Claremore Daily Progress

Columnists

November 1, 2010

Teenager’s perspective on upcoming election

CLAREMORE — An accusation commonly heard from society is that American teens are oblivious and indifferent in their attitudes towards the government, its functions and its role in society. The majority of the teenage population is not interested in politics and for good reason. This is the time for teenagers where their lives become juggling acts. High school academics is a challenging step-up from junior high academics. Sports, along with other extracurricular activities, become black holes for a teenager’s time. Life at home can be just as time consuming with homework, family chores and the quest for a job. Then, the added pressure of maintaining life outside of the required facets of a teen’s life include friends, hobbies, and keeping up with modern culture in clothing, technology and other activities. This, kindled with the fact that teens under 18 cannot vote, is an appropriate justification for teens to put no focus in an area in which they can have no influence.

Even so, elections have a huge impact on American teenagers. The majority of topics for the upcoming election have little to no impact in the immediate lives of American teens, but it will form the future rules and regulations of the society that teens will grow up in. Proposals accepted or declined during this election will take effect in the few years to come when the new rules and changes will affect teenagers.

One subject of nearly every election is education. This is the one topic of elections in which it does not directly affect voters, however, it has a huge impact on the life of every teen. Some voters may approach the topic of education as more tax money that has to be paid from their wallets. Voters need to perceive education for what it really is. Voting pro-education is investing into the future and will be multiplied back into society.

Owasso High School senior Colton Ward had this to say to voters, “Keep in mind that when you are voting, you are voting to invest into the future of Oklahoma.”

Since education is such a dominating part of teenagers’ lives, voters should get involved in the public schools in their area. Voters can participate in different school activities like sporting events. They can also invest some spare time into visiting a nearby school or by taking time to think back on the lasting effect that education has had in their lives and in the people around them.

Owasso High School senior Kelsey Parks had this to say about those who are able to vote, “A lot of people over 18 are so far removed from schools that it is hard for them to see what is going on in schools and what the education is like.”

Voting needs to be treated as not just a right, but a privilege. With the power to vote comes the responsibility of voting. The people that take great value in the education of teens, as well as those even younger, understand that these kids are the future, and part of the quality of the future is in the hands of those that can vote.

“Without research it is hard to make a qualified decision for voting,” says Eric Blosser, semi-finalist for the National Merit Association Scholarship. “Voters need to take their decisions seriously by investigating the topic so they can make an educated vote while always keeping in mind the importance that education has on every individual.”

Matthew Delaney is a student at Lincoln Christian School. 

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