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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > 80 Percent of Latino Youth Polled Declare if Obama’s Not a Nominee, They Won’t Vote

80 Percent of Latino Youth Polled Declare if Obama’s Not a Nominee, They Won’t Vote

LatinaLista — The headline’s disturbing revelation was revealed through a survey conducted by Hispanic Economics on behalf of the Obama campaign.
While it can be argued that the survey’s findings may be a bit biased, it is a safe assumption to make that Obama’s young supporters are passionate about their candidate.

Obama addresses youth at campaign rally.
(Source: NYTimes)

That call is easy enough to make by the casual observer who has ever witnessed, either on TV or in person, the student turnouts at Obama rallies across the country.
It’s also safe to say that this election season is providing the kind of life-experience lesson with the political process that no textbook can even touch.
Yet, it would seem, that while students have embraced the political campaigning and voter persuasion strategies (phone banks, door-to-door campaigning, etc.) the most important element in this Civics lesson is being dismissed as trivial — the vote.


While there are adults who have certainly withheld their election votes in protest of the available candidates on a ticket, it’s not the kind of message that should be condoned with silence — to any age voter.
We have seen in the Latino community that years of not voting, because no candidate “appealed” to the electorate, has lead to an apathy of the political process and the false assumptions that votes don’t count. Only when the community feels threatened do they react to vote for someone who will “help” them, but too many times it’s too little too late.
Isn’t the secret of the political process is to build that kind of political support throughout several elections by voting for the people who can grow into those positions of authority?
If temper tantrums, pouting and declarations of “If my candidate isn’t in, I’m not voting” overtakes the mature decision to vote one’s conscience, then the political process is the loser, along with, all of us.
During this historic campaign season, some campaigns have heavily targeted the youth vote. It’s a demographic that is long overdue for recognition and validation by the political parties.
Yet, by involving the students in the “poly-glam” world of campaigning where adrenalin keeps people on a constant high, not enough is being said how to handle coming down from that high if things don’t go the way they expect.
Though nobody likes to even think of the possibility that their candidate won’t win, and a lot would even consider it bad luck to even contemplate it, campaigns have to do a better job in educating young voters that the political process is much bigger than just one candidate.
It’s time for political parties to step up to the plate and revamp how they outreach to young people and, most importantly, include them in the process long before candidates are declared and campaign lines drawn.
Young people have always been much smarter than adults ever give them credit. It’s time to acknowledge them in a way that appreciates their passion, their involvement, their commitment and their idealism when it comes to the political process.
Otherwise, sustaining a democratic system of government may be harder to do in a future where people won’t vote because they don’t get their way.

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Comment(18)

  • Avatar
    Frank
    February 12, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    I would suggest that any voter who doesn’t like the choices on the ballots that they write in their own candidate. I know some will say that this is a waste but it makes a statement and one will still be taking part in the election process.
    IMO, I think the voting age should be raised. So many young people don’t understand the issues or the candidates or even our political process. It is like they are voting for their favorite rock star. I think most lack the wisdom to vote without emotion getting in the way and to make a wise choice. Sure some adults are not mature enough mentally to make wise choices either but at least they have been around long enough to know how certain issues and views will impact them.
    Maybe we all need to take an IQ test before we vote because it seems that we aren’t making intelligent choices lately.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    February 12, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    When 20 Democratic Senators in a Democratic majority Congress vote to give the federal government more power to spy on people and vote to give the phone companies immunity for helping the government spy on citizens, I think the case can be made that neither party is acting in the best interests of its citizens. Given bipartisan support for the border wall and increased immigration enforcement measures, I think it’s fair to say neither party is acting in the best interests of immigrants.
    To me, there are significant enough differences between the parties that I still plan to vote in November. I think the Democrats are open to persuasion, or at least will react to the threat of defeat from challenges from the left. I hope that as this young generation comes into its own, its politicians will respond and reject the mistakes our parents are making right now.
    But I am sympathetic to the argument that the corruption and worship of power that we see in both parties today warrants a protest vote–or nonvote, as the case may be. I think not voting can be a principled stance that reflects conviction, not apathy. Whether that is the reason, on an individual basis, is another question.

  • Avatar
    Texano78704
    February 12, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Actually, lack of voter participation would be an indication of lack of faith in the system.
    I would advocate for mandatory participation in elections for every qualified voter.
    I can hardly wait for the trolls to jump all over that one.

