By Harry Pearse
Our generation seems to have a lack of interest in politics; only 45 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds voted in 2012, according to statistics from the US census Bureau.
This shows that less than half of first time voters actually vote, which isn’t a lot if you think about the vast number of people in this age bracket. Have times changed from when our grandparents could actually make change by protesting through the streets of Manhattan? I think they have.
In 2014, there was a ‘free Palestine’ march outside the Israeli embassy in London at which 15,000 protesters, many of them between the age bracket above, attended to voice their disgust in the unjust bombings and killings of innocent civilians by the IDF in occupied Palestine. In this huge protest throughout London, which disrupted many public transportation routes, the BBC only aired the protest in a one minute bulletin.
The constant violence and political problems in Gaza and the West Bank are still as treacherous as ever. This is not a new problem; there have been hundreds, if not thousands of protests that haven’t been covered or that haven’t gained any action from political parties.
If our generation is going to try and voice their political views or their worries about societal matters, for them just to be snubbed and chucked aside by the leaders of their country, then what hope should we hold for any change at all?
I believe that it isn’t our “laziness,” or “lack of interest” in current affairs, but mostly down to the ignorance of the puppets in charge of making change in the world. Many of us young adults just don’t think we can make a difference when it comes to our opinion on politics, so why vote? Although I strongly believe in the naivety of leaders, and their obstinacy not to listen to our generation’s thoughts and worries, I still think it is crucial for us all to keep informed about current affairs and politics around the world, whether this be for our classes at school, or just for general knowledge.
It’s important for us all to understand what is going on in the world that we live in, and most importantly in the countries we live: when the election is, what battles America is in, who’s going to be the next president?
These are types of things I think that all of us here at Post should take interest in, even if you don’t think it’s needed because no one cares what you think. The reason keeping in touch with politics is so important is simply because politics dictate everything!
It’s behind the college shootings that are happening all the time; should guns be made illegal? It’s behind all the lives that are lost in war; should we have gone into Iraq? It’s behind the recent legalization of cannabis in some states; should it be legal?
These are just some of the huge social changes that have, or are, affecting us all, and we should know some of the answers and debates behind then. Many of these issues will affect our lives in the future! There are some many easy ways that we can all just catch up on a little bit of politics and important events.
For example, there is a New York Times on every newspaper stand around school. If you haven’t ever seen a newspaper stand around school, I would be worried. They are the black rack things with paper stacks on them…not too hard to find.
Although newspapers can seem daunting, you don’t have to read the whole thing; maybe you could just learn one thing a day? That means, by Friday you have learned about five different political issues, problems and situations that are going on in the world. So easy!
Another simple way to stay informed is to just looking stuff up online! We all have electronic devices. All phones and iPads are capable of downloading apps, or searching on the Internet. Use these amazing resources to further your knowledge and interest in political matters.
Going to different lectures or groups around campus will really help increase your knowledge in politics. And by showing just an ounce of interest in the politics that run your life, you will be so surprised at how many conversations you can join into, as well as the self-confidence to speak about something other than how many tequila shots you had on the weekend. Give it a go!