Why is Support for Bush Higher Among College Students?

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by DoctorJones24, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999

    "The poll done for the Harvard University Institute of Politics found that 61 percent of college students approve of the job done by Bush — about 10 points higher than the president's approval rating in several recent polls of the general population."

    If you are around college campuses today, this will be no surprise at all to you. If not, you very well might be shocked, given all the conservative cries of our commine professors brainwashing American youth.

    In any case, what causes the discrepancy?
    Some combination of these factors:

    - Youth have just finished finished a h.s. curriculum that discourages critical thinking and dissent. The "heroic man narrative" dominates their learning in all fields, so leaders automatically are seen as good.

    - Youth too young to remember Watergate or Irangate. The worst thing a president has ever done is to get a BJ.

    - Conservative (or at leat hawkish) bias of the mainstream mass media. Since we know youth are more impressionable, it would follow that they are would be more swayed by press bias.

    - Apathy and tendency towards facism: This IMO, is the main and more worrying cause. Our culture has become so dominated by entertainment that "hard" things like paying attention to or caring about the news are seen as not worth it. Many many youth seriously just want to trust the leaders so they can get back to their PS2 game. (This is why even though Alex and manny might spout nonsense IMO much of the time, I still respect them both for even caring about these issues enough to post here.)
  2. mannyfreshstunna

    mannyfreshstunna New Member

    Feb 7, 2003
    Naperville, no less
    You're right...and wrong. I am on campus right now and i can tell you it is really pro bush for a university.

    But i think this stems not out of a love for fascism, but rather complete and total apathy. Ever since i became really interested in military history and politics i have noticed how my peers don't give a *#*#*#*#. Nevermind these are the people that make very important descions in their lives. They really just dont care.

    So in conclusion, don't be worried about a resurgent Fascist movement, rather be very worried that democracy is being taken for granted in this fine nation. I can tell you i was the only one on my floor to vote in the election that decided our governor. (damn you Blagojevic).

    The Dems swept every state election there was, but was i disillisioned with democracy? hell no. I plan on voting in 2004 and i can't gurantee it's going to be Bush.
  3. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

    Mar 1, 1999
    San Rafael, CA
    San Jose Earthquakes
    > So in conclusion, don't be worried about a
    > resurgent Fascist movement

  4. 655321

    655321 New Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    The Mission, SF
    one word - apathy.
  5. irishFS1921

    irishFS1921 New Member

    Aug 2, 2002
    WB05 Compound

    wrong again

    this part easily could make the most sense however i'd slap it right under broad generalization. paying attention or caring about the news isn't exactly the first step to an over all understanding of somthing like politics would be reading books/articles. most all of my interest came from my teachers(proving one point wrong) and alot of books/my parents. the news if anything has become so negative and redundant that it's pretty much the worst thing you could get someone started on half the time. i'd blame the lack of youth interest mostly on their parents than i would the youth. true, most kids irregardless would rather get drunk than sit around and discuss world events, but at home myself and manny used to get together on the weekends and shoot the *#*#*#*# all the time.
  6. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Personally, I'd add one more reason:

    War is cool, especially when it's not your ass that's gonna get shot at.

    Every since 9/11, we've seen poll after poll where college students say in overwhelming numbers that we should go to war here or go to war there. But when the question becomes whether or not they themselves would enlist to go fight in a war in those places, the number of people responding "yes" are substantially less than 50%.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not dogging college students in particular here. It's just part of the general mindset you see these days where people want to have something, but don't want to "pay the price."

    People want the government to do all these different things for them, but they don't want to be taxed for it, so we get outrageous deficits. People want to have all sorts of material possessions, but they don't want to have to save for them or get another job to pay for them, so they get outrageous credit card debt. People want the country to kick this country's ass or that country's ass, but nobody's willing to enlist themselves, so we get armed forces that are stretched-out between Iraq and Afghanistan and a hundred other places.
  7. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999
    Re: Re: Why is Support for Bush Higher Among College Students?

    Actually, you're right. I was using facism in a very inexact and bland sense that probably is misleading: the type of apathy that figures "leaders" should take care of the hard work of governing. Kind of a wilfull/lazy herd mentality.

