GUEST VIEW: Teens should follow the presidential race too

By Daily News • Last Updated 11:19 am on Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Guest View | Grace Fowler

November is a crucial time for the United States. We have the opportunity to exercise our right as Americans and vote for a new president. The president helps make decisions that change the way our lives function on a day-to-day basis and, on a larger scale, over the course of a lifetime. Many teenagers don’t educate themselves about politics because it is a very complicated, confusing and mature topic.

Some of my peers are about to turn 18 and, therefore, could vote in the November election. Very few of them have any idea what either of the candidate’s stances are on any of the issues. Hardly anyone my age watches the news, reads the newspaper or watches the presidential debates. When I ask my peers whom they are going to vote for, most of them have no idea. The ones who do have an answer, often don’t know why they support one candidate over the other.

Most teenagers rely on what their friends say, what their parents say or what the commercials say. Unfortunately, when they cast their ballots in November they will not have made an educated decision.

Employment is one of the biggest issues in this year’s election and it affects people my age as well. Some of my friends have jobs, others are looking, and I know some plan to work throughout college or when they graduate. I don’t think teenagers realize that whoever is elected president can affect whether or not they are able to get a job.

Most teenagers, I know firsthand, are crazy busy and might be wondering how they can possibly educate themselves in such a short period of time before the election. I have recently started watching the news while I eat my breakfast in the mornings. You also could watch a little before you go to bed or read the newspaper on the bus.

If there are issues that you’re curious about or issues that you know are going to affect you in the future, Google each candidate’s position. Try to watch each candidate speak or, even better, watch a debate. Figure out how you feel about the issues and then compare that with how either candidate feels. See who you think will make the most positive impact in your life and the lives of your fellow Americans.

Being a teen, you might think these things are not relevant to your life and should be left up to the adults. You’re wrong. It might not directly affect your life tomorrow or the next day, but a few years down the road you are going to wish you had paid more attention and made an educated decision. You can’t complain if you didn’t plug into the world around you. Step up and take an active role in your life.

Grace Fowler is a senior at Greenville High School.

The opinions expressed in the Guest View do not necessarily represent the opinions of The Daily News.

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