This article was originally published on another blog site.
We live in a time where it is possible for a President to be reelected after presiding over the worst economic recovery since World War II. This is due in large part because of a group pollsters call the Rising American Electorate, which consists of unmarried women, persons of color and young people 18 to 29 years of age. 6 in 10 of this group give the economy a negative rating, and 40% of this group have had to move in with family or had someone move to save money. Despite this the vast majority of the group voted for Obama. How can this be?
I believe it is a combination of massive ignorance and media/ Democrat demagoguery of Republicans. Polling consistently shows that only small minorities of this demographic have even cursory knowledge of current events, the Federal government or the Constitution. According to a poll Pew conducted 32% in this demographic got their news the day before from social network sites. Michael Carpini in his study discovered that only 36% of young adults followed the news everyday. Also ” on a 50 question quiz on national politics, young adults could only answer one in three questions”. The Democrats focus on the social networking sites makes a lot of sense when you take into account this data. They can push their narrative ie the war on women, Mitt Romney is a tax cheat, Romney killed a mans wife, onto this population without worrying about being countered by any competing voices.
When it comes to economic concerns this Rising Electorate does not react the same as past generations. They just don’t seem to care about high unemployment and record deficits. Not feeling the sting of the bad economy, and the sense of entitlement common to this generation contribute to this. That is if you can’t find a job it’s not a problem, the government owes you your benefits. Unemployment benefits have been extended to 99 weeks while food stamp use and social security disability enrollment have reached historic levels.
Daniel Kline a professor at George Mason University did a study that showed self described liberals and Democrats don’t understand even the most basic economic principles. A slick politician like Obama can easily manipulate people like this with class warfare rhetoric and claims that the rich don’t pay their fair share. Democrats being able to cast Republicans as only for the rich and that they would cause the death of people just to make a buck is devastating. A poll by the Hill magazine showed that even when a majority of Americans support Republican economic policies they Change their thinking when they discover it is a Republican proposal.
The only way to combat this is to radically change the education system, decentralizing it and teaching American history and civics. It should also be a priority to teach kids economics, stressing that free markets and not socialism is the most moral and effective economic system. In the short term Republicans need a more visceral attack strategy against Democrats. A dumbing down of conservative principles as it were. Conservatives need to paint the Democrats as the enemy of this demographic if Republicans are to stand a chance in national elections.