  • Avatar
    Seth Robbins
    February 12, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Listen, these kinds of articles or these reporters always seem to fail in getting the real point of what is happening in America, and they are too preachy in their own right.
    I am sick and tired of their throwing in their opinions to try and dampen the effect that Obama is having on our younger voters!
    What the hell do you expect people to do when they DO NOT TRUST the other candidates!?! Vote for someone that we believe will betray us!? Are you nuts? Did you even think your articles points through past your own opinion? Do you commonly fail to put yourself into other peoples shoes?
    We are standing up and telling the establishment that we are through with them. They need to go away and let us win back our country, our FREE country. If our voice is silent then so are our hopes for a better tomorrow for ourselves, our families, and our brothers and sisters around the world.
    This younger generation is not fearful of the world around us! We wish to embrace our neighbors and let them know that we are not here to destroy them, but to help them when they need us. But we also know that in order for us to help others we need to be certain that we are doing well enough at home first.
    We don’t look for one solution to many problems. We know that varied approaches can have a greater impact on a myriad of issues that are facing us today. And we know that long term goals are what we wish to achieve. But most importantly we also know that we have to do this together.
    The divisive, stubborn politics of old MUST fade away in order for us to repair the world the way we think it needs to be done. With commitment and honesty, integrity and strong will, with compassion and empathy. With open minds and without fear that is not truly justified.
    We are not fools. We will vote for the candidate we feel will deliver what we need. We may wait, but we will be ready when the time comes. We will not buy something we do not want. We will not vote for anyone that we do not believe is worthy of our vote. Are we supposed to lie to ourselves, is that what you are suggesting?

  • Avatar
    Sakina
    February 13, 2008 at 2:49 am

    Barack strongly needs bilingual people to come to his site and start phone banking. I’m over there and we’re forming a group. We’d be happy to help them!
    Please let these youth know that we’re with them, and we can do this cheap through skype.
    I can even train them on the phone!
    Not to sound spammy. I just want to be sure their presidential choice, who is my same choice, comes to fruition.
    Texas is a key state.
    I spent three days calling Maryland, and I’m a student-teacher-activist w/ 3 kids!!!! But I made 200 calls. 50 would be great! They take like… 1-2 minutes per call.
    Email me if you need help, you can find me on the boards there, esp. the Spanish board. “SaSa.”
    Please spread the word, thank you. No experience necessary for your investment in a better future, both for latinos and all americans.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    February 13, 2008 at 8:04 am

    yave, our politicians are not supposed to be acting in the best interests of “immigrants”, they are supposed to represent the citizens of this country, not foreigners. By immigrants I am sure you meant illegal aliens anyway and our politicians would be going against the laws of our country representing them.
    What I am reading in here is many people wanting our government and politicians to do things that benefit their special group. That isn’t what this country is all about. Young voters are especially vulverable to this kind of mindset.
    President Kennedy said it best long ago, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”. A lesson to be learned by many.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    February 13, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Whoops! Typo…should be “vulnerable”.

  • Avatar
    Jax
    February 13, 2008 at 9:12 am

    A couple of thoughts:
    I totally agree with Seth Robbins. The so-called youth voters support of Obama should not surprise anyone. I do believe that they will, along with millions of others, will elct him in November. I mean no disrespect for John McCain, but I fail to see how anyone under 30 will could vote for him—and I’m 76!
    For what it’s worth, I don’t believe Hillary could win in November and I want to see a winner and I think Obama is that person.
    TYhe thought that this cpountry’s presidency should be held by only two families, Bushes and Clintons, from 1992 to 2016 (it could happen) annoys hell ouit of me.
    We can do better!

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    February 13, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Yeah, party like a Barack (rock) star. What the hell is this, American Idol? This media created shell of a nobody does not have the experience to lead a Girl Scout troop, let alone this nation. Until a year and a half ago no one had even heard of this man and now he’s being projected as the greatest thing since JFK. It’s going to be interesting once he gets the nod from the Democraps and he has to start explaining his idea of change for this country. Once he is pinned down to answering the tough questions his lack of experience will become evident and hopefully people will realize he is no more than a novelty, not Presidential material. If you’re wanting a Black President so bad, write in Colin Powell. At least he has a military background and worldly experience.

