How American Idol Saved Democracy
From TNR: We have Simon Cowell and American Idol to thank for a revitalized democracy. Before you scoff too loudly, two of the key predictors we have for whether someone will vote are age and education — but their effects are not direct effects. Instead, it is the experience with navigating complex systems and the practice of voting in past (and other kinds of) elections that lead to higher turnout. So if a whole generation has now grown up thinking that they can vote on almost everything and actually voting — and that their vote might actually influence the outcome — the leap to voting in governmental elections shouldn’t be that big of a leap.