As the father of three twenty-something young adults Robert Samuelson is especially concerned about their future.
Many parents share his disquiet.
Young people have not fared well under the Obama administration. Neither, for that matter, have members of minority groups or inhabitants of blue states.
Speaking of the young Samuelson highlights their passionate embrace of candidate Obama.
In his words:
Younger voters seem clueless about advancing their economic interests. In 2008, 18-to-29-year-olds supported Barack Obama by 34 percentage points. They love his pseudo-youthfulness. Or his positions on other issues (immigration, gay rights) trump economics. As president, Obama has done nothing to improve generational fairness.
Such cluelessness is shared by other groups that will again vote for Obama, their own declining circumstances notwithstanding.
As a good father Samuelson starts thinking about how he can help the clueless young.
If the young won't help themselves, their parents and grandparents might. They might champion revising retirement programs. Dream on. Parents and grandparents may be worried about their offspring's prospects, but they're not so worried as to sacrifice their own. There are real conflicts between the young and old; so far, the young are losing.
Then again, their parents and grandparents might not. The reason has less to do with generational self-interest than with moral education.
Perhaps it’s time for the young people who voted in such overwhelming numbers for Obama to take responsibility for their votes.
The same applies to the minority group members and other denizens of the blue states.
Voting does not just give you a choice. It gives you a responsibility for the consequences. If you vote for a candidate whose policies deprive you of a future then you ought to be able to understand that you bear responsibility for the outcome.
If you are young and unemployed, camped out in your parents’ home, then perhaps you ought to stop blaming other people for your fate.
And you ought to stop waiting for your elders to bail you out. Try thinking about how you managed to allow yourself to be manipulated into voting away your future.
Obama was like a Pied Piper who seduced America’s clueless youth. He is still offering the same tired tag lines in order to seduce the same group again.
Republicans can do better than to try to compete with Obama over who is going to provide more food stamps and more free health care for unemployed Obama voters.
They should help young people to take responsibility for the error of their past votes.