TCU Daily Skiff Friday, February 27, 2004
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Voting is not just for ‘Old People’
T-shirt misses its intended message by a mile


With the battle lines clearly drawn in this year’s presidential election, we here at the Skiff think we’ll vote in November.

That’s why we’re so outraged by a new vintage-style T-shirt from Urban Outfitters that displays the phrase “Voting is for Old People.”

You’d think a company that markets its clothing to teenagers and young adults would embrace participation in the political process. But apparently not.

And besides, it’s not as if only “old people” vote. In the 2000 presidential election, nearly 18 million people aged 18-30 voted, representing 16 percent of total voters.

A larger number of younger voters could have made the difference in 2000, and could also make the difference come November.

Young people’s participation in politics should be encouraged, not made to seem unhip and uncool by T-shirts at Urban Outfitters.

Probably the most disturbing part is the reality that there must be a market for such clothing. Some 16-year-olds will decide the T-shirt is a fashionable, worthwhile addition to their closets. That’s sad.

The designer of the shirt, 26-year-old Yale graduate John Foster-Keddie, said the shirt was not meant to discourage voting, but instead to emphasize the political apathy of younger Americans.

According to Urban Outfitters, the shirt is meant to highlight the growing gap between politicians’ platforms and the concerns of young people.

Apparently, we missed the shirt’s underlying message.

Next time, if something is meant to encourage voting, it should be more obvious than a shirt emblazoned with the logo “Voting is for Old People.”
 
 
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