By Megan Draghi
President Barack Obama has made a major impact throughout his time in office. Barack Obama is arguably one of the most popular presidents of our time. Even though he has youthful aspects and he tries to keep up with Americans and their current beliefs, his high rate of popularity has been falling down a slippery slope that he may not be able to recover from. And shocking as it may be, the people who are losing his faith and trust are the millennial voters.
Who exactly are millennial voters? Do you fit under this category? According to The Millennial Legacy.com, “Millennials are the generation born between 1982 and sometime in the early 2000s.” That means a large majority of the students that attend LIU Post are most likely considered millennials. Most people who are millennials are over 18-years-old, therefore being eligible to vote in elections. Ever since the 1960s, the younger voters have started to gain a voice in national and world matters. Presidential elects have learned to also cater toward this group’s needs and desires for our country. President Obama is included in one of the presidents who have promised to cater towards the young voters, which are now the millennials.
When President Barack Obama came into office in January 2009, he took the nation by storm. After the eight-year reign of Republican George W. Bush, Americans were ready for someone more vibrant and exciting from the Democrat party to become our nation’s next president. Obama was just the person that the nation felt that they needed. Not only is he the first African American United States president, but also he seemed to understand and relate to the American public. Because of these positive qualities, President Obama had high ratings throughout his first year of his presidency. According to Gallup.com, Obama’s popularity when entering his first term of presidency was at the high of 69 percent. He managed to even pull U.S. troops out of Iraq. This made Obama even more likable to the public. However, it was his proposals for the medical plan, Obamacare, which started a drift between him and the American public. These people who started to doubt him were not just millennials, but older voters as well.
Even though millennial voters started to become irked with President Obama, the majority of the group, a whopping 67 percent of the youth vote, still went to Obama versus Republican Mitt Romney two years ago. As we know, President Obama was elected into office for his second term back in January 2012. However, as his second term progresses, Obama’s popularity has continued to decline.
His proposal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) led to a government shut down back in October. In his role with the problems in Syria, the Huffington Post has quoted President Obama and the White House Administration as dealing with the problems in Syria with, “the least-bad option.” The trouble in Syria is a tricky situation, but millennials, along with the rest of the rest of the American public, both Democrats and Republicans, disapprove of Obama’s idea of air strikes on Syria. Americans also cannot forget Obama taking “selfies” with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Nelson Mandela’s funeral last December. Millennial Americans are known for taking selfies, but even they know it is not appropriate or respectful to take one at a funeral, especially not one of a world leader.
Also, the millennials are not too happy with the fact that student loans and the cost of college have increased tremendously, even if President Obama did not directly have a major role in this. Millennials are also having children, and are dealing with the problems of the Common Core Standards presented by the United States Government, as well.
As previously mentioned, the millennial population is made up of Americans who are about 32-years-old or younger. With this in mind, LIU Post students who fall under the millennial category were asked how they feel about President Obama.
Senior Peter Collorafi, an American Studies major, says, “He didn’t balance the budget like he promised, or end wars like he promised. And he increased debt more than other presidents.”
Reyna Romero, a freshman Childhood Education major, says, “He doesn’t do anything, and it’s a waste of our time. It’s discouraging to those who voted for him because they originally had faith in him.”
However, not all millennial students feel this way about President Obama. Dana Bettex, a senior Education major says, “I think he’s a great man. Especially because he’s a family man and he tries to help people the best that he can.”
A student who wished to remain anonymous felt, “I’m not exactly sure how I feel about him. Everyone hates Obamacare, but I also admire his political activism and work to help LGBTQ couples get equal rights.”
No matter what young voters feel, Obama is starting to fall down a path of uncertainty and controversy. His ideas on topics such as Syria, health care, and “selfies” have begun to simply annoy a larger percentage of the American public. Because of these problems, President Obama is starting to lose even the respect of millennial voters as well.