On Monday October 22 we had another 35 students watch the final Presidential Debate.
We ate pizza, drank pop, and talked politics while we watched Mitt Romney and President Obama square off. One thing was very clear to me regarding these events. Young people do have an interest in what is happening in their world. The fact that you all came, that you were interested and involved in pertinent conversation during and following each debate gives me pause to think that maybe there is a chance for us to resurrect this democracy.
Guys – things are not currently good in this country . I’m not talking about the 8% unemployment rate or the fact they we seem to be involved in military conflict all over the globe or that we have a sixteen trillion dollar debt or that it costs you an arm and a leg to attend college. These things no doubt are serious issues. But they are symptoms of a broken system, not causes of our troubles.
Our problem is “We the People”. We don’t pay attention anymore to what happens in our name. We barely drag ourselves to the polls. My generation has dropped the ball – that’s for sure. We seldom share rational discussion when it comes to politics. We don’t even speak for ourselves anymore. We leave it to talk radio and cable news shows to dictate how we should think. Then we live in a chosen echo chamber and shout across the aisle at one another. We don’t communicate. We don’t think. We certainly don’t listen.
These debates, this exercise in grassroots involvement by you instills in me just a little hope to think that maybe your generation will actually do its homework, think through the issues, and make political choices based on reflective thought. You better – the stakes are getting more and more dire.
Congratulations for being involved in these debates, in this election; continue to “stay awake” to issues of the world. Continue to challenge in your government, your country, and the significant issues that face your generation.
I enjoyed the time spent with you all. And I am very very impressed.