    I agree with the point someone mentioned about war being "cool" as well. Forgot that obvious one.

    I'd also like to expad on the apathy as connected to our entertainment-first media culture. I think the current apathy stems in large part from this huge gulf between two types of literacies. It used to be that being a culturally literate American meant a certain familarity with and appreciation of BOOKS. Sure, it wasn't exactly escapist fun all the time, but there was a different kind of intellectual enjoyment gained from challenging the mind with the written word.

    Such a literacy is all but vanishing in our culture. Liberals attacked E.D. Hirsch back in the 80s, but he wasn't far off. This is primarily the age of the image, and the cultural literacy skills that accompany such an age are much more passive--hence the growth of a correspondng apathy in the populace.

    Just think in raw terms of how many fewer English sentences the average college freshman has read today than even say, 15 years ago. Then go back another generation. They simply do not live with words in the way that people did before. This is not anyone's "fault" of course, and I'm not belittling the youth for simply growing up when they are. But I see it as objective reality.

    And paying attention to the news, caring about politics, seeing oneself as part of the democratic process are all pretty complex things that require, let's face it: READING.
  8. Ian McCracken

    Ian McCracken Member

    May 28, 1999
    SS Lazio Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    Oh yes because, of course, the youth of world history have always tended to be fascists. :rolleyes:
  9. Sneever Flion

    Sneever Flion New Member

    Oct 29, 2002
    Detroit, MI
    Re: Re: Why is Support for Bush Higher Among College Students?

    Will you atleast try to read every post?
  10. Footer Phooter

    Jul 23, 2000
    Falls Church, VA
    I agree with the apathy answer.

    Try curbing drinking or removing parking on a campus and see what happens though.
  11. Michael Russ

    Michael Russ Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    Another reason might be economic status.

    I would think that kids going to college would tend to come from families that are better off financially, which is historically a more Republican constituency.
  12. dfb547490

    dfb547490 New Member

    Feb 9, 2000
    The Heights
    There are a lot more kids from lower-income families going to college today than there were 35 years ago, yet college campuses are far more conservative than they were then.
  13. Doctor Stamen

    Doctor Stamen New Member

    Nov 14, 2001
    In a bag with a cat.
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Why is Support for Bush Higher Among College Students?

    Ha ha ha !!! :D. Well, he has to protect himself from the mind controlling beams that come from the liberal media over there.

    I think ElJefe and those who mention apathy are probably accurate. People here in British universities are apathetic about politics as well. They see a decieving government, a shambolic, self destructive opposition party (the Conservatives), and a third party that still hasn't quite broken the hold of the two party system (Lib Dems).
  14. Michael Russ

    Michael Russ Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    I think 35 years ago was probably more the abboration than the norm. Prior to the 60's colleges probably were more conservative than the general population.

    The Vietnam war made the left the more vocal voice from the campuses, but I would guess there was still a large portion of silent conservatives. When I went to college, the liberals were still the "loudest" voice, but the Business and Engineering departments that I was in were basically conservatives but who had no interest politics.

    Now that there is no galvanizing issue for the liberals to rally behind, we are probably more back to "normal". Of course when the issue of raising tuition comes up, the entire campus can become quite liberal.
  15. dawgpound2

    dawgpound2 Member

    Mar 3, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA

    Maybe kids are just smarter than we think they are? Sounds about right.
  16. Malaga CF fan

    Malaga CF fan Member

    Apr 19, 2000
    Fairfax, VA
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yep, I went to CU-Boulder, home to all those infamous drinking riots in the 1990's. It was weird, because the school had really cracked down on drinking after being featured on Dateline NBC with a wild frat party, and receiving a $500,000 grant from the federal government specifically to fight underage and binge drinking on campus. It was like a police state for the first couple of weekends of the semester (one night I saw an entire line of policemen walking up an alley, shoulder to shoulder, all the way across the alley, approaching a party to break it up, it was weird...) Eventually, people just lost it. Without hijacking the thread too much, it illustrates a point, that college students want to fight for something, believe in something, and they really don't know what it is anymore, so they lash out and you get dumb riots about drinking, sports championships, whatever...

