Why Democracy? –Citizenship– Protest–Advocacy– and Why Vote?
These are the topics we discussed this week, and what an incredible time to be talking about them! It’s no secret that the United States is living in tumultuous political times, full of discord, strong opinions, and heartfelt concern for how to protect our democracy and the principles on which our nation was founded.
I think many of us who were born and raised in the U.S. take democracy for granted. We can’t imagine any other way and believe that of course, we should have a say in the laws that govern and define us! As difficult as these political times have been, one good thing that has come from it is more and more people taking an interest in “politics” and the people we are electing to represent us. For years, much of the population has been complacent about voting, about government policies- believing “neither party is any good”, “no matter what I do, politicians are crooks.”
But difficult and volatile political times have caused many people to rise to the challenge of living in a democratic community. Feeling the risk to “life as we know it” has caused us to realize that important issues such as healthcare, welfare, social security, homelessness, poverty are not political issues- they are human issues that affect us all. Political awareness, activism, and plans to vote are on the rise among young people. According to a Tufts CIRCLE (Center for Information & Research on Civil Learning and Engagement) survey,
“Young people see 2020 as a time to exercise their potential power. Overall, 83% of those surveyed believe young people have the power to change the country, 60% say they feel they are part of a movement that will vote to express its views, and 79% of young people say the COVID-19 pandemic has helped them realize that politics impact their everyday lives.”Tufts University Tisch College · CIRCLE
Source: CIRCLE/Tisch College 2020 Pre-Election Youth Poll “New Poll: Young People Energized for Unprecedented 2020 Election”, June 30, 2020.
I believe one good thing happening this election year is that everyone, young and old, are beginning to believe it’s never too late to advocate for what you believe in, to truly work towards the good of all people–for these are the things that make a great nation and a great democracy. Thank you to the City Club of Cleveland for giving us a chance to celebrate 5Days4Democracy.