Wesley Dickinson, a 30-year-old Denver engineer [he runs the Tiny Town trolley--ed.], thinks the economy is forcing people near his age to confront politics more so than at any time since the 1970s economic downturn created a generation of Reagan Republicans. Since then, people have been able to live relatively comfortably and didn't care so much about what the government did; that no longer is true, he said.Then it's Justin Longo's turn:
"They haven't had to worry about the economy like our parents did," said Dickinson, a limited-government supporter who has had a keen interest in such things for many years. "The economy's been booming in general steady growth. And now we're getting into the first election times where people are scared."
And it is precisely because younger people can do almost anything in front of a computer monitor - organize a campaign event, donate money, air their opinions on a blog - that they are newly active, Justin Longo said. In the days of door-knocking and phone-calling drives 20 years ago, it was hard to hold down a full-time job and be an activist. Now, people of any income level and any work schedule can do so at any time.Longo's only 26? Why, he's young enough to be the son of Independence Institute head Jon Caldara--which, for the record, Caldara has always vehemently, not to say violently, denied.
"I'd like to think that without the Internet we would be so active. But I doubt it, because the costs of activism are so low this way," said Longo, 26, who is a "Web monkey" with the conservative Independence Institute in Golden. "With only a few key strokes, you put yourself in the role of an activist."
And finally, Amanda Teresi:
Internet users can find meetings or activities very specific to their peer and interest groups. . . . It's how 26-year-old Amanda Teresi founded Liberty on the Rocks, a group of free-market backers that gathers at bars twice a month in the Denver area to discuss politics or watch the presidential debate, as members did last week.Not gonna mock Amanda; she'll break my face. But you'll never see a finer group of drunken young activists anywhere.