The Chicago Thinker’s Jaelyn Douglas and Jahmiel Jackson appeared on The Story with Martha MacCallum to discuss President Joe Biden’s declining approval rating among young voters. Douglas, a registered Republican, and Jackson, a registered Democrat, offered divergent perspectives on Biden’s struggles with young people.
Stepping in for MacCallum, Trace Gallagher asked Jackson why young Democrats are “so disenchanted with this president,” referring to Biden. Jackson responded by first highlighting Biden’s initial appeal among young voters, saying, “I think many people like me, who are Democrats and who are young, [. . .] voted for Joe Biden because he talked about the future. He talked about uniting us.”
Look at the state of the union to understand the president’s falling approval ratings, contended Jackson. “I think, when you ask us twenty year olds, where do you see yourselves in five to ten years, that is growing increasingly hard because of the war [in Ukraine], because of inflation, because of the economy, and I think that is why you see the drop in polls.”
When asked whether the president has united Americans, Jackson responded, “I think there is still a lot of work to be done. You can’t fix an entire country in four years.” However, Jackson argues that the Biden “administration has made many strides in unity such as the infrastructure bill, as well as COVID packages for all citizens, not just Democrats, but for independent and Republican citizens as well.”
Gallagher then asked Douglas whether she was surprised that a growing number of young voters disapprove of Biden. Douglas responded, “I’m actually really surprised. It gives me a lot of hope for this generation.”
“I think a lot of people voted for this administration because they expected unity, like Jahmiel said, but that is not what we are seeing,” Douglas said. “We are seeing a lot of young voters becoming educated and seeing the failures of this administration. And it is really exciting to see.”
When Gallagher asked Jackson whether student loan forgiveness would give him an appealing reason to vote Democrat again, Jackson answered in the affirmative. He stated, “Regardless of skin color or political affiliation, taking out student loans or being in debt is a huge factor whether you go to college or grad school. I want to be a lawyer and go to law school, and seeing how much loans I have to take out, it’s very discouraging for us young people to look ahead to the future and see where we fit in this economy, and where do we find our foot in the pursuit of happiness.”
Douglas disagreed with her colleague. She argued that “nothing is free, and someone is going to have to pay off that loan forgiveness, whether it is me paying off my loan education or someone else’s, and I really don’t think that is the right course of action. Need based financial aid is one thing, but forgiveness of loans is another.”
Jake Lauritzen, an independent voter not affiliated with the Thinker, was also part of the discussion.