Academy Award-winning filmmaker and author Michael Moore lectured on the SUNY New Paltz campus to talk about the importance of the youth vote in the 2016 presidential election.
On Tuesday, Sept. 20, Moore delivered his lecture entitled “The Youth Vote and the 2016 Election.” Lecture Center 100 filled up to capacity, needing additional rooms to be opened due to the influx of people eager to see the acclaimed documentarian speak.
He urged youthful students and older community members alike to vote against GOP nominee Donald Trump, referring to him as a “human hand grenade,” including that Trump already has a headstart “because he is on TV,” citing his reality television show, “The Apprentice.”
He also mentioned, with much fervency, that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton lost 17 points in the polls since last month, bringing her down to 31 percent among people aging from 18- to 34-years-old.
Moore informed the audience that the youth demographic, ranging from ages 18 to 29, have the smallest percentage of active voters, yet they have the power to make a choice and impact change.
A historical example of this would be during the 2008 presidential election, when Barack Obama was elected as the first African-American president in United States history. Obama lost the white demographic in every age group except for those between the ages of 18- to 29-years-old, Moore said. According to a report from the Pew Research Center in 2008, 66 percent of people under the age of 30 voted for Obama during that year’s election cycle.
The problem with Hillary supporters, Moore pointed out, is that they are not “rabid” to vote for her as Bernie Sanders supporters would have been to vote for him, or as passionate as Trump supporters are to vote for him come Nov. 8.
Moore informed the audience that only 50 to 60 percent of Americans actually vote.
“It’s all about voter turnout in this country,” he said. “And the young vote could determine who wins, easily.”
This story first appeared in The New Paltz Oracle on September 29, 2016.