Simon Cowell Rocks the Vote

Encouraged by civics lessons from American Idol , young voters are used to going to polls
By Amelia Atlas,  Newser User
Posted Oct 31, 2008 3:22 PM CDT
Youngsters accustomed to voting after watching Simon Cowell and "American Idol" for years will, Alan Fleischmann writes, take naturally to pulling the lever in the presidential popularity contest.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama isn't the only force driving young voters are to the polls, writes Alan H. Fleischmann in the New Republic. Thanks to the extreme popularity of judge Simon Cowell and American Idol, they’ve gotten used to having their voices heard. And just as important, Idol participation has allowed people to “see the palpable impact of their vote.”

They're becoming less cynical about voting as a result, says Fleischmann, though “I'll admit that I was a momentarily disheartened when Taylor Hicks won more votes (63 million) than, say, Ronald Reagan (54.5 million in 1984).” And while “civics may have faded from the curriculum,” writes Fleischmann. “Simon, Paula, and Randy have risen as our tutors of small-r republican virtue.”