Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, left, and U.S. President Barack Obama attend the first presidential debate at Denver University on Wednesday, October 3, 2012, in Denver, Colorado. (Image courtesy of MCT campus)
American teens are often referred to as the “future” by our parents’ generation.
Heck, teenagers have always been viewed as the future, but looking at our generation, my generation, there is a big red flag waving in our faces saying “Hey look over here! I have no idea what’s going on” but no one seems so take that to heart and try to educate young adults on what is really happening in our country.
The main argument Gazette opinion writer Clayton Fox made in his last opinion article was that the voting age should be lowered to 16 since that is the age that people can start legally working. Working means they then have to pay taxes and if they have to pay taxes, shouldn’t they get a say in where their tax money is going?
This is a valid argument and I do agree that if teens are to contribute to this country, they should get a say in how it is ran, but where his argument loses its validity is the matter of whether they are educated enough and have experienced life enough to make a justified opinion.
“No, I don’t keep up with the news or watch it. I don’t know what the candidates have to offer and it really doesn’t interest me,” stated Liliana Mejia, a junior at Granite Hills.
Many teens do not have any knowledge about how our government works, let alone know enough to develop a valid opinion. Is it not our elder’s job to educate the leaders of tomorrow? Is it not their job to at least attempt to deliver educated voters, leaders, workers, and voices to the next generation?
I can honestly say I am ashamed at the lack of education in government matters that my generation is absorbing!
“In my junior classes, I teach my students the background of politics and what Democrats and Republicans stand for but there are standards that we have to stick to,” stated John Wilder, a social studies teacher at Granite Hills.
Take our President, President Barack Obama for instance. Many people only voted for him because of the color of his skin, which is a form of racism. This means that a white man would not be chosen as president because he is white. Wasn’t it the reverse in the 1800s?
When talking to fellow classmates, the only thing they can say about our leader is that he is “black.” There is no opinion on his politics or judgment about what has happened to our country, whether it is good or bad.
When speaking to Granite Hills’ junior Christina Medina about her support for our President, this is what she had to say: “When President Obama was voted into office, I was one of those people who thought ‘How cool would it be to have our first African American president?’ however, I didn’t really think or care about his politics.”
This is not an opinion saying that our president was a bad choice. That is a whole other matter. This is an obvious observation that our future is lacking much needed knowledge that, with a little time and care, could be easily fixed.
Our parents, teachers, and civic leaders must take teens under their wings and educate them! Make us read the newspaper! Force us to listen to something other than music on the radio! It starts with a little push from the adults and a little interest from the leaders of tomorrow. Our elders are the ones who will mentor the leaders of the future and we are the ones who will lead America into the future.