We all know what a “fail” is. Tripping on the street or spilling a drink – those are “fails.” The word fail doesn’t quite describe President Obama’s first year in office though – that is what the term "epic fail” is reserved for.Last Friday at the National Press Club, Young America’s Foundation held a press conference entitled, “Epic Fail: Obama’s Policies Disastrous for Young People.” The date was not a coincidence; it marked the one-year anniversary of Obama being sworn in as president.Jason Mattera, spokesperson for Young America’s Foundation opened a panel discussion with tongue-in-cheek remarks about the Obama administration. He poignantly chose to describe the collective feeling of the nation, saying they have “buyer’s remorse.” Nothing could be further from the truth: Rasmussen Reports shows Obama’s approval rating at a dismal 46 percent.Michelle Oddis from Human Events was at the panel to give her insights on Obama’s policies and young Americans. “Wanna buy a car? A house? These industries have been taken over by the government, which is broke,” she said. As you can probably already tell, this isn’t exactly a great year to be graduating college.Oddis added an interesting thought – the last generation had, “Woodstock babies,” who grew up to be liberal (obviously). Will the next generation be ripe with “tea party” babies? Only time will tell.Captain Flagg Youngblood, director of military outreach for Young America’s Foundation, lamented that President Obama was advocating for youth to join bloated non-profit groups instead of enlisting in the service. “Does anyone know what percent of our population serve in the military?” he asked the audience. “Less than one percent,” someone correctly answered. Lisa DePasquale, director of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was at the panel as well to give her perspective. Responding to liberals who are defending Obama’s policies, she quipped, “The reason there are lines at the DMV is because it’s so fun. No one wants to leave!”DePasquale urged for students to sign up for CPAC, which is a great place for young conservatives to network. Of the 8,500 attendees at CPAC in 2009, 47 percent were students. (Fun fact: only 3000 people were at the “Take Back America” conference, the liberal version of CPAC, and only 24% of those attendees were in college.)CPAC registration is up 17% this year. It’s not too late to register – just visit www.cpac.org.Robert Bluey, Director of the Center for Media and Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation commented on how Obama’s policies are directly hurting youth. He mentioned that currently, one third of 23 year-olds do not have health insurance. If health care reform is passed, it would be mandatory, thus forcing twenty-somethings to spend more and save less – thus damaging their future.He also jokingly referenced how the AARP is lobbying to have the premium rate for young people be the same as senior citizens – a clear attempt at a transfer of wealth from the young to the old.Bluey noted that the youth demographic voted for Obama 2:1, but are now doomed to pay off America’s ballooning debts.It is clear that conservative youth is mobilizing. While young people came out strongly for Obama in 2008, one year later it is not a sure thing that they will come back for more in 2012. That could be another “epic fail."
Evan Gassman is a NJC intern and a conservative student activist at Catholic University