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Politics / Issues

Is Today's Younger Generation Losing Touch With Political Parties?

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Are the messages of Republicans and Democrats resonating with today's youth?

Young Invincibles is a national organization that claims to be a voice for young Americans. The group, based in Washington, D.C., brought together a roundtable discussion with people of all ages today in Tampa, only blocks from the Republican National Convention.

University of South Florida political professor Susan MacManus acted as moderator.  She says there has been a rise in young voters choosing no party affiliation.

"When young people turn their backs, it forces the parties to say, 'What are we doing wrong?' And that's were the change can occur,'' MacManus says. "And I think we are going to see some of that after this election."

So why is today's younger generation becoming disillusioned with politics?  Here are some of the issues brought up at today's discussion:

  • Increasingly negative campaigns are turning away young voters.
  • The bleak financial outlook for many college graduates is causing youth to loose faith in political leaders and parties. Students are graduating with thousands of dollars of debt in student loans and their degrees are not paying off.
  • Young people are not connecting with issues such as Social Security and Medicaid - issues candidates like Republican Vice President Nominee Paul Ryan are focusing on heavily.
  • There is a disconnect with young people and the different levels of government.

One roundtable participant, Sarah Capps, said if you have a problem at a store, you speak to the manager. However, today's youth doesn't understand that if you have a problem with the state, you can bring the issue to your local municipalities, county leaders or even state legislators.
Young Invincibles will hold another roundtable discussion in Charlotte, N.C., during the Democratic National Convention.