The Corner

Re: Youth Support Eroding

From a yoot:

Jonah,

I was 24 during the election. I’m 25 now. I — along with many of my friends — supported Obama. Do I disapprove of the job he’s doing? Yes. Want to know why? Because he’s caving to Republican demands on issues like health care and the economy.

We supported him BECAUSE he ran as a progressive. We’re disappointed now because he’s not governing as one. So before you get all excited about youth support eroding, consider this:

Just because we disapprove of what’s happening doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to be running back to Republicans any time soon.

Me: As I told the young lady in an e-mail, I have no problem with this in principle. But I’d offer some caveats.

First, it’s almost surely foolish to assume that all young people think the same way this youngster and her progressive friends do.

Second, if he’s caving in to Republican demands on the economy, I can only hope there’s some full-on space-time-continuum-ripping atomic implosions coming down the pike, because it sure doesn’t look like a major cave-in to me yet.

Third,  I sincerely doubt this young lady was ever part of the Republican party in the first place, so it (might be) a bit dishonest to suggest that she’d ever “run back” to someplace she’d never been.

Fourth, it’s worth noting that Bush’s low popularity had to do with the fact that many conservatives were annoyed with him for the same reasons this young lady and her damn hippy progressive friends are upset with Obama: he compromised too much. I would argue that Obama has done far less compromising than Bush did, but this is a matter of perception and not relevant. The point is that conservatives still ended up owning Bush politically, it seems even more unlikely that progressives won’t end up owning Obama no matter what he does.

I could go on, but in homage to my slacker youth, I’ll abandon this post and move on to something else.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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