  • Avatar
    chaos45i
    February 13, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    There is a legitimate reason why people should not blindly vote for Barack Obama. I have been reporting all over the internet since before Obama decided to even run that it can be verified that IL. U.S. Senator Presidential Candidate Barack Obama , IL. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin co-chair Obama 2008 are being complicit in allowing the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to treat me an American U.S. Hispanic citizen who reported incidents of race discrimination in the state of Illinois in an unequal, biased, & discriminatory manner by preventing me the same race discrimination charges non-Hispanics enjoy as a matter of record and then covering up their conduct. Despite there being ample time for each to respond, redress, and stop the above mentioned serious form of discrimination nothing ,to date, has been done to fairly & fully address, redress,and stop this still ongoing serious form of discrimination which has allowed Hormel Foods Corporation, UFCW, and Target Corporation to not be held accountable for race discrimination against me because I happen to be Hispanic. Inaction ,complicity, & deliberate silence on the part of (for instance but not limited to) Obama and Durbin are responsible for my American civil rights continuing to be violated in Illinois as it relates to this serious form of discrimination in their state of Illinois and for nothing being done to fully & fairly redress and stop this still ongoing form of discrimination against an American who happens to be a Hispanic in Illinois. Hispanics who Know are just showing they will not be willing victims of his “Good Judgement”. He has this still going on in Illinois as we speak but Barack Obama tells Hispanic/Latinos nothing about it! I repeat this is verifiable, ongoing and Barack Obama should address it but does not and you can guess why. Included is a link to just one example (If you happen to be a Hispanic/latino like me you can not be the victim of race discrimination in Illinois as I can atest) this is on IDHR’s own website in the public domain.
    http://www.state.il.us/dhr/Orders/2006/Oct_06/Zuniga,%20M.htm

  • Avatar
    hohohotep
    February 13, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    The Mexican invasion is part of the white man’s plan to exterminate the negroes.
    By the way, the Mexicans have NO claim whatsoever to California or any part of the southwest. Those were primarily Indian lands. Those dumb-ass, human-sacrificng Aztecs didn’t have any draught animals besides the dog. Even a dumb Aztec wasn’t stupid enough to set off on foot and dog sled through thousands of miles of empty desert. Mexican influence in California began AFTER the Europeans introduced horses to the Americas.

  • Avatar
    Sakina
    February 14, 2008 at 2:24 am

    Explain more to me please. I would never be complicit with such behaviour but explain very clearly what happened please so I can make the best choices for myself and others, thanks.

  • Avatar
    Texano78704
    February 14, 2008 at 10:16 am

    I smell a troll, and its name is chaos45i.
    The assertion is that Senator Obama is somehow personally responsible for the failure of anti-discrimination lawsuits in the state of Illinois. That is a bit of stretch, don’t you think?

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    February 14, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Troll, O sorry, uhhmm
    chaos 451, so which side hired you to smear Obama. Was it Billery’s or McCanfused?
    I read your proof, to convince anyone you will need something that ties him directly to wrongdoing. Tell the lady in the proof you showed, to get a better lawyer if she thinks she has a case. Obama isn’t a lawyer he is a Senator.

  • Avatar
    chaos45i
    February 14, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    An adovacate that fights for Hispanic/Latinos even when it is hard? A civil rights proffessor who does not bother to call any attention to a practice that has harmed his own constituents who are Hispanic/Latino despite being placed on repeated notice. IDHR and EEOC in my state of Illinois has and is preventing me race discrimination charges the the same charges non-Hispanic/Latinos enjoy as a matter of record. Barack Obama during this time has done nothing not even call for any investigation to determine the facts but what he has done during this long period of time is call for an investigation in Durham North Carolina to protect the civil rights of the affluent who are not even his constituents. Oh and run for President with this still going on right now and with me having to fight to be heard. The truth is Barack Obama has not helped his Hispanc/Latino constituents but can still call attention to this form of discrimination as it is still ongoing and considering his rock star status. If he truly is an advocate for every American Barack Obama would have done that already.

  • Avatar
    Jose Manuel
    February 23, 2008 at 10:59 am

    You know what is pissing me off? That suddenly Latinos are important to Obama. Obama knows that the Texas and California primaries are important, so now he turns his attention to Hispanics.
    Las palabras se las lleva el viento. Prove to me what you are going to do for Latino. We are not easily manipulated as the American public. We look for something else, like proof. He’s just a bag of wind with words, nothing to back it up.

