Young Voters Despair, Say America Is “A Dying Empire Led By Bad People”

Semaphore’s latest poll paints a stark and devastating picture of how young voters feel about U.S. politics today. This isn’t just a poll; it’s a wake-up call to the older generations and the political establishment. The sentiment among young voters is summed up in a damning phrase: “a dying empire led by bad people.” The despair and disillusionment are palpable, and the numbers speak for themselves.

A Cynical View of Elections

The poll asked young voters whether they agreed with the statement: “It doesn’t matter who wins elections; nothing changes.” A staggering 48% either strongly or somewhat agreed, while only 26% disagreed. This shows a significant portion of young people believe the electoral process is fundamentally broken. Given the current state of national politics, it’s not hard to understand why. With leaders like Joe Biden and Donald Trump, who both promise more military support for controversial actions abroad, the choices feel grim and uninspiring.

Local vs. Federal Perception

While there is some recognition that at the state and local level, Democrats often perform better, the federal level paints a bleaker picture. Young voters overwhelmingly believe that politicians are corrupt and that the country is on a downward trajectory. This is the first generation where a majority believe their parents had it better, a stark reversal of the American Dream’s promise of continual progress and prosperity.

The Economic Reality

Economic struggles are a significant part of this disillusionment. The wealth gap between generations is glaring. Baby boomers hold the majority of the wealth, while Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z have far less. Economic insecurity is rampant, with many young people living paycheck to paycheck and burdened by debt, especially healthcare debt. This economic despair feeds into their political cynicism.

The Impact of the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has only deepened this sense of despair. According to the poll, 51% of young voters were happier before the pandemic, and 77% believe it changed the country for the worse. The social isolation and economic impact have left lasting scars, making it harder for young people to feel optimistic about the future.

The Democratic Disconnect

The Democratic Party’s response has often been out of touch with this reality. While they tout low unemployment rates and a high stock market, these metrics don’t resonate with young people struggling with underemployment, gig economy jobs, and economic insecurity. The focus on these traditional indicators ignores the lived reality of many young voters, who see a system rigged in favor of the wealthy and powerful.

A Systemic Problem

The Princeton study that labeled the U.S. as an oligarchy rather than a democracy resonates deeply with young voters. When policy preferences of the general populace are consistently ignored in favor of the wealthy elite, it’s no wonder young people are disillusioned. The consistent failure to address their needs and preferences—whether it’s healthcare reform, education, or economic justice—has led to a deep-seated pessimism.

Corruption and Inequality

Corruption in politics, as highlighted by the frequent violations of the Stock Act by members of Congress, only deepens this distrust. Young people see through the facade of democracy and recognize the system as fundamentally corrupt, with politicians serving their interests and those of their wealthy donors rather than the public good.

Popular Policies, Ignored

Policies that are overwhelmingly popular, such as raising taxes on the wealthy, single-payer healthcare, and free college, are consistently sidelined. Young voters, who support these progressive policies even more strongly than the general population, are left feeling ignored and powerless.

Conclusion: A Call for Change

This poll is a powerful indictment of the current political system. Young voters feel trapped in a “dying empire led by bad people.” The pervasive corruption, economic inequality, and failure to address their needs have created a generation deeply pessimistic about the future. This sentiment is not just a passing phase; it’s a reflection of systemic issues that require profound changes.

The political establishment can no longer afford to ignore these voices. The future of the country depends on addressing the needs and concerns of its youngest voters, who are calling for a system that truly represents and works for them. The time for change is now, and the message is clear: young people are no longer willing to accept the status quo.

Young Voters Despair, Say America Is “A Dying Empire Led By Bad People”

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