And why do they keep trying to change the rules?
I felt a bit of relief after the midterm elections. The red tsunami the Republicans promised was more of a gentle lap of a manmade pond.
What saved us from the big wave? The massive turnout of young voters. It’s estimated that nearly 30% of the 18-29 demographic showed up at the polls to let their voice be heard. That’s the second most significant percentage in history behind the 2020 Presidential election.
Naturally, Republicans weren’t too keen on this and are already tossing out thoughts of new legislation to increase the voting age to 21. Really? This party has recently decided that 10-year-olds are old enough to be forced into motherhood by a rapist. They certainly feel that 18-year-olds are mature enough to own AR-15’s. But voting? Hey, now. 18-year-olds are only old enough to incubate fetuses and shoot guns. But deciding the direction of our country? That takes real maturity.
This brings to mind the words of Lord Farquaad from Shrek, a movie that this younger demographic knows well:
“Some of you may die, but that’s a sacrifice I am willing to make.”Lord Farquaad
A lack of empathy for real constituents is apparent in this party. The only voices they hear are those of evangelicals and corporations. They seem to only want to listen to voices that will bring them power and money. The rest they simply want to silence.
I guess it’s not enough to gerrymander voting districts. It’s not enough to make voting more difficult than it’s ever been in many states. It’s not enough to claim election fraud every time they lose. Let’s eliminate the young voters, too. You know, the ones who will have to live with the consequences of our current government for decades to come.
If our voices didn’t matter so much, they wouldn’t make it so difficult for them to be heard.
My daughter and I make it a tradition to vote early in November elections when she is home from fall break from college. We look forward to voting together. The first time she was able to vote, the poll workers clapped for her. It was very special!
I have always voted. I looked forward to gaining my right to vote since I took civics in 8th grade! I think it’s so important to carry out our civic duty, even if I’m not super crazy about the candidates. I have to choose the one that most closely aligns with my beliefs.
Thankfully, It turns out that beliefs and issues matter to young people. Things like bodily autonomy, common sense gun control, legalizing cannabis, LGBTQ rights, and climate change are important, and they wanted us to know that.
This generation has come of age at a time when abortion was legal, access to contraceptive care was a given, active shooter drills were frequent, and same-sex marriage was legalized. They see that our nation has the highest incarceration rates of any other developed country, with many serving time for petty drug crimes. They are also watching their earth succumb to the damage that previous generations have caused, and wonder what will be left for their kids.
How do I know? Because I’m the mother of young adults in this demographic.
Instead of punishing young people for giving a shit, maybe the Republican party should realize that the track they are following to the extreme right is simply not palatable to these newly minted adults. But that would take introspection, common sense, and empathy. That would require breaking their addiction to power. That would require looking at the world through the lens of the future leaders of this country, the very demographic they wish to suppress.
But changing the rules to fit their agenda? That’s what losers do.
If the Republican party is successful in raising the voting age to 21, this will be a huge blow to voting rights. If this idea picks up steam, we must act. Our children are counting on us to stick up for them.
As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.
Lead photo: free image from Pexels for WordPress. Second: with my daughter after voting in the 2020 Presidential election.