Why Teens Should Pay Attention To Politics


Lauren Klemowich

The American Flag symbolizes patriotism.

Lauren Klemowich, Staff Writer

Politics may not seem like it affects us on a daily basis but it does. Local government manages public schools while state governments control the roads. If you are doing any of these activities, government affects you.

Politics is not just about voting in elections or paying attention to what other politicians are doing. It is about using your first amendment right to freedom of speech, and letting your politicians know what you want done. Today, teenagers feel as if their voices are not important or will not be heard.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas kids put this notation to the test. Tragedy struck these young teens when fourteen students and teachers were killed in an act of gun violence. Instead of waiting for change, they demanded it, creating an organization called March For Our Lives where they call for action to end gun violence.

David Hogg, the co-founder for March For Our Lives recently came back into the news with a new gun-control program called “A peace plan for a safer America.” The new plan would increase restrictions for owning guns.

Because of their demands, Rick Scott, the past governor of Florida, passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. One provision of the new law raised the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21. Without these teens, the changes made may have come at a much later time or never come at all.

Shaina Francis, a senior in high school states “As teenagers, we are the future of our country. To not stay informed puts our generation at a disadvantage in keeping up with the times.”

This is not the first time America has seen young adults fight for change. During the Vietnam War, teenagers protested the war and sending young men to fight. Due to their protesting,  Amendment 26 was put into action allowing for eighteen-year-olds to now vote in elections. The idea that teens can not make changes is now not an excuse. Generation Z is the first generation to have the internet at the touch of a button. Having this access not only gives teens information in a second but allows for their voices to be heard.

Young people are known to vote considerably lower than the older population in America. However, Generation Z can not continue to go on the track that it is going on. That is because what happens in politics today will affect teens later down the road when they are graduating college, buying their first house, and starting their own families. The future is in our hands and if we are not going to go out and vote, we will then have no say in the policies and changes to government that will affect us.

For example, if a policy comes up about giving more financial aid to college students, older people may not vote for this because it will not help them. With young people also not voting, something that can be necessary for young adults will then not be put in place. 

Mr. Winkles, an AP U.S. Government teacher says, “kids should pay attention to what is happening in government because it will affect their future. This is because government is how you make money.”

On November 3rd, 2020, Americans all across the United States will be voting for not only who they want as president but as well as the many different polls on the ballot. If teens want to see a difference, they have to be the difference.

So in the end, you do not have to become obsessed with politics but staying updated is important when it is our present and future.

Start listening to your politicians and the ideals they hold. Do they align with your beliefs? Most importantly, vote for who you want to vote for.