Tuesday, June 13, 2006

On being young and politically active

On Sunday I had the pleasure of going out with a few friends to play D&D. It had been about six weeks since we last played. My friend, "J.", had been out-of-commission since a work-related object kept him on his back for the greater portion of a month and a half. The game had been put on hiatus until he finally recovered.

On the drive to Belle Chase, we started catching up on each other's lives. After Jim indulged me in the details of his injury and life after it, I mentioned that I had started a political blog.

J. looked at me as though I was insane. "A political blog?" he asked, as though he had heard me incorrectly. "You're 21. You should be out with G. and I, searching for the best margaritas in the city."

* * * * *

I mistakenly thought that the Hurricane Preparedness forum was yesterday; I dragged fellow college student S. with me to Eastbank Regional, where we both learned that I had the date wrong. Conference Room A was being used to educate first-time parents, not political enthusiasts.

"I was looking forward to being bored," S. complained, as he pocketed his iPod and we made our way back across the parking lot.

* * * * *

Before I started "T. and Sympathy", most of my political rants were kept in my personal journal, which had a rather wide readership. Most of the people who regularly read my blog were about my age--a few younger, a few older, but rarely anyone much older than 30. Eventually, my readers made it clear that they were tired of listening to me gripe about the condition of Lakeview or grumble about Gulf Coast-centric bills that were being tied up in Congress.

"It's depressing," they claimed.

"I'm tired of hearing about it all the time," they complained.

So I moved the rants here.

* * * * *

Part of the reason why I started "T. and Sympathy" was to encourage other young people to remain politically active and constantly vigilant. I wanted to encourage my peers to keep up-to-date on current events and then write what they thought about them.

So few people seem to encourage young people to remain politically active. Thirty-something year old J. and my forty year old mom both think that my political interest is something that can be "cured" with a more active social life. Most of my friends show little, if any interest, in politics--that is, unless it's something that will directly affect them, such as net neutrality or abortion--and they offer even less support. What I wanted was to create a coalition of young, politically-minded bloggers who would offer their peers emotional support and encouragement.

Most of my blogging seems to revolve around local issues (such as the Emergency Spending Act or local politicians) and national issues (such as Net Neutrality or Gay Marriage). As a result, I know little about what goes on in the states around me (save for perhaps Mississippi) or what issues matter to the young voters in those states. Through a network of young bloggers, we could educate each other about the going-ons in our respective states and offer political support, when necessary. If a fellow young blogger wrote about a little-advertised Alabama-centric bill needed support from Louisiana senators and representatives, I'd write and call Vitter, Landrieu, and Jindal and ask for their support.

Ultimately, I'd like one under-25 political blogger from each state linked on my sidebar. Perhaps it's a long shot, but I'm already one step closer towards it.

Later this week, a young political science major friend of mine from Alabama will be opening a political blog. I'll be sure to add a link to the sidebar once it's open.

I just hope that others follow suit.


Anonymous Adrastos said...

Glad you're encouraging some more young 'uns to be politically active. Apathy is why people under 30 *always* get screwed by the politicians. If you don't vote, they don't give a shit.

I'm also glad to have a young blogger emerging on the Debrisville scene which is full of geezers, dinosaurs and soccer fans...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger T. said...

You should have seen me in 2002. I was so excited to finally be 18, I enthusiastically studied all candidates. During the 2004 presidential election, I devoured books on the various candidates of all parties before I cast my vote.

I can't seem to find any others in the area that seem as politically enthusiastic as I am. Then again, that might be because they had their homes sucked away by the deluge...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 11:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Adrastos said...

It's just typical NOLA apathy. It's why we keep getting the same sort of guvmint over and over again.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 12:01:00 AM  
Blogger Lady Morwen said...

Hon, keep it up!

I've been politically active since 1972. Always hurt me to see younger folks being apathetic. It's called eternal vigilance.

You just made my day. Bless you!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 8:01:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

This probably won't work with young adults...but (and I hang my head in shame when I type this), when I was, ahem, your age (ouch--I actually said that), I figured that being "apolitical" or whatever you want to call it equated to doing whatever the government told you to do...

If I wasn't willing to do that with my parents, why on earth should I do that with them?

To be honest, though, the young adults of MY age were maybe even more willing to go along than they are today...I mean, good god, I was forced to suffer through things like Huey Lewis...and more...um, ouch again--when I say 'maybe ask your mom' about the lame, lame 80's...

Thursday, June 15, 2006 12:02:00 AM  

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