The youth vote is rockin' if not rollin'. Young voters who blog -- and there are lots of them -- boast they're the voting bloc that's hot. "Young voters are the new pink," a Rock the Vote blogger shouts. "Or the new orange? The new indigo?" They're like that little black dress, always poised to save the moment.
The Obama campaign boasts that it registered thousands of new young voters. Hillary had her "Hillblazers," cheered on by daughter Chelsea, and John McCain says he'll contest every youth vote in November. Why else would he stay up late to joke and spar with David Letterman and Jon Stewart? He wants to show that he's not an old dog with new tricks, but a hipster with maverick's reputation and biography of heroism to appeal to the young voters. He's a rebel with causes.
That all sounds good, but we've got to hope these younger voters know enough to understand what the debate is about. The young have been short-changed by the educationists for decades, learning not very much. The millennials, the under 30s, grew up reprising the lyrics of "Don't Know Much About History."
How much they don't know about Middle Eastern politics is especially worrisome. If the textbooks of the millennials were anything like the textbooks the kids are studying today, they're not prepared to understand what President Bush was talking about when he told the Israeli Knesset last week: "Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along."
They might even be incapable of identifying the terrorists, or understanding the radical theology driving them to kill innocents in the name of Allah. The American Textbook Council, an independent research organization, examined the errors and political biases in American history textbooks for public junior high and high schools, and published a report called "Islam in the Classroom." The results are terrifying. It demonstrates how editors and teachers are duped by Islamist organizations that persuaded publishers to weave misinformation -- and disinformation -- into the textbooks, exploiting ignorance, naivete and bias in the name of diversity and political correctness. Many of these texts spin an uncritical view of radical Islam, spiced with anti-Western criticism.