As the presidential election continues to close in, I find myself being constatnly questioned about the election itself or related topics such as my opinion on current political topics, who I think is the best candidate, whom I will be voting for and so on and so forth.
My answers to most of these questions go as follows: “Sorry, I don’t really pay attention to that,” “I don’t even know who all of the candidates currently are” and the always classy, “Bruh, I’m not even registered to vote.”
What is shocking to me is the amount of people that I know of my age who respond to my last statement with “Oh, me neither.”
I only know of one person my age who is registered to vote or even cares enough to stay up to date on the election at all.
Why is it that no one my age seems to care about the current political status of our nation’s executive branch? Or the political status of our nation in general?
I have heard multiple responses such as, “If you don’t live in New York State, it is such a hassle to register,” “My vote doesn’t matter,” “All of our candidates are horrid so no matter who I vote for, our country will still be in a horrible circumstance regardless.”
I personally am not registered to vote for three reasons:
1) When I came to college, I was 17 years old and by the time I turned 18, I was too busy to figure out how to go about getting registered.
2) I feel that the media does a very poor job of accurately presenting the candidates in an unbiased way. Therefore, it would take a large amount of dedication and research to be able to make an educated assessment of current political issues and candidates. At this point, spending my free time researching politicians really does not sound like my cup of tea.
3) My understanding of the way that our government is set up makes it seem that it is nearly impossible for any individual candidate to make any extreme difference in office. The policies that will be implemented during the individual’s presidency are entirely dependent upon the party affiliation of said candidate. This means that anytime I spend researching said candidate is a waste of time.
After having multiple conversations with my siblings and friends, I have come to the conclusion that most of the people my age that I know seem to arrive at the same attitude when it comes to politics: indifferent and disinterested.
Is there any way that our generation could become more interested? What causes this seemingly innate disinterest? Is it just the people I know and the area from which I am collecting my information?
When I studied abroad this summer, my roommates were from the United Kingdom.
They immediately asked me many questions about my view on certain current policies and issues that were happening in the United States.
It became very apparent that they knew more about what was going on in the United States than I did.
I also encountered some French students who proved to know more than I did as well. They were all more interested in these topics as well.
Are they more interested in American polices due to a business and trade aspect and how our policies will affect their countries?
Either way, this political disinterest seems to me to be a purely American issue.
This observation sparks some very enticing questions for me: What kind of politicians will our generation create?
Will our country get left behind on the world stage because we are being led by older representatives who are being motivated by older ideals because there are no young people that are interested enough to step in and make a change? Is this all just a bad sampling by myself?
Then again, those who will spend their time reading this article are probably much more informed and much more fit to answer these questions and address these issues than I am.
In my opinion, the United States needs to immensely improve the way in which we go about implementing policies and the ways in which parties operate.
Otherwise, our generation will continue to ignore the disfunction and incompetency that is demonstrated through the way the branches of government interact with one another.
I think that we as a generation are fed up with a government that promises immense change, yet never shows anything for it.
Until we begin to see something, we will continue leading our blissfully ignorant lives.