Dear Future President,
Gen Z classifies children born from 1995 to present day. According to GenerationCalculator.com we are also known as Igen or the tech generation. We have information at our fingertips and are a very well informed cohort. Then why aren’t we voting? Personally, I believe my peers shy away from voting for a few reasons. We have so much information thrown at us constantly we have trouble filtering valid information from political junk. In this particular election there is no stand out obvious choice, unless you lean heavily on either side. Finding a middle ground is not an option. Lastly my Gen Z peers and I are notoriously selfish and frankly this election won’t affect us much in upcoming years.
Politics and scandals go hand in hand. It’s normal for opposing sides to air out each other’s dirty laundry. It’s up to the voter to decipher what they choose to be true. This is a flawed system. I’m not expecting complete honesty. I’m requesting politicians focus on their own issues they wish to address and put more effort into a clear and effective campaign instead of mudslinging. While this has proven to be an effective campaign strategy, the media has taken it too far. According to Filippo Menczer, Associate Professor of Informatics and Computer Science at the Indiana University, Bloomington, “There's no accountability," says Menczer. "I think it's scary. It's extremely easy to fabricate news [and] use these methods to manipulate the Web because people want to believe what they want to believe." Fear of misinformation and overall confusion is a roadblock for young voters.
No matter what party, the choice is clear. Each party votes for their nominee. This term, both candidates lack respect from their own side. What’s the solution? Change the mindset. Vote for a party, not a person. Voting for President is not voting for Homecoming Court. Yes, we vote for a person to be our next leader, but we also vote for their policies and the party that supports them.
JFK changed the election game with the televised debates. Young voters, I myself included, miss debates or are fully in the dark. They’re hard to follow unless you've kept up from the beginning. The way to see highlights now is through social media. However, once it’s published or clips are shown it’s already biased. Times are changing and we’re not a generation to sit in the family room and watch debates. The political media needs to modernize in order to entice young votes. “ The media's failure to make young people aware of issues is perhaps the biggest obstacle to increasing voter turnout among that age group, and may undermine other youth voter registration efforts,” says Filippo Menczer, Associate Professor of Informatics and Computer Science at the Indiana University, Bloomington. If the could get unbiased clips updating us on our phones or as a notification, young voters would be more informed and thus more enticed to vote.
One thing GenZ is known for is being uncannily selfish. Very simply young voters don’t vote because no matter the outcome, it won’t affect our near future. College won’t be free for us, but we also don’t have a mortgage to pay nor heavy taxes. Majority of us are still on our parents phone bill and insurance plan. There’s no point in voting if the biggest thing in four years is us receiving our college diploma. Upon interviewing a college student, Karenna Gore Schiff found out that young voters do care, but have to be realistic. “I care about that stuff," he told me. But it seems like it doesn't matter because only people with a lot of money and power really have a say in what happens." This mindset of “I’m just a kid who doesn’t make a difference” is so overwhelming, young voters simply wave the white flag. Young voters need to have their faith in democracy rekindled, and realize that decisions made this term will affect them and their futures down the road.
Young Voters who don't vote has become the normal. In order to reverse this trend there are steps Americans as a whole need to take. Politicians need to stop the constant mudslinging and focus on making their policies clear and more appealing to young voters. Media needs to report the facts and not sway the reader with political junk. The election this term has no stand out candidates. The voter needs the mindset of voting for the party and not the person. Lastly, preparing for the future and realizing decisions made now will affect not only us but our future children and family, will encourage my generation to vote. Voting is a privilege and we are blessed to be given this freedom.
Best Regards, Caris (Senior at Newbury Park High School)