Coming of Age

I know you are all probably done with the election and the myriad of coverage it received. But if you would indulge me one more reflection. The obvious is that, yes, the public has spoken and the country has another four years with President Obama at the helm. What was particularly interesting to me was how young voters approached the election as adults. 2008 saw the dramatic entrance of the Millennial generation into the political scene. They favored the President over John McCain by a margin of 66-31 percent. This years’ 60-36 percent margin was slightly smaller but no less resounding. Since 2004, the youth vote has gone from 17 to 19 percent, which is pretty good considering youths aged 18-29 make up 21 percent of the voting population. The difference is that in 2008 we heard so much about these new youth voters and how amazing it was they actually you know, voted. Like it was a revolution of epic proportions that a generation of facebook addicts actually found the time to exercise their civic duty. Four years later the youth turnout remained consistent despite fear that ’08 was a fluke. Personally, I’m glad that we have gotten past this. The final members of my generation will turn 18 in the next 4 years and as Millennials continue to enter the real world we are increasingly finding its burdens being shifted to us. Social Security ratios are dwindling, from 4:1 now to as little as 1:1 in the next thirty years. We have 14 percent under-unemployment. And in not to long, if not already, all those problems Barack Obama and Mitt Romney campaigned about will become very much our sole responsibility, like the Boomers before us. So I am heartened. We got this voting thing down and we’re here to stay.

Article written by Virgil Thomas, ChangingAging.org

Virgil Thomas is the Technical Support Guide with the Eden Alternative. His focus is on social media outreach and connecting a generation of culture change advocates. A recent graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, he earned a degree in Political Science with a focus in Political Philosophy. As son of Dr. Bill Thomas, Virgil grew up around the Eden Alternative and the culture change movement. Since his freshmen year of college, Virgil has been active in the blogospher, writing for a student-run blog, USDemocrazy.com. He has been a contributor to ChangingAging.org since 2010. When he is not at work Virgil practices Martial Arts and enjoys time with his two German Shepherds, Carter and Valor.