Divide the voters! In terms of generation and voting proclivities, young people are not spoiling for a fight with their parents’ generation, so what truly matters to these young people? What makes seniors at Midlothian High School feel the urge deep down inside to get involved in the political process, to put their contribution into the frontier of contemporary American politics? The answer, of course, is relatability, the very notion of feeling understood and represented.
This sense of relatability is one component that candidates strive for and is one that Midlothian High School teacher Mrs. Regina Warriner emphasizes when teaching. The political process is in no way easy; the intricate weaving of American doctrine did not happen overnight. However, like all things difficult in life, it is one that can be learned and requires earning along the way. Government teacher, Mrs. Warriner believes “students need to understand the value of participation in the voting process; essentially, their opinion matters.”. The first step to invovement in the political process is taking a stance and finding conviction. However, for many seniors at Midlothian, constant immersion in this election season’s cutthroat nature makes this sense of relatability harder to find.
Midlothian senior Gurbir Baath concludes, “This election has me lacking in enthusiasm; the constant slander between the two main candidates and the lack of effort to address issues that impact young adults has me feeling like this election is a lose-lose.”. Gurbir, like many other voters, feels that no matter whom he votes for, he will not truly feel content with his choice. “It’s all about the issues,” Midlo senior Greyson Hesch says, “I am sick and tired of watching a sprawling match. I’d much rather watch a candidate who focuses on drawing attention to the things that matter than one who merely deflects issues with an attack on another candidate. I simply feel this election is more of a verbal battle than a battle for the best candidate.” Greyson holds a belief that many other seniors and adults also share: an aversion to feeling submerged in dirty politics.
With the rise in unsettled beliefs, Mrs. Warriner estimates that the new generation of voters, the ones whose parents years ago transported them to the polls in baby-carriers on Election Day, may look in a new direction- the third parties. The new voting generation’s access to social media connects them in a unique way. Recently, when the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) denied Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson access to the the first presidentail debate on Monday, September 26, the new voters mobilized on social media, posting #LetGaryDebate. This new generation of voters desires information on the political issues that some of the more mainstream candidates consistently fail to address.
The new generation of voters do not want to be placed in a box, defying traditional labels of Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green Party, or even the Constitution Party. They want to find the best candidate, not just the one who can sizzle out offensive refutations, not the one who represents faulty promises, not the one who represents the mere elephant, donkey, or any other logo so to speak. They desire other traits in a candidate: sincerity, relatability, and most importantly, a willingness to focus on the issues at hand.
On November 8th, Election Day, a new arsenal of political power enters the voting booth, armed with the power of their beliefs and a dedication to perform one of America’s most sacred civil duties; they will VOTE.