These two guys have our backs

OPINION

  • Mitt Romney (right) and Paul Ryan
Mitt Romney (right) and Paul Ryan (Reuters )
August 26, 2012|By John Giokaris, @johngiokaris | For RedEye

TAMPA, Fla. — Party's on in Tampa! Well, as soon as Isaac blows through, it is.

For years, I've heard from seasoned vets that if you ever get a chance to go to a national political convention—go! The energy is electrifying, they say. The personalities you come across are magnetic, and there are tons of amazing-looking singles there partying every night.

So when I was offered the opportunity to work at this week's Republican National Convention in Florida, I jumped at the chance.

Plenty of Millennials like me will be in attendance, either working backstage or in the crowd screaming louder than a Bears fan after a Matt Forte touchdown. That's because we're Generation Screwed.

While the after-hours socializing will be great, the reason we're there is the issues. Perhaps the most glaring one for this generation: In July, the unemployment rate was 12.7 percent for workers ages 18-29—and that doesn't even include the people who've given up on finding a job.

We're graduating school underwater in debt and competing for entry-level jobs with people who have years of experience. And if that sounds bad, imagine the situation 20 years from now, when our Social Security and Medicare safety nets dry up.

I can just see that look on your face. It's the same look I had when I thought of a Derrick Rose-less Bulls postseason after he tore his ACL.

What has the guy in the White House done for us? Absolutely nothing.

We're mired in a 42-month stretch of unemployment at 8 percent or greater, and the national debt has grown as much under President Obama in less than one term as it did under President George W. Bush in two terms.

Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, summed it up beautifully when I saw him speak at the University of Chicago in March: "I don't see how a young American can vote for a Democrat. ... That party is focused on providing more and more benefits to my generation and amounting trillion-dollar annual deficits my generation will never pay for. The interest on that debt is going to young people in America. ... These debts are not frightening to people my age because we'll be gone. They ought to be frightening to death to people your age."

Amen, brother.

Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, understands this as well. The two have proposed solutions to make our safety nets last longer, reduce our debt and lower unemployment. Their message is resonating—and the entire country's spotlight will be on it this week in Tampa.

A recent Zogby poll shows Romney now has the support of 41 percent of the youth vote. Obama tracks at 49 percent—quite a drop from 66 percent in 2008.

There's no big mystery behind the numbers. Millennials simply are accepting the Romney-Ryan ticket as the only one with a plan for our future.

The storm has postponed the start of the convention to Tuesday. (Safety comes first, and let's all hope the damage is minimal.) But once the convention is on, we're making some noise!

RedEye special contributor John Giokaris is the political director of the Chicago Young Republicans.

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