I've previously written (here, here, here and here) about what one writer termed the "slut vote"--essentially, young, single, females (and males) whose primary issue apparently was sex without consequences. I've also noted the importance of the youth vote for Obama. So, while perusing Instapundit I noticed a few articles that trace the same themes.
First, Pew has published an analysis of the youth vote. Some highlights:
Among all voters 30 and older, Obama ran behind Mitt Romney (48% for Obama, 50% for Romney). Four years ago, Obama edged John McCain, 50% to 49%, among all 30+ voters.
In Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania, Obama also failed to win a majority of voters 30 and older. Yet he swept all four battleground states, in part because he won majorities of 60% or more among young voters.
... Young voters continue to identify with the Democratic Party at relatively high levels and express more liberal attitudes on a range of issues – from gay marriage to the role of the federal government – than do older voters. In fact, voters under 30 were as likely to identify as Democrats in the 2012 exit poll as they had been in 2008 (44% now, 45% then). And they are the only age group in which a majority said that the government should do more to solve problems.The question is why the disparity between generations, which apparently was not so pronounced in elections prior to 2008. It may very well come down to the same basic issues of the "slut vote"--voting for a lack of consequences, or as one old song said it, "the world owes me a living...."
Let's look at Sandra Fluke, who has made the short-list for Time's "person of the year." Michael Graham at the Boston Herald notes that Fluke may well be the perfect poster child for the younger voters:
Because she’s a 32-year-old woman who’s still in college (“Grade 25,” as humorist Mark Steyn calls it)?She's not the only visible example. Betsy Woodruff at the National Review makes the following observations in her review of the television series "Girls":
Because, even at this late age, she expects other people to pay her bills — specifically for her birth control?
Because she chose to attend a Catholic college, then demanded they drop their profound theological objections and pay for her “morning-after” pill?
Because she lacks even one accomplishment to point to, a single achievement that would put her in the same category as the inventors, presidents and popes who’ve been given this award in the past?
Yes, all those things are true — which is exactly why Sandra Fluke should be named Person of the Year! Or “American of the Year” at the very least.
Can you think of anyone who better represents the America of 2012 than Ms. Fluke? I can’t.
She’s got it all: The “Generation Cupcake” inadequacy (“So what if she didn’t earn the award — give it to her, anyway!); the “Occupod” sense of entitlement (“Somebody should be buying my condoms, and it ain’t gonna be me!”); and, of course, the liberal detachment from reality (“There’s a war on women! We’re being oppressed! Just ask Hillary Clinton, Condi Rice and Oprah!”).
Then there’s the economic angle. One could argue that the icon of the failing Obama economy is the college grad with a worthless degree under his arm and a bed in his mom’s basement.
Time magazine gives us Sandra Fluke, with a bachelor’s degree in (no joke) Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, no marketable skills, and still on the academic track, living on the largess of others.
For those of you who are really good about not watching TV, Girls is a wildly popular HBO show about four young women living in Brooklyn and trying to “make it,” whatever that means these days. It’s produced by Judd Apatow (that’s important, and I’ll get into it in a bit) and created by and starring Lena Dunham. If you used the World Wide Web in the last month, you may know her as the tattooed brunette who made the “Voting for Obama is like losing your virginity” ad. ...
... At its core, Girls feels like a deliberate, dissective examination of a group of people who stubbornly refuse to grow up and are lucky enough to be able to pull it off. The main thing Dunham’s characters share is the idea that just because they exist, somebody else should give them stuff. In and of itself, depicting that isn’t at all a bad thing. Girls is an interesting project, it’s well executed, and it can be really, really funny. Look, I like Girls, and I’m excited about the second season.
But Dunham’s stupid little YouTube ad for the president might have ruined it all for me. That’s because she sounds like she’s channeling her character, Invasion of the Body Snatchers–style. They share the same baffling, naïvely egomaniacal understanding of justice — they both seem to think that because they exist, the universe needs to make sure that all the sex they choose to have is consequence-free.
You can almost argue that Lena Dunham sees President Obama as the perfect surrogate for everything missing in her characters’ lives: He’s their gentle lover, supportive parent, and empathetic friend. He’s special. He won’t let them down. He’s Prince Charming. And that kind of defeats the purpose of feminism.
You’d think the feminist elevation of agency would result in women who take pride in being responsible for their own bodies. You’d hope that telling women that they can do whatever they want would imply that they’re responsible for what they do. You’d think serious feminists would argue that true empowerment is something you lay claim to, not something the federal government dispenses in all its benevolence. But for Dunham, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
... But if you don’t want men in Washington telling you how to use your sexuality, you shouldn’t expect them to subsidize it. But Dunham seems to actually believe they should. Dunham makes tons of money, and I’m quite confident she can afford to pay for her own birth control. But she doesn’t seem to take pride in that; it’s not what her characters aspire to, and given her foray into the delightful world of presidential-election ads, it doesn’t seem to be something she aspires to, either.