As a child, I was raised in an extremely political household. For as far back as I can remember, my parents were involved in one campaign or another. They were managers for mayoral candidates, senatorial races and various others. My father was a candidate for office in 1974. Whether the candidate or my father won or lost, there was always one common denominator: they were all Democrats.
As a naive youngster, I assumed having Democratic parents meant I too was to follow in their footsteps. I never really understood what it meant, I just assumed I was one too. Just as my religion. They were Jewish therefore I was as well.
As I grew older and they continued their constant involvement I felt the urge to put any talk of politics out of my own life. I didn’t like that it had taken them away from home as often as it did. Yet, when I reached voting age, I was excited to punch the democratic ticket. It didn’t matter if I knew a single thing about the candidates.
Over the years I continued to only vote the donkey ticket. I had no idea why. I picked up tidbits here and there about who was running but I still had the urge to pay as little attention as possible. I am admittedly ignorant in the political arena.
I believe that parents should educate their children on politics and the benefits and key beliefs of each party. Voting is a freedom that we all enjoy and the choice of who to vote for should be every individuals own personal decision.
When an 18 year old is preparing to vote for the first time, have they been given their options? Have they been taught about both parties and realize they have a choice?
Each party has their own set of values, purpose and goals. Democrats are liberal, Republicans are conservative. Why shouldn’t children be taught about each party before they are old enough to vote? I'm not aware of what high schools are teaching these days so perhaps there is some education at that level. However, is that enough?
With this being a huge election year, I think we have a lot of work to do with our first time voters. Other than what they learn at home which unfortunately includes the barrage of negative campaign ads, there needs to be more education on each party and it's candidates. Watching those negative ads gives us nothing more than thoughts of tossing a few bricks through the TV screen.
So, what to do. Even if it goes against your beliefs, discuss in a possibly non biased manner what each party stands for. Wikipedia has good, basic explanations of the structure and ideology of the parties. Have your soon to be voter read these. Let THEM decide which party better suits THEIR beliefs, not yours. Have them watch debates. Have them read about the current candidates. Let them vote based on an informed decision, not just because you have your own set of beliefs.
This country of ours is not in a good way. Finding and electing good, quality leaders is becoming more and more difficult. Political corruption has become almost daily news. The younger generation is who will be affected most in the long run; it's their future these elections will affect more than anyone. So, keep your own beliefs to yourself. Let your children decide on their own.