Monday, July 14, 2008

ANOTHER crybaby conservative alert!

Just a few days after Brent Bozell scoldfest, Amanda Carpenter is complaining about young voters, with their newfangled Facebook groups. It would be hard for anyone her age (she is 25) to sound like a supercilious old biddy, but Ms. Carpenter pulls it off with aplomb.

I thought at the age of 18 you became an adult, with the right to vote and sign up for the military, not be pandered to by desperate political candidates. I guess most people in that age bracket are pretty childish, though. Most of them are college students living off of mommy and daddy's dime, who are hand-fed their meals from a dining hall. Which is why most of them lean Democratic--they're dependent and haven't been made to earn their own way yet. Of course, there are lots of other 18-25 year olds outside this category, like single moms and men and women oveseas [sic] in the war, but you never see those people interviewed in those stories about the youth vote. The only youth who typically are engaged in politics are the ones in a more leisurely class, with time enough to paint protest signs and make Obama mashups online.


Allow me to give my example, Ms. Carpenter. I skipped my senior year of high school and worked a variety of jobs in college, both on and off campus. I was a library assistant, a coffee shop worker, and a tour guide. I did a newspaper internship and wrote for my campus paper to boot. I spent the summer between my junior and senior years in England. I was handed my college diploma three months before I turned 21. Weeks later, I was living in New York City and starting my career.

I knew lots of other students like me. Students who worked to save money for college tuition. Students who attended college on full scholarships. Students who, like me, held campus jobs. Given that I went to an arty liberal arts college, we didn't have an ROTC branch. But there was a fellow student who had joined the military to earn money for college tuition.

I suspect there are a lot more students like that than Ms. Carpenter cares to admit. According to her bio, she graduated from Ball State University, where she ran a right-wing Web site. Wonder what other Ball State students, past and present, would say to being classified as a bunch of loafers slumming their way through four years of higher education?

Then again, perhaps Ms. Carpenter confuses her own movement-conservative milieu--crammed as it is with Yellow Elephants, wingnut welfare recipients, and assorted buffoons who owe their livelihoods to their family connections--with the world at large.

Or maybe she's just annoyed that so many people in her age group don't think like she does. She's hardly the first conservative to dismiss the youth vote. Kay Steiger notes the real reason for the wingers' annoyance:

Of course a conservative woman like Carpenter finds young people who trend heavily progressive actually showing up to vote annoying. Then the policies she supports are less popular.

Note: Ms. Carpenter's blog post got a lot of responses from young women who basically have pointed out she doesn't know what she's talking about.