Young People’s Dissuasion for Politics Starts at the Top

There is nothing that old people, specifically those over 40, love more than sitting on their highchairs complaining about young people not participating in politics. It is true that young people don’t historically have the best voter turnout, on average only about 49% of eligible voters aged 18-29 actually voted, one might question why. Well old people, like always. are the problem, for a couple of different reasons, how we were raised, how the media addresses our generation, politicians general disregard for issues we find important, and hate for the candidate we prefer.

 

How might one’s upbringing really affect how one might view politics, disregarding how it might affect political beliefs and focusing very specifically on participation in politics? Well we have grown up in a generation where being a teenager was a luxury few could afford. We were put in a weird position where the adults around us were seconds away from crumbling and it was our job to keep them together but that struggle was ignored, we slowly lose our innocence as adults become latent crumbling into their own moral pestilence, meanwhile, acting as if we are ungrateful for being tired of this burden. Which taught us that our thoughts don’t matter, our needs are the lesser and we must put ourselves aside to do what others need and no matter how strenuous we are taught to smile and say “No Problem”. We have been trained from a young age to think that we are the lesser and thus voting feels unnecessary, our needs don’t matter so why should our votes. All the while, who else but the media portrays us in a worse light than even criminals.

The treatment of our generation by our parents continues throughout the media, people being attacked and slandered for participating in politics. The march for our lives organizers are a great example of this. After the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School a group of students began to speak out about gun reform legislation. The media began to attack the students calling them government agents and crisis actors with the goal of stealing America’s weapons. As we take matters into our own hands and are defamed by the people who let us down in the first place. Our lives are threatened and we are faced with a choice, whether to stand and be torn down or hide and let injustice fester. For most it is easier, nay, safer to hide and thus those around us say we aren’t ‘participating’, When we were forced away.

Continuing down the spiral of ways we have been disregarded, politicians often ignore the issues we find important. Be it for money, lack of knowledge, or a conscious dismissal of young voters, politicians never seem to care. Living wages, gun reform, healthcare, affordable college, all necessities that we have been repeatedly denied and in the times we are given it the candidate is torn down. Take the case of Sanders’ presidential campaign twice now he has run and was the only candidate to gain momentum among young voters and twice now older adults have made up excuses. “Well young voters won’t turn out to vote” or “We need a centrist to unite the country” or “We need a candidate to beat donald Trump”, those last to often being code for “We need someone old and white and male who won’t make any changes to appease the old white men who got us here in the first place”. It is insulting frankly that people have such a mistrust in the next generation that they won’t even let them make decisions that affect the country they have to deal with for the next however many decades.

Frankly, young voters have dealt with these asinine attacks by old people for long enough. Perhaps if you opened your eyes long enough to see the desiccation you have caused you would come off of your golden thrones and help rebuild young peoples’ relationship with civil activism. Now to the young voters who may read this, This is our world now and if you sit and hide you are just as much to blame for our problems as the adults who refused to fix them, go vote, fight against things you think are unjust. Voting is a right and if you don’t claim it then you befoul the sanctity of your citizenship.