The Power of Today’s Youth
By: Spencer Hagaman
The 2008 US presidential election was as an earth-shattering moment in history as it revealed that the true power to effect change did not rest in Washington, D.C. politicians but in youth activists across the United States. 2012 was only further proof of this capacity as President Obama went on to win a second term. However, after eight years of skyrocketing youth activism, the loss of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party primary created a ripple effect throughout the age bloc as youth activism stagnated. This issue transcended the Democratic Party and grew into a national epidemic as young voters and activists failed to make their voices heard.
This decline in activism among America’s youth is worrisome. It illustrates the youth’s disenchantment with the country’s state of affairs and its unwillingness to participate in a system it views as corrupt and ineffective. However, these are the very reasons America’s youth should be participating and making their voices heard not just by politicians but by the entire country.
Many of the issues today will not fully mature until the youth of today are in control of the country. Climate change, national debt, and global terrorism, while significant and concerning in their current condition, will only get worse with each succeeding generation of Americans. The problems of today will be magnified and passed down to the youth of today, and if today’s youth do not want to be living in a country whose economy is not devastated by inflation and debt or whose environment is not beyond repair, they need to speak up now.
There are a variety of ways for today’s youth to become more involved and active in protecting their future. First, they can make their voice heard at the ballot box by registering to vote when they turn eighteen. They can work and volunteer for causes and campaigns that they support, even if they are too young to vote. Most importantly, the youth of today can stay actively informed on growing issues and proposed solutions.
The prosperity of the future rests in the balance, and it is the responsibility of today’s youth to voice their opinion and determine what that future will look like.