Posted by Joseph Knippenberg
Is this an argument for or against collegiate civic engagement and/or democratic self-government, at least insofar as it’s extended to the young?
A very good example of a group that is "libertarian" on a narrow set of issues being opposed to "communitarian" interest. Also a good example of what I maintain that large voter turnout is a sign of trouble not a sign of health..."In early voting, more than 700 people have cast ballots so far, a huge turnout for a race that typically generates a turnout of just a couple of hundred on Election Day."
The City council was tyrannical and students responded. It would be much better for everyone if voter turnout for city council hovered at around the 100 mark. I maintain against those who say or assume otherwise, that not only is collegiate civic engagement a bad thing but so is civic engagement period. If the city council had been reasonable and hadn't tried to micro-manage local business that served the students then none of this would have occured. The business man fought the town by recruiting college students knowing that he would only need a few to sway a vote that was normally decided by so few. Then the old bitter woman realized the game was up so she escalated things by talking to her police friends to intimidate the students, and suggested that votes shouldn't count...and before you know it an election that should have seen fewer than 200 ballots cast has lawyers rushing in...and everyone getting hostile and angry at each other, suddenly you have a culture war going on and if you think this will encourage goodwill, moderation or wisdom on either side you are wrong. No doubt the students are purposefully going to try to flaunt drunken debauchery, and suddenly town folk who never voted before are going to start talking about the need to do something about defending an entire way of life. Meanwhile an election that never attracted any attention is suddenly going to be a matter of life and death and people will debate back and forth on who should or shouldn't vote and why people shouldn't vote on a single issue but be "informed" as if an election for city council is something that is of the upmost importance.
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