  • Avatar
    cristinas
    February 29, 2008 at 10:14 am

    What About Obama’s Ties to the Slum Lord Tony Rezko? Rezko goes to trial next week!
    Obama Discloses New Rezko Details
    Obama Toured His Now-Home With Rezko Who Was Under Investigation At The Time
    By RHONDA SCHWARTZ and JUSTIN ROOD
    Feb. 20, 2008—
    Watchdog groups are questioning why it took Sen. Barack Obama more than a year to disclose additional details of his dealings with indicted fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko.
    While Rezko was known to be under federal investigation, Obama toured a Chicago-area home with him to get his opinion of the property, Obama’s campaign revealed to Bloomberg News for a story published Monday. The politician later bought the home, with Rezko’s help, who bought the adjoining lot in what was effectively a package deal.
    Until then, Obama has professed trouble recalling such details during interviews with reporters.
    Responding to questions about Rezko and the home sale last month, the Obama campaign repeatedly cited the candidate’s on-the-record statements: “I don’t recall exactly” conversations about the house with Rezko; “I am not clear” how Rezko decided to join in the purchase; and “I may have mentioned to him the name of a [developer] and he may at that point have contacted that person.”
    Pressed for more details, the campaign declined to provide any that were not then part of the public record.
    The junior senator from Illinois has been answering questions on Rezko’s involvement in the house purchase since news of it broke in 2006. In the 2005 deal, Obama purchased a house for $300,000 less than its owners were asking, and Rezko simultaneously bought the adjacent lot from the same seller at full price. Obama denies there was anything unusual about the price disparity. He says the price on the house was dropped because it had been on the market for some time but that the price for the adjacent land remained high because there was another offer.
    Obama called it “bone-headed” to have engaged in financial dealings with the wealthy Chicago political operative, particularly as federal agents were reported to have been investigating Rezko for alleged corruption. He has also said he was “confident that everything was handled ethically and above board.”
    The new revelations appear to indicate Obama had involved Rezko at an earlier stage of his home buying process than was previously known, and left many wondering why he had not shared the information sooner.
    “Why did they wait so long to disclose this?” asked Jay Stewart of the Illinois-based Better Government Association, which combats corruption, waste and fraud in government.
    “If you run as an agent of change, a reformer…that’s holding yourself to a pretty high standard,” said Stewart. “But when you’re laying out that kind of rhetoric…it makes sense for people to say, ‘Let’s look at what you’ve done. Let’s see if your rhetoric matches with reality.'”
    “Where is Sen. Obama getting his media advice?” wondered Cindy Canary, executive director for the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.
    “Is Obama following his instincts or the advice of a high-paid consultant?” she asked. “If it’s a high-paid consulatant, maybe he should follow his own instincts… This is something that Sen. Obama should have put forward from the get-go.”
    Asked if there was a reason the campaign was mum on the Rezko home tour for more than a year after news of his involvement in Obama’s home purchase broke, spokesman Bill Burton said, “No.”

  • Avatar
    cristinas
    February 29, 2008 at 10:19 am

    dMichelle Obama has some interesting things to say about Obama!
    This is from DB Dallas Blog
    What About Michelle Obama’s Insults!
    Obama’s Women Reveal his Secret by Spengler Wed, Feb 27, 2008, 01:03 PM
    “Cherchez la femme,” advised Alexander Dumas in: “When you want to uncover an unspecified secret, look for the woman.” In the case of Barack Obama, we have two: his late mother, the went-native anthropologist Ann Dunham, and his rancorous wife Michelle. Obama’s women reveal his secret: he hates America.
    We know less about Senator Obama than about any prospective president in American history. His uplifting rhetoric is empty, as Hillary Clinton helplessly protests. His career bears no trace of his own character, not an article for the Harvard Law Review he edited, or a single piece of legislation. He appears to be an empty vessel filled with the wishful thinking of those around him. But there is a real Barack Obama. No man – least of all one abandoned in infancy by his father – can conceal the imprint of an impassioned mother, or the influence of a brilliant wife.
    Ann Dunham died in 1995, and her character emerges piecemeal from the Never underestimate the influence of a wife who *****-slaps her husband in public. Early in Obama’s campaign, Michelle Obama could not restrain herself from belittling the senator. “I have some difficulty reconciling the two images I have of Barack Obama. There’s Barack Obama the phenomenon. He’s an amazing orator, Harvard Law Review, or whatever it was, law professor, best-selling author, Grammy winner. Pretty amazing, right? And then there’s the Barack Obama that lives with me in my house, and that guy’s a little less impressive,” she told a fundraiser in February 2007
    “For some reason this guy still can’t manage to put the butter up when he makes toast, secure the bread so that it doesn’t get stale, and his five-year-old is still better at making the bed than he is.” New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd reported at the time, “She added that the TV version of Barack Obama sounded really interesting and that she’d like to meet him sometime.” Her handlers have convinced her to be more tactful since then.

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