But, at this point our political process mirrors a T.V. talent show like " American Idol."
How often do we hear people of today say they just don't care? How many times in your life has someone told you that real positive change is not possible. We hear pundits claim that the American people are too selfish, stupid, and lazy to try and make a difference in their communities. Barack Obama's presidential campaign in 2008 did something this country has not seen forever, got young people excited about the political process. For a moment, it seemed that we had shed the skin of apathy that has defined young voters in America since the 1970's. Young people in America got fired up about the 2008 election. On Super Tuesday, back in 2008 some three million young voters stormed the polling precincts to cast their vote. They[Young Voters] turned out in record numbers in 20 states.
Our independent study here in the House of Public Discourse found that many young people are tired of being characterized as apathetic and uninterested in politics. In 2008, we saw young people casting ballots like never before volunteering for campaigns, organizing in their schools, and proved to be a major voting block mainly responsible for getting Barack Obama elected.[See Source] The problem is keeping these young people's interest up and based on the 2010, 2012, and 2014 elections we fear here in the House of Public Discourse that interest has been once again lost. Reigniting this enormous voting block will be a key for any candidate running in the 2016 election cycle. In fact, our research is showing that voter apathy has returned to this important voting block at a staggering rate.
U.S. Voter Turnout Among Lowest in Developed Countries
No matter who's bankrolling America's political campaigns the United States is viewed by the rest of the world as the hallmark of democracy. But, the fact is that most American's refuse to take advantage of their political rights. The United States has the second lowest voter turnout rate of all the so-called developed nations. In our latest election back in 2014 only 37% of registered voters took part in the process. It is not uncommon to ask a walker by on the street who the Vice-President is and get an " I,m drawing a blank," response. You can ask an everyday citizen what a Super Pac is and you will get a " Super What." response.
Our research has found that people will respond when they think they have choices between candidates. Not, candidates like Hillary Clinton in the present that many tow the line Democrats just want to hand the nomination to on a silver platter. The American voters want choices they want to here policy positions and what one person is running for office has to offer versus another person running for office. This choice heightens voters feelings that their vote does make a difference. Political choices that are shoved down the throats of the citizens creates Voter Apathy. It says we know what's best for you so just go "hold you nose," and vote for who we tell you too. This reality causes voters to ask why should I spend my time, effort, and energy voting when my choice is of no consequence.
Why American's Fail To Vote And Why It's Bad For America
Now that the 2016 presidential election is upon us this in our view is a major question that must be answered if we are going to see a shift from the 1% fat-cats dictating to us their mere minions of society. Overcoming this cancer in our political system should be priority number one. In the last election, 63% of Americans did not vote. 80% of young people did not vote. 75% of low-income workers did not vote. Our conclusion from our research suggests the reason for these ugly numbers has been the alienation of the American people from the political process. Moreover, their demoralization. The everyday American has been hurting in this country ever since the onslaught of Republican trickle-down economics that trickled down nothing to the American people but debt, low wages, unregulated workplaces, and has all but destroyed our middle-class and the environment as well. We see this lead to poverty and the criminalization of poverty. These economic policies have created the loss of millions of good-paying jobs. Americans look to Washington and say what are you doing? Who are you representing? People are asking themselves how is the American government relative to my life. The average American can't afford to send their children to college. More and More single moms are forced onto Welfare cause they can't afford childcare to look after their kids while they work. The average American has to work more than one job to make a living. What is the American government doing about it?
What we see in Washington are the Koch Brothers and other billionaires putting millions and millions of influence peddling dollars into our political system and what does Congress do---ask them what they want---don't want us to raise the minimum wage okay, you want us to deny that climate change is real good, you want us to allow another unfettered " free-trade deal," that have been disastrous for the American worker, no problem. We love shipping our jobs overseas.
This political atmosphere has without questions caused the American Voter Apathy we see today. Most American's display a sentiment of why do I want to take even a small part in this fiasco. These conditions as mentioned above and others are the reason for low voter turnout in America. What we here in the House of Public Discourse have come to understand is there is no easy antidote to this voter apathy problem. But, this issue is a core focus of our advocacy. We see with all clarity that it's going to take a grassroots effort of education and organizing to combat this real scourge on our governance. We need to encourage active candidates who share this populist view that will represent We The People instead of We The Corporation. This effort must start at the local levels, at the state levels, and finally the national levels. We need to bring people together to a progressive agenda that reminds voters what Abraham Lincoln taught us that the government is supposed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. This sound so pleasant and this writer is ready to lead the charge, but we must know this is not easy stuff. In fact, this is tough stuff. Getting low-income voters, working poor citizens, involved in the process is a huge undertaking.
No matter the struggle we must take back our country from the Vulture Capitalist, who have put a " For Sale" sign on our American democracy.