Terry Paulson

Millennials comprised 17 percent of the electorate in 2008 and voted for Obama by a 2-to-1 margin. With a recent Zogby Poll of what Zogby calls "CENGAs" ("college-educated, not going anywhere") indicated that 41% of younger Americans are now planning on voting for Mitt Romney, this communication between father and son might be occurring in many American families:

My Dearest Daughter:

I'm honored that you've asked me for my thoughts on the upcoming election. The 2008 election was your first vote, and you chose a candidate you believed in. I can even understand your vote. President Obama shared a message of hope and change in the face of a struggling economy. Although I didn't vote for him, like many Americans, I was inspired that in a country that condoned slavery, we had finally elected a black American as President. May he not be our last.

Many of your fellow students at college will still vote for our president. He is engaging, a likeable family man, and an engaging communicator. You're learning that elections have consequences. In light of your recently shared doubts, I hope you will think about the reasons why I feel he is the wrong president for America, and an even worse president for your generation's future.

The president talked of hope and made some pretty clear promises. He promised to cut the deficit in half in his first term, that his stimulus package would ensure that the unemployment rate wouldn't go above 8 percent, and that he would create millions of jobs. Instead he raised the deficit by over $5.3 trillion, the unemployment rate has not been below 8%, and there are fewer people working today than when he took office. His budget solutions didn't receive any votes from Democrats or Republicans.

In Charlotte, all Democrats could offer was more goodies and more blame for Republicans. His only plan is to tax more, divide more, spend more of taxpayers' money, and make more and more Americans dependent on government instead of helping people get free of such entitlements.

But let's get personal. I'm sure you've heard that more and more college graduates are not finding employment. They're moving home or settling for less than ideal jobs. Since 2006, just over 51% of college graduates are working full time. This president has no private sector experience and does not understand that small business is the primary driver of any recovery in a free-enterprise economy.

His onslaught of regulations, the high cost of Obamacare looming on the horizon, and his promise of higher taxes for businesses and high-income Americans has punished the very people who can help turn this economy around. If you want jobs, you want Romney/Ryan.

President Obama doesn't understand that when you incur more national debt and take money out of the private sector to create more government jobs, pay for more entitlements, and service the debt, a robust economic recovery is all but impossible. Big government doesn't create wealth; it just redistributes it.

Democrats want to know Romney's plan. They don't understand that his plan doesn't involve more government programs. His plan leaves more money in the hands of Americans to invest in innovative companies, to buy products and services they want, and to reap the rewards for building successful new businesses. Romney has the skills and the experience needed to bring opportunity and entrepreneurial expansion back to America.

You and your fellow students aren't going to school to become more dependent on government. You're studying to sharpen your gifts, learn new skills, and find careers that allow you to make a difference and earn a good living. You don't have to be rich to be happy or successful. I'd rather be rich than poor, but being rich doesn't ensure happiness. As my daughter, I pray that you will find a career that gives you satisfaction, uses your gifts and sustains your own dreams. We need a president who will encourage, reward, honor and celebrate such achievements.

Liberty, property rights, self-reliance, and free-enterprise are what has made America exceptional. It's what I claimed in building my own business and what helped me support your future.

I know your generation wants to support candidates who care. Conservative self-reliance has nothing to do with selfishness. Benevolent self-interest and success allow you to serve and to give to local charities and community groups. Give me community caring close to the people in need over impersonal government entitlements any day.

Thanks for asking for my input. It's still your vote, but I hope we can link arms in proudly voting for the Romney/Ryan ticket and reclaim an America based on founding principles and the Constitution. May your generation once again have an America worthy of your support.

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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