Election 2016

What Young Democats Think Re: Future of Their Party

What Young Democratic Delegates Think About the Future of Their Party

By Harry Cheadle | July 27, 2016 | Source: VICE | Photo: Jason Bergman

Politics is generally an old person's game. The candidates at the top of the two major parties' tickets are 70 and 68 years old, while the progressive candidate who challenged the Democratic Establishment this year is 74. There are congresspeople and local officeholders in their 30s and sometimes even their 20s, but by and large people tend to go gray before they go into politics.

This makes sense—though groups like Rock the Vote try to convince young people that politics is sexy, like skateboarding, energy drinks, or dogs in sunglasses—since the process of electing candidates and passing bills mostly boils down to a series of meetings. The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is just the largest and fanciest of these, but the delegates here are mostly the people you'll see in smaller local meetings: middle-aged or older well-meaning busybody types who care about the process and content of politics.

There are young delegates here too, however—kids who have somehow accelerated their growing-up process and are now adults with adult haircuts and adult ways of talking. This is their first national convention, and they are eager, serious, and earnest. You could probably drop them on an MSNBC panel at a moment's notice, and they would be able to speak in perfectly crafted, safe-for-TV soundbites. They are, basically, the sort of people who will probably be deeply involved in Democratic politics for a long, long time.

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