Monday, February 29, 2016

Should Young Adults Vote?

After reading the morning paper today and saw a picture of a young girl sporting a sign in support of Bernie Sanders, I had to ask myself, 'Should Young Adults Vote?' Now I assure you I have nothing against young people nor do I necessarily view Sanders as unfit to run our country.

I guess I question how much this generation of voters knows about the process itself, and more importantly, how much they know about the candidates seeking nomination and the tactics they use to win. When I became eligible to voice my opinion for the first time, I did so mostly to boast that I'd voted. Secondly, since my family had always identified themselves as 'Democrats', although I don't remember, I'm sure I voted Democrat. Thirdly, depending on who my friends believed to be the best man for the job, had to have greatly influenced my own decision.

College kids now are certainly more informed. Politicians make it a point to visit campuses across the country. The internet provides these newbies with debates, current poll ratings, and who others their age view as worthy of their impeding vote. Economics, law, and political science classes have given them historical knowledge as well as up-to-date facts. No doubt all of this is beneficial when the time comes to act.

But what is missing, and in my humble opinion more critical than all the debates, polls and camaraderie put together, is life experience. Only when you've lived through countless elections and been terribly disappointed with what the candidates promised and what they actually achieved, do you scrutinize their speeches with rightful concern. Only when they are on top of the polls because they've assured you that your taxes will not be raised, yet knowing full well that they will be, do you question their veracity. And only when these casually-groomed politicians gather with families and friends in coffee shops and school gymnasiums making for great photo ops, do you see through their shallow attempts to make you believe they actually care about you and yours.

Perhaps instead of attending rallies, listening to planned debates, and talking to folks of similar age, young adults might learn more from their parents, grandparents, and veterans who have risked their lives to make sure our right to vote stays intact. After giving their elders a chance to help them understand the ins and outs of the political process and what effect it has on everyday living for the American people, would they be better armed to make their decision on primary and election days.

Yes, young adults should have the opportunity to vote, but only after they've exercised their duty to become well-informed by folks who have their best interests at heart, WE THE PEOPLE!