Teens and political pill: Story of indifference and hope

A+young+man+ponders+the+state+of+modern+U.S+foreign+policy+while+munching+on+a+cookie.+He%27s+still+a+child+but+soon+he+will+be+a+man%2C+so+it%27s+imperative+to+jump+start+on+analyzing+issues+that+will+matter+to+him%2C+and+already+do+to+a+lot+of+people.

Edward Uecker

A young man ponders the state of modern U.S foreign policy while munching on a cookie. He’s still a child but soon he will be a man, so it’s imperative to jump start on analyzing issues that will matter to him, and already do to a lot of people.

Edward Uecker, Plaid Truth Staff

Politics are boring. A sentiment shared by many adults even, but particularly those of students. Unfortunately, it is the civic duty of every American to participate, young or old. Having said that, what are their opinions? Where do they get their information? And why might some feel the odds are already stacked against them in America’s political sphere?

“The party that best represents my beliefs is the Democratic Party,” said senior Jack De La Rionda, “because of its stance on social topics and general progressive nature.”

When a new generation springs up from the ground, they tend to see the world from a different lens from their elders, as the hurdles in the United States political and social system now directly affects them. It places on a section of the compass that points towards a more progressive mindset and hope for the future. We saw it with the baby boomer long hairs in the 60s, and we are seeing it again with Generation Z. 

“Gen Z as a whole is the most progressive generation in history and as such we tend to be more interested in social issues,” said senior and ASB President Alex Edgar, “from climate change to systemic racism students are interested in learning about the big issues we will be facing in the future.”

Getting students to discuss politics is like pulling teeth. A female student who asked to not be named for this article did so because she said, “I don’t want to be canceled” for her mostly conservative leanings. Could it be trepidation over-sharing controversial beliefs? Boredom with the dryness of American bureaucracy? Or something else…..?

According to Christian Science Monitor, 54 percent of people ages 15-34 believe they have little to no effect on government. “One of the main reasons young people feel disillusioned with politics is because they feel like it doesn’t affect them,” said Edgar, “when in reality the opposite is the case.” A young person’s mind is too preoccupied with relationships and having enough money for food and rent to pay attention to seemingly pointless squabbling.

They aren’t within the cross-hairs of what politicians tend to fire towards, the name of the game typically isn’t about catering to the future generation’s concerns and needs but maintaining a brittle status quo. The 2020 election saw an uptick in young adult participation, as per the CIRCLE/tish college survey, 79 percent of those between the ages of 19 and 34 said that the pandemic made them realize how important politics are in everyday life.

Recent and tragic current events coupled with an election comparable to an intellectual hurricane have given students a reason to fight in the form of casting votes. Edgar said, “There are many ways to get involved through local non-profits like RISE Simi Valley or volunteering with the local Democratic/Republican parties.” Do you want to make a difference? Go out and seize the opportunity, there are many just like you.