July 19, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Confessions of an Ineligible Voter

This year’s general election proved to be very frustrating: Not because of who won or lost, but because the majority of my peer group, including myself, were approximately 4-6 months shy of being able to legally cast a vote. It’s especially disconcerting considering that the newly elected branches of government will directly impact our future when we graduate from college. Over the past few months, teens like myself have endured listening to people who are also our age debate one another; many of these debators were educated, however, some of them were not so informed.

Listening to teenagers debate about politics is often not so different from the conversations one may hear at the dinner table. I think a problem right now is that too many teens my age, despite being on the cusp of adulthood and independence, form their political views solely based on their parents’ beliefs. Many of us recall we were too uninformed four years ago. But in 2012, a lot of these verbal fisticuffs played out in social media such as Facebook and Twitter. In some cases, people chose to express their political views via a status update, which has the potential to attract about 1,999 opposing opinions.

My observation is that in some instances, this became an excuse for people to insult each other, and with no facts to back up their arguments. Some of what I witnessed was more akin to the Result Show on American Idol, where people were casting their votes based upon what was coolest, or what their parents thought. When teens merely regurgitate what is overheard at home, their opinions stray away from individuality and take on a lemmings quality.

Personally, I watched all of the debates and tuned into CNN nightly to keep me informed and current; which is interesting, because this time last year, my keeping up was more focused …with the Kardashians. I’m by no means a political buff, and nor do I profess to be, and I think that’s probably age appropriate. However, I’ll be sure to use the President’s second term to become more fully informed for when I get to vote for his successor in 2016.

In an après-election article in the Los Angeles Times, it seems so “Brentwood†that one of our polling stations was a nearby hotel that greeted the neighborhood voters with “Democracy Rules†smoked salmon sandwiches, iced-tea and complimentary valet parking. This local perk is in stark contrast to New Jersey, where many polling stations had been blown away, and the people are trying to warm up to voting through snowstorms and no power, after super-storm Sandy.

Due to current fiscal turmoil, graduating college students are finding it hard to find jobs that will allow them to be self-sufficient. In four years time when it’s my turn to vote for President, let’s hope our great country will have made a huge recovery. My peer group doesn’t yet get a vote, but we believe that America will offer our generation a far-improved world by the time we mark those cherished ballots. God bless our country as she tries to pull back from the fiscal cliff.

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