Skin In The Game

Got skin in the game?

Simple fact of Life: games change when you have skin in them. A person will treat the home in which they live better if they own it versus if they rent it. Skin in the game. Elections are when Americans most have skin in the game. That’s the whole point of democracy – recognizing that every single one of us DOES have skin in this game. Democracy – when working properly – gives every single one of us the power to DO something about our skin in the game. Traditionally, young voters haven’t voted because we haven’t pointed out to them that they do have skin in the game. They’d learn that if we taught civics or pride in American democracy (instead of just American money-making). But, in this election more than any other, America’s young voters haven’t just seen that they have skin in this game, they’ve accepted it.

White suburban women are another group who’ve discovered their skin in the game. We all have skin in the game, but white suburban women had the power to do something about it. Suburban white women are the swingiest of swing voters because they’re always trying to guess where a better future lies for their children – the bottom line for skin in any game.

The goal of any propagandist is to fool people into mistaking both what game their skin is in and what the game is doing to their skin. Republicans who fame this election as being about crime or inflation are misrepresenting skin. There’s far more violent crime in red states than in blue. How ironic. Red state skin is riddled with bullet holes and doesn’t even know it.

Polling practices have confused and confounded our picture of who has what skin in what games. Polling itself always has skin in the game. They work for organizations that want to know something and have paid the polling company to learn it. The bottom line question is simple: “who will win who will be responsible for that win?”. The polling methodology crunches past numbers into patterns and tries to spot a trendline.

In 2016, 36% of America’s youth vote voted. In 2020, that went up to 50%, an 11 point rise. The youth vote showed up big in 2018, too. That’s three elections in a row where the youth vote rose. Can we please, please, PLEASE stop repeating the “conventional wisdom” that young Americans don’t vote. They do vote. They ARE voting. And the reason is simple: they recognize that they have skin in the game. And, they recognize that if they don’t do something themselves about that skin? Something they don’t want could happen to it.

Life – and politics – don’t get simpler than that.

We owe it to ourselves – to our youth – to our skin ffs – to take better care of our skin. That way, when the game comes around and we’re forced to put our skin into it, our skin will be ready.

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