"Many of these aggrieved youth believe that the government has become unresponsive, that their voices have been silenced, and therefore protest is the only option. But this strikes me as a fundamental misreading of the past three years. It is likely that few of the protesters have actually taken part in the more mundane aspects of the system they’d like to take down—for example, only 24% of 18- to 29-year-olds voted in the 2010 mid-term elections. And while they were quietly seething, the tea-party movement was showing America what democracy actually looks like, pushing their candidates forward and holding them accountable. When liberals complain that the Republicans are beholden to the tea-party movement, is that not an admission that the system is responsive?"
From The Economist’s Democracy in America Blog
While I agree with this particular passage, the gist of the post which is essentially “these kids feel alienated from the democratic process because they don’t participate in it,” is overly simplistic. As one commenter pointed out, young voters turned out in record numbers in 2008 to vote for Barack Obama and the Democrats and are feeling a bit betrayed by the process. The commenter goes on to say, “Another way to put this is that voting is playing according to the rules of a certain game: two party system, lobbyists, Citizens United. You don’t have to be progressive hippie to see how, to many, this game seems (un) fairly rigged.”