...as in the imperative (i.e. you, youth, progress). This blog is updated by politically active young people. Issues that will be discussed are those which concern young voters and are of concern to young voters.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Wooing Young Voters on Social Issues

Because of the impending flood of diary entries on Independence Day, I am waiting to post this diary entry on DailyKos. I plan to post it there July 6:

The Democrats' success with young voters could be far greater if they played their cards right on social issues. Specifically, I speak of gay marriage/civil unions and abortion. My theory here comes from my belief that young voters are - by and large - not so much liberal as they are libertarian (with a small "l"). Young people have a strong bend towards independence: they do not want to be policed by the older generation. Most of the conservatives in congress seem to see themselves as some sort of morality police; by portraying them as such, Democrats could achieve real progress when it comes to these pivotal, civil rights issues.

Here are the talking points for young voters and social issues:

  1. Gay Marriage: Democrats need to explain to young people where the conservative's rejection of gay marriage comes from: Religion. Since much if not most of this country is made of religious Christians, attacking religion is never a good idea. Instead, make young people analyze the situation of less religious people. Should the morality police be allowed to force their religious fanaticism on the atheists, agnostics, the religiously moderate, or individuals of other religions? In the same breath, I would also debunk conservatives' favorite gay marriage talking point: the "slippery slope argument." (If men can marry men, what stops them from marrying animals/mannequins/toasters?) The "slippery slope" is an argumentative fallacy; the only way to defeat it is to expose it as one. The best way to do this is to simply make an even more outrageous "slippery slope" argument, something like "if we allow people over 80 to obtain driver's licenses, what's next? Allowing dead people to obtain driver's licenses?" You get the point. See if you can make a barrage of increasingly absurd "slippery slope" arguments. Bonus points for making them about conservative issues.
  2. Abortion: Again, conservatives' objections to abortion come from religion, but to a lesser extent than gay marriage. Many people who are not religious sympathize with the pro-life movement because they mistake fetuses for cogent and conscious babies, even in the first trimester. There is no proof either way, and unless evidence somehow clarifies the mental state of fetuses, there is no justifiable reason for creating a law banning abortion. Thus, the same libertarian arguments work for this issue as well. Occasionally, conservatives try the same "slippery slope" technique as in gay marriage. They will say, "If abortions are allowed in the first trimester, what's next? Allowing abortions in the ninety-fourth trimester?" To this, respond the same way as above. I like to use capital punishment here: "If the state is allowed to execute murderers, what's next? The state executing jaywalkers?"
The same arguments can be used to support scores of issues, such as euthanasia, morning-after pills, etc. etc. The morality police are on patrol. They wish to restrict the liberties of young people. Explain this to young people and (perhaps) you will have their votes!



Blogger progressyouth said...

Posting a comment to get the hyperlink for this article.

7:11 PM


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