Whither The Activist Generation?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen, discusses his recent Huffington Post article about the Obama generation and their struggle to stay engaged — despite their disappointments.


Paul Loeb

Comments [20]

Henry from Katonah

New York State congressional races not close? Here in the 19th district , John Hall was elected in 2006 by getting out the Democratic vote. Northern Westchester has been trending Democrat only recently.
If we do not repeat our 2006 feat, the northern part of this district has large pockets of die-hard Republicans who will turn out. My state assembly district went Republican earlier this year.
John Hall was a strong supporter of the Healthcare overhaul and got abuse at town hall meetings last year . I will be working for Hall next month and will be disappointed in my fellow citizens if this seat goes back to the GOP.

Sep. 16 2010 03:56 PM

Stop the Nonsense:

History will judge the people of the United States for going off the deep end and following the lunatic fringe out of fear and willful lack of knowledge. We are becoming an ignorant, reactionary society and no good will come of it.

Sep. 16 2010 11:27 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

It's the laziness of the populace, not just youth. Where do the youth learn to be engaged/disengaged?

Sep. 16 2010 11:25 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

If you don't like what your governmental - from local to the President - representatives are working towards, it's up to citizens to hold them to the fire.

What do you think the blasted (and pretty deluded) Tea Party has done?

Sep. 16 2010 11:23 AM
Raul Rothblatt from Prospect Heights, Brooklyn 11238

Good to hear someone from New Kings Democrats on air right now. There are a lot of organizations springing up in Brooklyn, and some established ones, like Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, are getting more active and younger.

Sep. 16 2010 11:22 AM

History will judge Barak Obama.

Sep. 16 2010 11:22 AM
Edward from NJ

A core issue for many conservative voters since the 1970's has been abortion. In some cases it's really *the* single issue. From Ronald Reagan forward, these voters have been a reliable base for Republicans. While abortion is still legal, it's far less available than in 1980. Imagine if all those pro-life conservatives had given up and stayed home starting in 1982. Liberals need to take the same long view for their core issues.

Sep. 16 2010 11:22 AM

billy: very naive of us to think that it's NOT different. Politicians in this country are major operators. These are very driven and powerful people and there are plenty who want nothing to do with agreeing with Obama.

Sep. 16 2010 11:21 AM
Karen Longo, Brooklyn, NY

Perhaps local political clubs should watch their attitudes - I was beginning to get more and more active in Manhattan then I moved to Bklyn - I went to the local democratic club got a totally cold shoulder and never went back

Sep. 16 2010 11:21 AM
mc from Brooklyn

I have little sympathy for folks who think we were electing a "progressive" when we elected Obama. I know I long characterized him in this forum as a risk-averse partisan. People bought the rhetoric and the attractive package and paid little attention to his legislative history. That said, the choice was made. If you're mad at him try paying clser attention and getting more directly (not virtually) involved.

Sep. 16 2010 11:20 AM
Travis Helwig from Brooklyn, NY

These comments and callers are condescending. It's not the laziness of the youth that caused this.

I'm 23 and I organized for Obama in NYC and Virginia.

We elected a man with staggering majority of the vote and we watched as Washington still shut down, not caring what the people wanted.

Blaming laziness of young people is ignorant. Blame Washington for not listening to the people and helping us become disenchanted. Or blame Obama who is afraid to go after the big issues that we fought for: Gay Marriage, War Withdrawal and Tolerance.

And it often feels like Obama took us for granted. "Even if I don't fight for these young people ideals, they will still fight for me." That would be ignorant of us to do.

Sep. 16 2010 11:20 AM
Joe from Manhattan

Obama went to Harvard, but Obama's naive and disillusioned supporters think he went to Hogwarts. He's the POTUS - not a wizard.

Sep. 16 2010 11:18 AM

SuzanneNYC: great comment. Yes .,

Sep. 16 2010 11:17 AM

Just a bit more bloviating: you have to back policy up with politics. No one is expecting him to get everything done, but he's not only not trying, but actively pursuing agendas that a large majority of the country is opposed to (like dismantling social security).

Sep. 16 2010 11:15 AM

Very depressing. Since when does change come overnight? Or through one act. We elected a man to be President not the Wizard of Oz. If progressives don't keep at it and give up because they're not 100% happy 100% of the time, then I guess we deserve to live under the dangerous know-nothings who could be in charge.

Sep. 16 2010 11:15 AM

I wondered where the "progressive base" was during the health care debate. I never heard from the left, only the teabaggers were out there last summer.

Sep. 16 2010 11:14 AM

I have to disagree with the guest's characterization of Democrats' and liberals' anger with the president and the party as a failure to understand how complex DC is once you get in power -- it's about a president who immediately abandons or simply won't fight for the platform he got elected on, and all the core issues that got us knocking on doors for him.

Sep. 16 2010 11:13 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

@ hjs11211

I agree. People seem to forget (or NOT get) that voting is just one part of a democracy. Change happens only when citizens are constantly learning, being active in their community, joining organizations, etc., etc. In essence, it takes WORK.

People in the U.S. are often too disengaged (fat and lazy??) to do more than vote; and they even do that in a limited way. It's much easier to complain, buy a burger, think about how to buy some crap and drop out.

Sep. 16 2010 11:13 AM
antonio from park slope

Well I was one of those Obama voters who knew he wasn't Howard Dean. However I was kind of hoping he would be, especially after that game changing speech he gave before the Iowa caucuses about the Iraq war. I wish he would have started pushing for a public option during health care, but at least we got "lilly leadbetter."

Sep. 16 2010 11:04 AM

cry me a river.
so it was cool for 2 weeks now everyone can see being a responsible citizen is a lot of work, leaving no time for play. that's why this nation is a sinking ship. no one wants to do the work, so the rich win. good luck drones.

Sep. 16 2010 10:16 AM

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