Semi-naked Lena Dunham beckons young Americans to polling booth

Young Americans really don’t like voting, apparently. A non-partisan, non-profit group has been trying to lure them with the likes of Madonna, Justin Timberlake and even Ricky Martin (really?) for the past 25 years.

This year, “Rock the Vote” has ramped up its efforts ahead of November’s midterm elections, employing the lyrical prowess of rapper Lil Jon, the persuasive talents of (semi-naked, naturally) Lena Dunham of "Girls", and the prestige of veteran actress Whoopi Goldberg.

The result is entertaining, if not a little cheesy -- it’s for a good cause after all.

The moral of the #TurnOutForWhat story -- vote because you care about, for example, reproductive rights, cannabis legalisation and/or marriage equality -- aims to remind young people that they have a say in politics. 

The featured topics might seem to suggest that Rock the Vote is far from non-partisan. Global warming, social equality and LGBT rights are not issues typically associated with the Republican party. But in fact, young Americans -- irrespective of their party allegiance -- tend to be more sympathetic to traditionally Democratic values. A surprising 61 percent of Republicans under the age of 30 favour same-sex marriage, for example (only 27 percent of Republicans aged over 50 agree).

This internal shift is one the Republican Party is learning to adapt to (the most obvious example: candidates have drastically softened their tone on marriage equality during this campaign season).

The bigger threat, naturally, is the non-Republican under-30s.

A considerable presence of under-30s in November’s election would effectively prevent the Republicans from taking control of the Senate (which they currently have every chance of doing), thereby giving Barack Obama two extra years of quasi-manageable government before he bids adieu to the White House in 2016.

But abundantly unaware of their potential to decide the election, few young people are even planning to vote. Only 23 percent of 18-29 year-olds say they will “definitely” cast their ballot on November 4. Democrats are particularly uninspired -- young Republicans are ten percentage points more likely to vote for their left-leaning peers.

Faced with this widespread political nonchalance, Rock the Vote has tasked itself with convincing 1.5 million millennials to register to vote before November 4. It’s an ambitious target -- the organisation has registered six million people in its 25 years of existence.

Along with Lil Jon and “Lil Lena,” another set of videos features a misogynist, a golfer and a banker dismissing young people and women as not worthy of their right to vote. The #CareLikeCrazy campaign aims to demonstrate that a vote can counterbalance the unfavourable views of societal adversaries. 

The videos are being shown on MTV in states with higher-than-average under-30 and Latino populations (another vote-dormant category). They seem wilfully non-PC, and potentially insulting to those who wouldn’t rise to such blatant provocation.

But they send an upfront message to a distant (and enormous) sector of the electorate.

The only thing Lil Jon, Lena and Whoopi fail to mention is that young people, en masse, could pretty much decide on a Democrat or Republican-led Senate.

If Rock the Vote weren’t (officially) non-partisan, it would probably be worth adding in.
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Well I was going to vote democrat until I saw this. I did not realize how completely stupid liberals think we women are. Now I know.

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