The consequence of silencing a generation
When I was younger I always knew that I wanted to do something in politics. I wanted to be engaged. If I ever saw a shooting star, I would wish to be able to make a change. I would turn on the news and be immediately heartbroken. I saw no one like myself. No one with who I could see myself. I only saw old people. It left me thinking If I would ever be able to make changes. Would I have to wait five decades to finally accomplish my dream? People always say “Children are the future.” Which leads me to ask myself, “If we are the future, why aren’t we allowed to be engaged in decisions being made?” Youth is needed in politics.
There’s a key difference between the older and younger generation that doesn’t revolve around the age or the experiences that they share. It is on a deeper level. In the article, Difference Between Old Generation And Young Generation Lifestyle, the author says, “There is a generation gap between the old and young generations because of the different cultures, religions or educational backgrounds that they had. The older people were born in an era where there was no technology, so their lifestyle is very traditional and conservative when compared to today’s youth who are always in contact with modern devices such as smartphones, computers, etc.” Since the older generation grew up in a time where it was not as accepting or diverse in a sense it affects what they are capable of doing. In this generation, there are so many diverse people, so many different cultures that have been mixed. Our needs will inevitably be different from those of the older generation.
There are a lot of pros to this generation being involved in politics. Youth are creative, they make a difference and most importantly we want a change. Following this, in the article, Global young voices, the author, Christina Boutros states “The youth face many issues in the world, but these issues go unheard. Since the youth would better understand other young people, the best way to improve this newer generation would be through politics, which is a tool used to take action for development.” We see here that the youth share the same perspective. It allows leaders to understand the real problems and what to prioritize. The article continues, “In countries of dictatorship, the younger generation’s fresh ideas and new leadership can help to overcome authoritarian practices. Protests led by youth leaders can force autocratic leaders to step down from power, allowing these youths to become part of formal decision-making.” This is so important. In politics, we’ve seen so many leaders who weren’t remotely young compared to the newer generation. With polls, we see that “The average age of Members of the House at the beginning of the 116th Congress was 57.6 years; of Senators, 62.9 years.” Now when this is compared to the average age of voters, “52%-55% of voting-eligible young people, ages 18-29.” As time goes by more young people get engaged. The idea of being in politics and making a change won’t be associated with age. It will be associated with the people who have the ideas and the right perspective to improve our future.
Starting more student councils that work hand-in-hand with government officials would help students gather from all around and voice their concerns. Elevating Student Voice in Education states “On the one hand, adults gather and use student perspectives, feedback, and opinions to inform change. On the other hand, students participate in decision-making bodies that drive change. Student agency increases as students assume more leadership and have greater responsibility and accountability in instruction or policy changes.” Doing this would make more youth voices heard. After that, we could work our way into younger people voting and modernizing the way it is going about. There could be different occasions where we could inform the youth about current issues for everyone to work together. Eventually, we could create something bigger. We would allow younger people to be a part of the legislative process.
Recently, the Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe vs.Wade. This decision abolished the right the constitutional right to an abortion. In simpler terms, women no longer have the choice to do what they want with their bodies. When looking at the people who made this decision we see older, more conservative, and traditional people. Due to the decision to overturn the case we see that an estimate of 10,000 people gathered to protest on this issue. This generation cares about issues such as the climate crisis, gun violence, racism, women’s rights and so much more. Instead of focusing on these important issues, we see that Congress is prioritizing the military. No matter what, we aren’t being heard and with a leader in the younger generation we would be heard.
To gain experience you have to have a beginning. So, therefore, allowing young people to be involved will then give them that experience people claim they lack, but experience isn’t the only important thing. Future leaders will need lots of different skills; They need to possess leadership qualities, have new ideas, and connect with the people they are trying to lead. Since the younger generation is the future, they are entitled to make decisions since we will be around to live through the consequences.