The American Youth and the Rigid Political Climate | Teen Ink

The American Youth and the Rigid Political Climate

November 4, 2020
By pflorasmith BRONZE, Roanoke, Virginia
pflorasmith BRONZE, Roanoke, Virginia
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

With the current political climate of the United States, bipartisanship is at an all time low. What used to be a respectful system of challenging political, social, and moral values has turned into a divisive war over right and left. As a member of generation-z, I often ponder the effect this will have on young, impressionable people.

Perhaps the worst part about this whole political debacle is that we as Americans have lost the sense of what principles our country was founded on. America was built on the idea that everyone deserves justice, liberty, and equality; however it has unfortunately taken this long for us to realize that we have yet to fully achieve any of these. Amidst new conversations of fighting ethical injustices, many Americans have forgotten our core values of progression, comprehension, and education.  

On social media I see countless threats and slander against individuals in opposing political parties. Instead of what used to be a respectful sense of “agreeing to disagree,” the two-party system has turned into a stage where opinions have unrightfully been given validity. I have seen accounts of families and friends turning on each other over their political candidates and other party members. I watch as people ignore important issues just to meet invisible political criterion. I watch as children argue with each other despite not knowing the difference between fact and fiction.

When this happens I must ask myself, is this really what America stands for?

Is it truly worth it to end a friendship that could last a lifetime over a candidate that could be in office for a maximum of 8 years? Is it worth it to risk others’ safety just to prove your political point? Is it worth it to spread hatred towards people who feel differently than you do? Is it worth it to cross moral boundaries to show “good ol’ American patriotism”? Is it worth it to give people false stereotypes just because that’s what you have been told by the media? Is it worth it to teach our youth that the only way to share your opinion is through acts of violence? Is it worth it to teach children that a person is only as good as their candidate of choice? Is it worth it to ignore facts because they don’t fit your political persona? Is it really worth it to preach false American ideologies to young people?

When I ask myself these questions I wonder if we will ever come out of this downward spiral of hate and bigotry. I wonder also if the American youth is capable of realizing that what is happening now is not a reflection of true American idealisms.

As most of us are, I am worried about the future of the United States. There are real problems that need to be solved and real people that need their fellow citizens to advocate for them. The only way we can accomplish anything is to celebrate our differences and to recognize that we are fortunate enough to have them. As the American youth watches this intense battle between the right and the left, it is crucial that they are taught the importance of what it really means to be American.

The author's comments:

With the tensions rising with the election, I thought I might share my opinion on what is happening to the United States. I wrote a political article without diving too deep into actual political ideals and I tried to remain as neutral as possible. This is in no way meant to offend anyone, and I would love to hear opposing opinions! 

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