I feel strongly about this election, really strongly. But the truth is I always feel that way. My country doesn’t ask much from me: serve on jury duty, pay taxes and go vote. The very least I can do to live in a free democracy is to jump into a voting booth for a few minutes every few years.
APPARENTLY our kids do NOT feel the same way. 18-24 year olds don’t vote. They just don’t. In the last presidential election these young adults voted at half the rate of their parents. And while I know there is a laundry list of reasons why they cannot take five minutes away from Tik-Tok to do their civic duty, to have a voice in their own future, I am not buying it.
Not voting is not acceptable It is not alright that they take a pass on carrying the torch of democracy into the next generation. JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
But what to do? If your 18-24 year old kid is 100% fully and totally independent, God bless you and you are out of luck, you have lost your leverage. But few of our kids are entirely independent. They are on our cell phone plans, they borrow our Netflix passwords, they’ve moved back home and we are cooking for them, and/or we are paying their tuition.
And you know what they can do to ensure that that have access to our continuing support and WIFI…they can vote. That simple. They can uphold their responsibility to our republic and the Amazon Prime password is all theirs. They step into a voting booth and become a citizen of our nation and spring tuition is paid.
Why some young adults do not vote:
So, GenZ’s, about those reasons you don’t vote…
1. You don’t like the candidates? You don’t think there is anyone worth voting for.
Got news for you, kidlettes, we grownups often feel that way, too. Just look at the polls. It doesn’t matter if you don’t love the candidates. Someone is going to get elected. Democracy gives us a choice, no one ever said it was the perfect choice.
2. You don’t feel you have much at stake.
You have no kids, no mortgage and, in some cases, no job. Again, do I need to remind you? Here is what is at stake…the future. Your future. The future of your children. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the people who do vote, your parents, your grandparents, we won’t even be around to see if we got it right. So, don’t give me your excuses.
3. You feel you don’t know enough about the issues.
That’s on you. You have access to all the information in the entire world in the pocket of your hand. If you chose to use your phone for Instagram instead of learning about the issues facing our country, honestly, I just don’t know what to say. You are the most well-educated generation in history. Collectively we have all dug a big hole of debt to get you that education, now use it.
4. You don’t like what is going on in Washington, frankly, it makes you sick.
Have you not been listening to your parents? We hate Congress, we loathe what is happening in Washington, both parties are a source of scorn. But here is the thing, not voting doesn’t make it better. It doesn’t make anything better. And voting is the only chance we have of changing anything.
5. Voting is so 20th century.
Yes, we get that, too. We wish voting was as easy as ordering a latte at Starbucks and paying with the app on our phones, but our country isn’t there. But you can order a mail-in ballot on the internet and all you need to know how to do is put the stamp in the right place on the envelope.
How about this? You vote the old-fashioned way this time and support smart people whose ideas may make voting more technologically friendly in 2024.
6. You’re busy and voting takes too long.
We know that it will require you to get up a bit earlier to vote before work or school and that can be a bother. But our democracy is a beautiful thing and totally worth getting up early for. Think for one minute about the members of your generation in every corner of the world who live in countries that will never allow them to vote. Then STFU and go vote.
So dear newly-minted voters, here’s what we want you to know: You were fortunate enough to be born in the waning days of the 20th century or the first days in this one, in one of the greatest countries on Earth. In exchange for this life-changing bit of good fortune, you will vote. You will vote in every election and you will have a good attitude about it.
No complaining on social media that you are only doing it because we, your parents, insisted. And here is the deal. No vote, no cell phone. No vote, no Netflix password. No vote, don’t even ask us to treat you like adults, because adults vote.
PS. If you haven’t registered or need to change your registration to the state where you’ll be in college or working this November, here’s how:
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