    Vietnam galvanized a generation. College students cared then because their buddies, people they had gone to high school with, grown up with, were dying in Vietnam. They had something to care about and believe in, and they acted.

    Unfortunately, since the Vietnam war, we have had political scandal, followed by political scandal. Watergate and Iran/Contra pretty much jaded anyone on politics between the ages (now) of 25 and 45. I was reading some Hunter S. Thompson a couple of weeks ago, his letters during the time leading up to the 1988 presidential campaign and during the Iran/Contra hearings. Regardless of his political leanings, he said something very prophetic. Paraphrasing, he said that "we are in danger of losing an entire generation to the political process. They will watch Iran/Contra and see the corruption, see leaders sell our country and get away with it, they will become jaded. They will not care to get involved in the political process." He said that in 1987 and I can't think of a better way to describe basically an entire generation born from 1965 through 1985.

    I don't know if it's our affluence, the corruption and dishonesty we have witnessed in politics, our lack of sacrifice. Probably a combination of them all, but political apathy doesn't even begin to describe the majority of this generation. I hope this changes. Or maybe we're just pissed off at our parents....
  17. Michael Russ

    Michael Russ Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    And what exactly is the problem with Political apathy?

    Is it so bad that college students might focus more on studying and enjoying themselves, than on political protests?

    When I was in college the fraternities partied hard, but they were also very active in charity events.

    Maybe the fact that our government is such a stable democracy has something to do with the apathy.

    When you have to point to bugging a political opponent, and selling weapons to our allies as the terrible acts of our elected leaders, it isn't suprising that young people don't get excited about it.
  18. verybdog

    verybdog New Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Being selfish is cool. That's why you get so many Republicans on the campus.
  19. Michael Russ

    Michael Russ Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    Yes, taking classes so that you can learn science and business so that you can lead a productive life is selfish. Better you spend your time chanting no war for oil.
  20. YITBOS

    YITBOS Member+

    Jul 2, 2001
    1.3 hours from CCS
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    And chanting "Lesbians against Bush!"

    Are you for real? Where have all of these "conservative" professors come from? It seems that only a month ago the conservatives where decrying the "liberal" professors in America and listing papers dealing with death to America and Americans that have been written by the professors.

    I only ask that people make up their minds. Are the majority of America's college students being taught by liberals, conservatives, or misc.?
  21. Michael Russ

    Michael Russ Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    The majority of students are being taught math, science, computer programming and such, so the political affiliation of their professors is meaningless.

    Face it, most people in this country just don't care as much about politics as people on this board do. Which is probably good, because the quickest thing to get people involved would be something bad like thousands of people being killed by terrorists, or in a war.
  22. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999

    I think you misunderstood me. I was not suggesting that our campuses are crawling with conservative professors, merely that the effect of commie academics doesn't seem to be as profound as conservative critics have been claiming for the last 20 years.

    As for the reality of academia: my sense is that Humanities departments are overwhelming staffed by leftists of some type, but that Busniess and Engineering schools have more that lean to the right. In any case, I think that both groups are still quite capable of being effective and fair teachers--simply put, I don't buy the "brainwashing" idea.
  23. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Are you really so simple as to believe the pursuit of a 'productive life' and a politically engaged life are exclusive of each other?
  24. Michael Russ

    Michael Russ Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    No, but I don't believe that just because one is not politically engaged they are selfish, as another poster suggested.

    And for those who major in some of the demanding scientific fields or have to pay their own way through school with part time jobs, it is easy to understand why they might want to spend the limited free time they have relaxing instead of being politically active.
  25. verybdog

    verybdog New Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Somehow I think the so called 'life' is a constant with regards to human population. If human X's life is getting better, human Y's life will be getting worse. If you have a good life, your complements will have a worse life. This is so because the resource of this world is a constant. Therefore there's no such thing called free productivity or betterments. High education is a way for the Haves to establish themselves into a position for resourses so that they can drive a Vovlo, their fellow members of the society can drive a Hyundai.

    Yeah, these college republicans are thinking about their first Volvo, or BMW, and they are damn proud of themselves in such a point in life.

    I wish them bad luck (so they will become democrats later in life)

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