire and dabbled in Hellenism for a spell. He started out as “blatantly liberal” before his friend gave him a copy of Machiavelli’s The Prince, and now he “prefers constitutional law and Alexander Hamilton.”
However, Reese isn’t a fan of Donald Trump, but not enough to do anything about him because someone might provide a “new avenue of thought” that voting against Trump is wrong, and Reese can’t have that, so he’ll stick with Option C: Keeping Reese’s head crammed directly up Reese’s ass.
Tim, 27, Austin, Texas
I have ADHD, and it makes it hard for me to do certain tasks where the payoff is far off in the future or abstract. I don’t find it intrinsically motivational. The amount of work logically isn’t that much: Fill out a form, mail it, go to a specific place on a specific day. But those kind of tasks can be hard for me to do if I’m not enthusiastic about it. That’s kind of a problem with social attitudes around, you know, “It’s your civic duty to vote.” I once told a co-worker I didn’t vote, and she said, “That’s really irresponsible,” in this judgmental voice. You can’t build a policy around calling people irresponsible. You need to make people enthusiastic and engaged.
Again, I’m really not a fan of people making blanket statements that accuse millennials of being “overly entitled,” but “Why isn’t voting a rollercoaster ride that explicitly rewards me right in the face?” is the reason I’ll be waging war on beard trimmers and kayaks. Hold my calls.
Megan, 29, San Francisco, California
Presumably, to prevent anyone who made it this far from stroking out, Megan is an hourly employee who moves around a lot and travels frequently for work, so voting is an unnecessary labyrinthian process for her to navigate. (Although, she does make an attempt only to be thwarted by not owning a printer and/or stamps, which I’m gonna let slide because she sounds busy.) More importantly, she presents a mostly legitimate reason that doesn’t make me see the Devil when I close my eyes, so she wins. I love you, Megan!
Drew, 21, Berkeley, California
Drew is tired of the Democratic Party only “appealing to older voters” who reliably show up on Election Day instead of catering to younger voters who will find 25 reasons to instantly flake, up to and including buying stamps. It’s almost like people who specifically require votes to do their job only care about getting votes. What gives? asks Drew, a poli-sci major who doesn’t know how elections work. God… goddammit.
Laura, 21, Orlando, Florida
There’s an easy joke to be made about the fact that Laura is from Florida and graduated high school without knowing that Joe Biden was the vice president. However, her story seems to involve having a Republican mom and Democratic dad who apparently swore a blood oath to never once talk politics in the house. Laura had to beg them for their party affiliation during the 2016 election, which she skipped and now regrets. She plans to vote in the 2020 presidential election, so I don’t know why the hell she’s even on this list. For skipping the midterms, maybe? I don’t even care at this point, and I’m pretty sure not skipping them was my opening thesis.
It was so long ago…
Aaron, 25, Atlanta, Georgia
Aaron voted for Bernie Sanders during the primary. But when Bernie lost and endorsed Hillary Clinton, well, that pissed Aaron right the hell off because party politics, how do they work? In Aaron’s defense, he voted for Hillary after his mom dragged him to a voting booth, but he’s “felt bad about it for two years.” Because clearly things would’ve been way worse if she won, right? Jesus, Aaron, look what you almost did!
Anyway, Aaron is also pissed that the Democrats didn’t do enough about global warming, so he’s now going to sit on his hands and let the Republicans frack open whale skulls if it’ll produce a drop of oil. But maybe he’ll get involved if someone “exciting” comes along, because if there’s one thing that these kids have taught me, it’s that politics should be a non-stop ride of thrills and adventure. (Shoot me in the teeth.)
Anna, 21, New York, New York
Anna doesn’t know how the post office works, and honestly, if someone could just deal with all of that for her, she’d think about voting. That’s it. That’s her whole deal. The post office is hard.
Excuse me while I blot out the sun.
Thomas, 28, New York, New York
Thomas farts out a meandering word salad peppered with the boilerplate bullshit about the Democrats need to run something besides Democrats (??) before getting to his major criticism with voting:
My polling place is at the end of my block. It takes no time at all; it’s an extremely easy process. But I think that’s also what makes it seem sort of alienating and anticlimactic. You go in and you’re like, “This is the climax of democracy,” like, the sticker on my chest is the climax of democracy.
Jesus, I’m sorry, Thomas. Next time, the government will make sure confetti shoots out of the voting booth before throwing a parade in your honor. Will that be a big enough climax, Thomas? Thomas the big boy who only got one sticker. How did you even survive?!
Jocelyn, 27, Arlington, Massachusetts
It was easier for Jocelyn to get a medical marijuana card than it was to register to vote. And while those two things might be related, she actually has a point that didn’t make me contemplate sharpening the edge of my laptop and jabbing into my chest.
Jocelyn, please join Laura and Megan on Mt. Fucking Awesome. Margaritas will be served shortly — unless you kids made me drank them all. Might want to plan for that.
Maria, 26, Conway, Arkansas
Thanks to a Catholic school education and all of the indoctrination that entails, Maria wants nothing to do with politics. And I can respect that. Even though, nothing would stick it to those nuns like voting pro-choice, but I digress.
However, Maria does admit that she cares about immigration, access to health care, and women’s reproductive rights, which are all in huge fucking danger right now, but is it worth it for her to take four hours of vacation time to vote? Which is what she’d have to do to make it to a voting booth. And I don’t know the answer to that one because I’m not about to say, “Hey, put your job at risk by requesting time-off,” when it’s not my paycheck. I’m an opinionated asshole, but not that opinionated.
P.S. Maria gets margs.
Nathan, 28, San Diego, California
Nathan reads everything online, you guys. But the one thing Nathan hasn’t read is what to do after you register to vote, which are the exact words that come out of his mouth. I want to dive into traffic, that’s how hard I’m not even joking.
I love that literally everyone is promoting actually registering to vote, but it’s never how to vote or the steps to voting or what you do next after you’ve registered to vote. After that, it kind of just drops off and you’re left in the dark, like, I don’t know what to do next, you know?
Now, I know what you’re thinking? Truly this genius of our modern age can’t say anything dumber. But he does. He goes right for it.
It’s a wild theory, but setting voting up so that it’s all on social media, putting all that information in just an Instagram Story, in a Snapchat filter or whatever — bulleted-out, easy-to-read, digestible content — would encourage me to vote. Just maybe it’s a social-media page or an Instagram page where it gives daily facts about how to do things or DIYs on how to vote for yourself, something like that. Just to make it easily digestible to a younger audience that’s on social media, ‘cause that’s how they digest their information.
Yes, let’s make voting available on social media where absolutely nothing has ever gone horribly wrong with the election process before. What an incredible idea, Aaron. Tell me, champ, do you have any advice on how to stop the never-ending sound of bees buzzing in my head? Because I sure could use it! DM me with deets.
And that was the last kid. So, yeah, America’s doomed. This is basically how it ends. Cool stuff, right? What was your favorite part? I liked when they didn’t know how the mail works.
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