Former President Obama urged young people to get involved and vote during his first speech/post-presidential discussion at the University of Chicago.
Video clip of Obama discussing the need for young people to get involved and vote:
Obama’s goal was summed up when he said, “Look, in the presidential election you have maybe half of your peers voting. In midterm elections, about a third of your peers vote. I suspect that if you ask a lot of young people about a wide range of issues regardless of where they sit ideologically, they would say yeah, I’m very concerned about the economy. I’m very concerned about foreign policy. I’m very concerned about this, or that, or the other, but a lot of them feel like their involvement would not make a difference. It’s not worth their time, and in fact, their discouraged, but feel disempowered.”
Former President Obama’s message is that younger people are the future of the country, and that future begins now. When younger people get involved in politics and shaping public policy, Republicans lose. The Republican Party is driven by white, rural, conservative, older Americans. There is a reason Republicans at the state level have made it a priority to make it more difficult for younger people to vote.
There is a reason why Republicans support Citizens United and unlimited dark money in US elections. All of these things are barriers to keep younger people who are likely to support Democrats or run for office as a Democrat out of politics.
Obama is out to change that by empowering young people and fighting back against the apathy and discouragement.
Republicans don’t young people participating in the political process in big numbers, which is why President Obama’s message and post-presidential work is what Republicans fear the most.
Obama is using his popularity to fuel the generational change that is capable of sweeping Republicans out of power and restoring bipartisanship to American politics.