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The Kids Are Alright: Why It's Ok To Be Sick of the "Youth Vote," and Why You Should Re-Consider

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On Tuesday, my colleague Amanda Carpenter made a bold confession, and suggested that I may agree: All this talk about the youth chatting Obama up online and rocking the vote and such is actually pretty... annoying. And she was right -- I sort of see where she's coming from (and I love that she admitted it might just be because she's a conservative, and McCain doesn't exactly have the millenials sold).

The rise of the "youth vote" concept has been exciting to track, but much in the style of the "Go Green!" motto and a silkscreened Che, it's kind of lost its kick by now. And yet, I think it's definitely worth something.

It shouldn't have happened this way -- chatter about the "youth vote" got packaged into a zillion trend pieces and online videos that got a bit too watered-down. Plus, we can easily be blamed for the fact that Obama might appear more like the new (the first?) king of pop-politics than the next great leader, since we spend too much free time blogging about his sick sunglasses and magazine covers (or is that just me?). But there's a whole other side to that "childish" idolatry and allowance-sponsored activism that really matters -- the democratic process is being beautifully strengthened in this election, and my age bracket deserves attention because every new vote counts.

There are two recent stories that everyone talked about and that made you want to go Yaaaaaaawn, as Amanda did, but also show the flip side. One, the feature on all the kids changing their middle name to Hussein, in protest of attacks on Obama's middle name; the other, the profile on Obama's young social networking guru. Both could make you roll your eyes, but, honestly, they're both really inspiring. While the buzz-words might make you groan, I will boldly confess: the innovation and resilient spirit that lies beneath youth vote babble is also pretty... awesome.

Don't you think so?

Crossposted at Glamour's election blog, Glamocracy.