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Why are teenagers not always concerned with politics?

Author: Aidan Rees

I am a Senior in High School and I turn 18 this November. Even though I am almost an adult, I know very little about politics and what each candidate stands for in the election. I know I need to educate myself about what is going on in today's world, but like Nikki Africano said in her discussion "Upcoming Elections," I cannot make myself interested or motivated to learn more about government, politics, and the issues at hand. I know I am not the only ignorant teenager out there that has this problem. So why is it that kids my age have a hard time finding inspiration to care? I have a few ideas why.

A social étiquette I have learned is that talking about politics is usually not a good topic for conversation. If often makes people heated, and is often rude to ask someone what party they identify with. Many people want to keep their view to themselves, hoping not to cause controversy with others, and out of insecurity that someone might attack their own views. This tip to not bring up politics has been stressed to me, so it never even crossed my mind to start thinking about politics until my school had me take Government as my social studies requirement.

As a teenager, I am really not thinking about how the economy is doing or about health care because I am not in charge of my own money or health insurance. So policies concerning these topics have never seemed important to me until lately when I realized, when I am an adult, I will have the chance to for vote for people who will try to do what I want to do with the economy or make everyone purchase healthcare. I will be in charge of how I run my own life, so theses policies will soon apply to me.

We often hear our parents or other adults in our life complain about politicians and the "system." When there are so many complaints like this, I would not naturally want to learn more about this topic that makes everyone so annoyed. I would not want to get involved. So far, politics has only been portrayed as a cluttered and frustrating thing instead of a method that gets things done in our country.

Many teenager's parents are fairly confident on their political views, and kids tend to lean whichever way their parents do as they are great influences on their kid's lives and how they view the world. So when a kid knows how their parents feel, and will often get a one sided answer to a question about politics, a kid might not see how someone else could argue what their parents have told them. A parent can convince their child of thinking about an issue one way, so the kid might not see the need to argue about in the first place, therefore not feeling motivated to hear care about a matter when it is settled in their minds.

Ultimately, I think it is not someone my age's fault for not knowing much or caring to know much about politics. I believe we have grown up in an environment where issues have not been applicable or appealing to us until the past year or two. It is not an excuse, however, to not educate myself. I just do not blame myself for not feeling motivated quite yet.

DMU Timestamp: February 15, 2016 23:03

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