Why Politics Should Matter to Teenagers (Even If They Can’t Vote)

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Most teenagers are not able to vote and this leads many to believe that politics don’t matter to them, that they shouldn’t be thinking about such things yet, but this is far from the truth.
Politics directly affect all teenagers. Immigration policies affect minority teens who either immigrated or have families that immigrated here. Gay rights affect 8% of students and how they are viewed by society (“A Teen Health Survey Crucial to US Public Policy is Finally Asking Kids About Their Sexual Orientation”). Transgender rights affect 3% of high school students (“More U.S. Teens Identify as Transgender, Study Finds”) . The #metoo movement, Brett Kavanaugh case, among other cases, affect one in nine girls and one in fifty-three boys (“Children and Teens: Statistics”). Education laws and funding affect all students who want to learn. Gun laws affect 36% of American households that have guns and students that live through shootings (“American Gun Ownership Drops to Lowest in 30 Years”). Mental health spending affects one in five teens. Some topics, like climate change and healthcare, don’t discriminate and affect everyone of all backgrounds.
Teenagers also have to think about the world they want to live in someday. They may not be able to vote on the issues that affect themselves and the world around them at this juncture in time, but it’s vital to think about them early and have your voice heard because someday, teenagers will grow up and be the ones running the world.
Most teenagers may not be able to vote, but they still all are protected under the First Amendment, so they should utilize their voices and be heard. We can write letters to government officials, attend political meetings, peacefully protest and even write journalistic pieces.
It is true that most teenagers cannot vote, but this does not mean that politics shouldn’t be important to them or that they don’t affect them. Everyone in the United States is affected by politics in some way. More so, it’s important for teenagers to have discussions and think about what is important to them politically to know what world they want to fight to live in. Even if a teenager can’t vote, that doesn’t mean their voice isn’t heard because a vote is a small means in which their opinion gets out there.

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