Dear Grandparenting: Here we are in the most exciting Presidential campaign I can remember. This election will rock the boat no matter who wins. There’s a lot to dislike with the political circus, but Donald, Bernie, Joe, Elizabeth, Michael and company sure have our attention.
Which brings me to my grandchildren. Young people usually just don’t bother with voting, and it’s always been that way. I can see how kids get even more turned off by politics today when the system seems rigged for the top one-percent club.
But how will anything ever change if grandchildren drop out and don’t bother to vote? What’s next if things don’t improve? Riots and revolution I suppose. That’s what history teaches us. We can’t go down that road. What’s your take on this election? Jock Bender, Chicago, Illinois
Dear Jock: While you are quite right about the customary political apathy of voting age grandchildren, there is reason to expect greater turnouts in 2020 and beyond.
In the past, each generation was under-represented for its first four decades in election voting. After age 40, when many have family and property to protect, citizens become more motivated to vote.
But recent election data indicates that America’s younger voters are stepping up to vote sooner. Votes cast in the 2018 midterm election by so-called “Millennials” born between 1981 and 1996 — the newest generation of voting age — were double the 2014 midterm turnout, with 42% voting. And for the first time ever in 2018, Baby Boomers and their elders were outvoted by America’s younger generations.
According to political scientists, President Donald Trump is largely driving this change. Love him or hate him, he’s a lightening rod for controversy, a President who stirs the pot daily using social media platforms that connect and communicate with the youthful electorate.
The President has some work to do. Millennials are far more progressive on issues than their parents or grandparents. And there’s research suggesting that voter preferences are strongly influenced by their evaluations of presidential performance during adolescence and early adulthood.
How it shakes out in the upcoming 2020 contests remains to be seen, but we bet still more voting—age grandchildren become more engaged.
Grand remark of the week
Micki Thomas from Everett, Washington was “amused” as granddaughter Gia, age 5, shared her thoughts on love.
“You need to be kind of alike,” said Gia. “So if she has freckles, then he needs to get freckles.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.