This is a cross-post from The Huffington Post by Amy B. Dean, a fellow at The Century Foundation and co-author of A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement.
In 2008, young people in America—including many who voted in their first presidential election—rallied behind a youthful senator from Illinois campaigning on the promise of change and hope. Now the incumbent in the White House, Barack Obama, faces a difficult challenge in recapturing the youth vote for his re-election. Early this month, The New York Times reported that enthusiasm for Obama among voters aged 18 to 24 has fallen sharply since the past election cycle. And many of the young people interviewed in the article spoke of feeling alienated from politics.
So what is behind young people's disaffection? And what must President Obama do if he is serious about winning back the country's youth?
Young People Face a Broken American Dream
Young people are not acting irrationally when they report growing cynical. They are responding to the reality of an American Dream that lies in fragments at their feet.
Traditionally, the promise of prosperity in this country has rested on three foundations: good jobs, decent housing and attainable college education. In recent decades, each of these three legs of the stool of economic stability has been kicked out from underneath the middle class.
Read Dean’s full article here to find out how President Obama can win back the youth vote.