Politicians’ immaturity leads to young voter apathy

By Gary Hermann
ghermann@kykernel.com

I have a vote in this election and will make my voice heard Tuesday, but I couldn’t be less excited about it.

Once again, I will be classified as a “young voter.” The pundits will debate the impact we young voters will have or not have after the election is decided.

It is a constant criticism of us that young people don’t vote.

While every person with the right to vote should exercise it, I sympathize with young people who do not vote.

The politicians we elect are supposed to be some of the smartest, most qualified and most well-educated people our nation has to offer, and many of them are. But, they often fail to prove it come election time.

Perhaps the reason so many young voters don’t get out and vote is because they are tired of watching politicians act like children.

Serious issues are in play this election that will affect young voters.

We will be graduating soon, and the fear of unemployment is felt by students at colleges all across the country.

Republicans are threatening to repeal health-care reform. However, we are stuck listening to Ben Chandler and Andy Barr squabble over whether a guy from an anti-Chandler ad is or is not a coal miner.

Two years ago, voters in Kentucky were treated to Rand Paul refusing to shake Jack Conway’s hand over Conway pressing Paul about the Aqua Buddha.

After the first debate, perhaps the most talked about issue involved Mitt Romney and if he had a problem with Big Bird.

However, it remains overlooked that the U.S. is still fighting a war in Afghanistan.

The Democrats want Mitt Romney’s tax returns. Donald Trump still thinks he can prove that President Obama wasn’t born in the U.S.

Kudos to Stephen Colbert for his hilarious challenge to Trump.

Shouldn’t more important things than conspiracy theories stating Obama isn’t American and the fact Romney is wealthy be discussed?

I’m not saying that Obama’s ‘horses’ and ‘bayonets’ zinger wasn’t hilarious; I just think that more important things were discussed in a foreign policy debate at a time when the Euro is in deep financial trouble and anti-U.S. feelings in the Middle East led to the death of a U.S. ambassador.

President Obama has addressed student loans during the campaign. He even addressed young voters when he slow-jammed the news with Jimmy Fallon at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Obama knows late-night comedy shows are a great way to reach young voters and often appears on them.

It is not a coincidence young people turn to shows like the Colbert Report and Daily Show for their news. If we can laugh at the system, it is a lot less likely to enrage us.

There are many young people who still care. All of the people who have been blowing up my Facebook wall with anti-Obama and anti-Romney venom had better get out and vote.

If you have time to post six statuses during one vice presidential debate, you have time to go vote.

These young voters have every right to be disillusioned after so many of us believed that “Hope” and “Change” were soon coming to government in 2008.

I don’t doubt Obama wanted to bring change to Washington; it just appears that it may be impossible for the generation currently representing us.

One day, the disillusioned young voters will have a chance to be the change we want to see in Washington.

However, change may be impossible in this era when lobbyists, 24-hour cable news and the super-rich that fund super-pacs fuel the partisanship that is making progress impossible.

Young voters want better and can one day be better. Sadly, right now, we are stuck having to vote for the politicians we have.

Gary Hermann is the Kernel’s opinions editor. Email ghermann@kykernel.com.