Regular watchers of Glenn Beck will know that he spends a lot of time trying to make the words ‘progressive’ and ‘socialist’ very scary. It’s something you frequently hear in Tea Party rhetoric as well: Obama is a socialist…eeh gads! One suspects a whole lot of politicians who are up for reelection this November are currently trying to figure out how to duck accusations of both when they really start getting hurled around this summer. But does it matter?
Probably not in the long term. Or in the short long-term, for that matter. The kids just do not care. And by care what I mean is they are not scared off by these terms. From Jesse Singal at the Boston Globe:
But it’s not that the youngest voters don’t know what socialism means. It’s that most aren’t scared of it — and find it bizarre that, decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a political movement would center itself around opposition to it…This may shock those who lived through the Cold War, but there’s nothing irrational about it. Young people grew up in a post-Soviet world. When they hear “socialism,’’ they think Scandinavia, not Russia. They’re much more likely to be struggling with student-loan or credit-card bills than to have been affected one iota by the sort of government overreach that can be credibly tied to socialism.
It’s something Republican party strategists should be giving some serious thought to (one of the many things). As Singal also notes, the recent NYT/CBS poll reported upwards of 75% of Tea Partiers are older than 45. It’s a demographic that’s also backed up by Fox News ratings, which also skews older. Take Glenn Beck for example: Out of 2,108,000 viewers, just 628,000 are between 25-54 a rough estimate would put something like a couple of thousand below the age of 25. That is not a statistic to support a solid future voting base, though I imagine it will probably pack a punch in the short-term.
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