You’re a teen and maybe you don’t care about the political process at all. I don’t blame you. It’s easy to not care about voting when it’s become a billion dollar industry, and you may be too young to vote anyway. It seems like one vote doesn’t count and if you don’t have millions to throw into campaigns, you’re a nobody.
Maybe you can’t stand the candidates. Right now it looks like it is going to be Trump versus Hillary. I don’t sense a lot of support from young for either of these.
Despite these issues, the American electoral process does matter for teens too.
Here are three reasons why.
The Issues Impact You
Teens can be directly affected by the decisions of politicians at all levels. Going to college? The government can help with grants or loans. Want more class options at your school? Only if the government thinks it’s beneficial. Is your school failing? Maybe the state government has cut funding. Also, local leaders determine rules about curfew, age of consent laws, and other decisions that impact your freedom (or lack of it).
This, of course, is in addition to the issues that impact you indirectly. For example, every dollar your parents pay in taxes won’t be going to buy you the new iPhone!
The point is that even if teens don’t care about government, the government still cares about them (and it may not always be pleasant).
You Can Still Make A Difference
Although those under the age of eighteen can’t vote, they still have freedom of speech and association. So, even if you aren’t old enough to vote, you can write your leaders, protest in various ways, and join politically oriented clubs and groups, etc.
If a law impacts you, especially a local one, then go and offer your opinion. Although the United States has its problems, generally people of all ages can peacefully state their opinions without interference.
Start a movement, read up on politics. Do anything to let your views be heard.
It’s Your Future
Right now most leaders are in at least their fifties or older. However, they’re making decisions not only for today, but also for many, many years down the line. Their votes could hurt or harm you many years from now. Take the national debt. That debt belongs to everyone. The people spending it now won’t be around to pay it off. Who will be? You!
So, as the election approaches in 2016, you may want to start paying a little more attention to the political world around you. You don’t have to be obsessed or get too into it. But, it’s your future (and present), so you should probably care at least a little bit!