The frat bros next door draped a bed sheet from their fraternity house with Obama Is a GDI inked in spray paint. Greek translation: Obama is a goddamn independent. The President was visiting Penn State last spring to tout a new environmental package. The bros weren’t amused. Don’t confuse a GDI with political independents. They couldn’t be more different. In Greek life, a GDI refers to someone not cool enough to be in a fraternity.
“The last election was about hope,” my fraternity buddy Quinn Donahue, who is still undecided, tells me. “This is an election of fear.” I’m still undecided, but I’m sensing a striking contrast for millennials who, four years ago, chugged the Kool-Aid that Obama fed us. I remember skipping high school just to hear him speak. He was a rock star. How did President Barack Obama become so uncool?
Health Care: You know what 20-somethings want? Financial independence. You know what we don’t want? Controlling parents. Letting us stay on our parents’ health care plans until we’re 26 prolongs our adolescence. (And adds another financial burden to our struggling parents.) “I’m concerned he isn’t willing to stand up to wild-eyed conservatives,” says Spencer Malloy, 21, from the Philly ‘burbs. “He seems to bend over backward just to get things passed that ultimately don’t have staying power—like Obamacare.” Malloy voted for Obama four years ago; now he’s undecided.
The Economy: I played trivia at a Delco bar the other night. The question: Which president famously said, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” The answer: Ronald Reagan. The answer now: We’re worse. While the national unemployment number hovers at about eight percent, millennials’ unemployment rate is nearly double that, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics.
Student Debt: The average student graduating from college has a record-breaking $25,000 in debt, according to Project on Student Debt. “Obama hasn’t focused enough on higher education,” says Sadie Stellfox, 19, from Pittsburgh. And while President Obama signed legislation that eases the burden of paying student loans, it’s a good first step that doesn’t go far enough. It does little to help older Americans who decide to attend college in their twenties.
National Security: Luckily, he had help here. Hillary isn’t a sorority girl. She’s a a no-nonsense house mother who turns frat bros into fraternity men. Barack? He’s the freshmen pledge frats take to boost their GPA average. He joined for Greek mythology. Frat bros join for toga parties.
Penn Staters elected a new student government president last week. Courtney Lennartz was crowned president of the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA), but only because she secured the fraternities’ endorsement. No UPUA president has won without it, despite minority organizations endorsing other candidates. You can’t win an election without the frat bros.
Many millennials will ultimately turn back to Rock Star Obama, but unfortunately for President Obama, some frat bros never grow up. I went to Bruce Springsteen last week. There was beer, babes and loud music. I was at a grown-up fraternity party. Who cares if it’s an Etch-a-Sketched brilliant disguise? Governor Mitt Romney was born to run.