I was lucky enough to get a closer look at how someone in the oldest old generation views the presidential election. The oldest old generation is a federal term that describes individuals who are 85 years old or older. Globally, it is the fastest growing population.
It is clear from my source’s lens there have been major changes in politics.
Kathryn Dillion, 91, provided her perspective on the changes over the years.
Q: Hey Kathryn, what was the first year you voted in the election?
A: Oh my Lord, uhm, probably about 1948 or 49. Ha, that’s one problem I have is my memory, that’s a long time ago.
Q: That is a long time ago. Have you noticed any difference between the candidates you first voted for verse the candidates that are running in this 2016 election
A: Well, difference, i know more about the candidates now that i did then. we’ve progressed so much with our communications and so forth, you know, with computers, and uh television and all those things that, the telephones are so much different, everything is so much different, the papers are different. And so now we have the advantage of knowing more about the candidates when we vote.
Q: Yes, i agree, with that being said. Do you think people are using different methods to um choose their candidates?
A: Oh yes, reading more and using the electronics more, uhh yes, i think that has a lot to do with it.
Q: When you were younger and voting first how were you getting your information then?
A: Uhmm, well it was the radio and the newspaper I believe. That is so very long ago, you know i was boring in 1925 haha so I’m 91-years-old, you know, so mainly from my newspaper which i didn’t always get.
Q: So when there is such a long period of time in between your first election and this coming up election, what have you really notice change, uh, in the way people camping for themselves?
A: They send so much information in the mail now a days, uhm and i agree its good to know that much. but some of them on the television are really too short and are delivered too fast that you really cant absurd enough to make a difference. Sometimes you think after you’ve heard them, holy crool, what did they just say? haha
Q: Yes i have noticed how those commercials can be very brief and try to stack all that information in just a quick 30 seconds, so Kathryn, what were some main ways that candidates were advertising in the first few elections you voted for?
A: It was large, rally type meetings and so forth. I don’t know that it was so much for the individual person, uhh they would have to go door-to-door for individual people to contact but uhh now a days it can be accomplished so much easier through the electronics and the papers.
Q: Do you think people tend to stick with one party through the entirety of their voting career?
A: Uhm, no, i think they can change and I think a lot depends on the circumstances of our government, our country, and people change their minds about what should be done.
Q: Yeah, I think so too, I think it is okay to change your mind half way through your voting career depending on how your political views changes in that time in your life. During the first few elections that you voted in, do you think your parents influenced the way you voted and how/what party you voted for?
A: Definitely, when you were young you gravitated toward what your parents uh agreed too.
Q: What have you noticed the biggest thing about this election, what has caught your attention about this election?
A: I don’t care for all the bashing that they’re doing between the people that are running, and it is too much of that. what they need to do is to talk about what should be done and why and how come, not what did they do ten, twenty, thirty years ago in their sex life or something like that.
Q: Do you think in past years uhh, elections and the debates have been this personal or is this a new thing?
A: Well, they used to be a little bit personal but you know, and its probably more likely that they pick up the personal because it takes too much time to consider what should be done for certain things and of course there are so many more people that we have to think differently about a lot of things.
Q: So do you think the change in communication and the progression of electronics have also then targeting presidential elections towards more personal things rather than actual public policy?
A: Yes, I think it has contributed. When they talk about trashy things, you know, it stands out, and people thing oh oh oh my god. When you figure it right down it turned out to be something really small but it is flashy and people listen.
Q: I agree people generally tend to pay attention to negative things more then they do positive things. So Kathryn, what would be your advice to younger generations when voting for the election?
A: The young people should listen a little bit more to the political even though it may sound boring. Cause I think it really depends on the young people in this world to say and do what they think is right.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to chat with me a little bit.
Thank you very much for calling, and luck in your politics. Haha bye bye.