Some People Are Too Old to Vote


Picture by Violet Mbela

By Violet Mbela, Staff Writer

When we are young, we are all told that we will be able to vote at eighteen, and that it will be one of the greatest things we can do as an adult– our civic duty as an American citizen. But as we grow older, we begin wondering if our vote really matters at all. Studies show that most millennials do not believe they have any real sway in the political scene. Therefore, most simply do not vote at all and leave their futures and the futures of those too young to vote in the hands of older generations, who have no reason to be involving themselves in some of the many issues addressed in voting ballots.

An unnamed source dropped this gem of a quote on BrainyQuote, “Why should someone order for the table if they’re leaving the restaurant?” By carelessly voting on issues that have no relevance to them, the elders pose trouble for the younger generations who are actually affected by such issues but don’t or can’t vote.

In a video titled “Dear young people, ‘Don’t Vote’” by NAIL Communications is a chilling PSA to the young people of America who have the privilege to vote but do not take it, letting those who are well-off continue to hold their power over others. An old woman in the video scoffs at the question of climate change, saying, “Climate change? That’s a you problem. I’ll be dead soon.” While the video is a dramatized PSA striving towards scaring the younger generations into getting involved and voting, there are real people who think this way, and consequently vote on propositions and government officials that do nothing to help solve very real issues. This problem applies tenfold towards minorities, who need to vote in order to keep some basic human rights (as we saw with the turning point in the Gay Marriage vote/debate). The video goes on to cut to another old woman, who apathetically states that, “Sure, school shootings are sad, but I haven’t been in a school for 50 years,” while a different elderly woman complains that, “I can’t remember which lives matter anymore.”

Older generations cannot connect with the fear that we, as modern students, face when we see the news of another school shooting through social media, or when someone sends fake threats, or even real threats, like the incident we saw at Highland High School last year. The truth is that there are real problems that our elders are apathetic about and have no reason to care at all.

The video ends by saying that while the older generation goes out to vote for the midterms and primaries, young people don’t. “We’ll be there, but you won’t. Because we’re a generation of doers. Not whiners. We’re doing great.” And this is the truth, no matter how unfortunate it is.

The Holy See in Vatican City is the only place where we see a voting cap, or maximum voting age. In Vatican City, electing a new Pope is restricted to cardinals under the age of 80, while the voting age is 16.

Now, America’s church and state are completely separated, so not only would this legislation not be supported by the more conservative population, which consists mainly of old-timers, it simply would not translate. It would be shot down as unconstitutional within days, so the only real solution we as a younger generation can look towards is the fight to get more people out and involved in the politics that affect them and the people they love. We need to get more young people to the ballots before we are stuck on a decaying planet shaped by people who are no more.