– November 16th, 2012 by Parker Pearlstein –
Post election: What will happen next?
Every four to eight years America is a country which sees drastic political changes but often Americans don’t know what they mean. Many of the age group that makes up college students are still following in the queue of our parents and mentors’ beliefs. This is not because we are ignorant but rather because, being in the midst of a college education meant to teach us to think on our own, much of our time is dedicated to schooling and less to the future of our country. Not to say that the worry isn’t there for the age group; over the last two elections America has seen a historic number of youths turn out at the polls. Circle or The Center for Information Research on Civic Learning and Engagement found that youth voters turned out at the third highest rate in history in 2008 increasing the previous presidential election numbers by 51.1 percent. While Obama did lose an estimated six percent of the youth vote he had won in 2008, the one thing that remained was the fact that the 18-25-age bracket carried him to victories in the swing states this year. The biggest question is why is it all of a sudden that this generation cares, what does it care about?
The issue that comes to mind first is the cost of education. Oxford Dictionary coined the word of the year in England “Omnishambles,” a word that means, “A situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations.” Like many words that gain new connotations due to happenings around the world the British media at times changed the words prefix to Romneyshambles, a word that properly fits Romney’s ability to reach out to the youth. In one speech to youth Romney commented on going to college or starting businesses by saying, “borrow money if you have to from your parents.” This doesn’t sound good for a politician who was in need of the youth vote, and it was this point that he lost them –‘Romneyshambles.’ While this was happening, Obama made it clear that this was an unacceptable plan of action; he proposed adding to money for grants in the college sphere or as Obama called it a “pay as you earn” program, which would cap loan payment for college students at ten percent of their monthly income post graduation. While students were increasingly more wary of the Obama that ran in 2008, Romney said very little over the election directly to them unless you count his economic plan.
Much of Romney’s appeal came as champion of economics; his time in office in Massachusetts allowed him to balance the most liberal of state’s budget while leading a mostly liberal legislative branch, almost a miracle in today’s modern era of political stubbornness. He claimed that with his economic plan jobs, the cash flow many youth are worried about being there post college would be there and in an increased form from the past four years. He maintained by cutting out federal spending that he could redistribute money to the portions of the economy that would help small business flourish and allow for an increased amount of jobs to be available. This was the major appeal tof Romney to students who saw their support for Obama four years ago turn into well, much of the same; this is where Romney captured his youth, but it wasn’t enough.
In the end, how will this election affect students? What will actually get done? Over the next four years I think that regardless of the winner of the race (incase the news hasn’t broken Obama won) students will find their best interests at heart. Both parties realize that the youth that are voting today are going to be the same people that will settle for parties over the next decades and are the ones that will be running the country when they are no longer here. Under Obama the major difference will be his ability to communicate with the youth. Younger and more “in touch, ” many claim he will be able to advocate to youth groups that supported him over the past four years. The question is will he maintain these claims in his secured four years as president, or now that he has been elected for his last term in office will he back off the objectives he set that got him re-elected and work on his own agenda? No amount of speculation can or will ever be able to answer that question, at least not until the next four years are over.