I read with interest the piece in the Wall Street Journal this week declaring that you didn't have to be a supermodel to understand that the GOP is out of touch with young people. As a young woman who has worked in that specific industry, I absolutely have to agree.
But I would go further, and make a different argument.
I say that both parties are out of touch with young people, and that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans addressed the concerns of people like myself during this election campaign.
Let's be clear, the issues and concerns of me and my generation were not discussed -- economic opportunity, technology, innovation, the future, and most importantly, ways that people like myself can get jobs.
I have no idea, based on the campaign, which party—Democrat or Republican—offers real opportunities for me and my generation, and I don't think that anyone else does either.
To that point, there was no discussion of education, of the kind of opportunities that can and need to exist, nor was there any discussion of a path forward, of a way to be able to enjoy the kind of upward mobility that most Americans have taken for granted, and that my generation sees as being beyond our reach and quite frankly owed to us.
Put another way, I have no idea, based on the campaign, which party—Democrat or Republican—offers real opportunities for me and my generation, and I don't think that anyone else does either.
I'm in the 40% of young people who didn't vote for President Obama, and I also didn't vote for Governor Romney, because neither addressed the concerns of people like myself. It's not going to be taxing the rich that's going to get me a job, or get me educated in the future, nor is it going to be simply cutting taxes.
Moreover, it was clear to me, as someone who followed the debates intensely, that neither side made an effort to address the issues that my generation is bleeding for currently.
My generation is libertarian, to be sure, on social issues, but we're vitally concerned with our futures, with economic opportunity that's declining, and with what the real opportunities are for us in this world, now and in the future.
Traditional American optimism about the American dream is fading, and it's fading for a good reason, because our position in the world is unsure, the opportunities uncertain, and chances to fulfill our dreams become less and less obvious every day -- the “American Dream” has died.
I just came back from a tour of European capitals, having been to Germany, Austria and the Netherlands and what I heard was uncertainty about Europe's future, and even greater uncertainty about America's future. To be sure, there was great relief that President Obama was reelected, but there was an absolute sense that America's position as leader of the world was eroding, and no sense that the United States had any sense of purpose as a nation. Europe casts heavy eyes our way.
I was asked about my own future, and all that I could say was that I was doing my best to afford college, and to earn whatever additional funding I could through work in the fashion industry and work as an intern and researcher, but candidly, my feeling was that both parties are out of touch with the real needs and concerns of people such as myself.
I'm motivated, I've travelled all over the world in search of a better life and a better future for myself, I've been entrepreneurial, I've been in front of the cameras in Asia and Europe and across the United States.
I've worked hard, but I do not see a clear path to success in current day America. I don't see politicians speaking to my generation's concerns, and as I go forward, I have a sense of foreboding about the country I love so very much.