Not Surprising That Young Americans Repeat What They’ve Been Told

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This news, reported by Steve Peoples and Emily Swanson of the Associated Press, is really not at all surprising:

A majority of young people believe President Donald Trump is racist, dishonest and “mentally unfit” for office, according to a new survey that finds the nation’s youngest potential voters are more concerned about the Republican’s performance in the White House than older Americans.

The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MTV found that just 33 percent of Americans between the ages of 15 and 34 approve of Trump’s job performance.

Among all adults, that number was 9 percentage points higher, or 42%, which is well above recently reported results for Democrat governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo (at 37%).

In general, though, the news media gives undeserved attention to the opinions of teens and young adults, and reporters do so for the very reason that they shouldn’t:  Those in this age group are the most susceptible to the non-stop propaganda that the news and entertainment media dish out.

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Of course younger Americans are more likely to feel that the president is “racist, dishonest and ‘mentally unfit’ for office.”  That’s the message that is hammered again and again by unfunny comics and opinionated journalists.

To be sure, that’s not to say that all coverage is terrible, and it’s certainly not to say that Donald Trump doesn’t deserve criticism.  But just like adults who laud the wisdom of children who repeat their opinions back to them, proclamations that younger folks hold the view that big-time opinion setters say they should have is more rightly seen as evidence of an echo, not a harmony of independently considered voices.



  • guest

    “Among all adults, that number was 9 percentage points higher, or 42%,
    which is well above recently reported results for Democrat governor of
    Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo (at 37%).”

    So the low opinion polls have have some merit for someone you don’t like, but should be questioned when they are for someone you do. Sounds reasonable.

    • Justin Katz

      That wasn’t my meaning. This post offers some explanation for the results from younger folks. I was just noting, in passing, a Rhode Island comparison.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    I don’t think it is any longer a secret that “youth” votes the way their parents did. I am open to the idea that the intensification of media (meaning growth) has altered this to some extent. Still, things tend to “follow a line”. regardless of how they vote, what percentage of descendants of Irish, Jewish, or Italians register Republican?

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