Special Election: Why Should Teens Get Politically Involved?

  |  Topic: Atlanta Teen Voices, Opinion, Politics
By By Andrew Rovinsky

Today’s special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional district is getting national attention. Here, one teen speaks out about why he got involved, even though he can’t yet vote. 

At the age of 14, I took a great interest in the 2016 election, which can only be described as historical. I was always watching television to see the latest breaking news about the candidates. Even after the election of Donald Trump, I drowned my liberal sorrows in watching comedians such as Samantha Bee and John Oliver, who, while basing their material on the news of the day, provide a satirical perspective that aligns with my position on most issues.

I live in Georgia’s sixth congressional district, where we are having a special election Tuesday, April 18, to fill Tom Price’s congressional seat. Tom Price is a Republican who was appointed U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Trump administration. Now, we have an opportunity to elect a Democrat to the seat for the first time in decades. Because of what I believe was a disastrous last election, this special election takes on greater importance to me — even though I can’t vote.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the leading Democratic candidate, Jon Ossoff, at an event hosted by my neighbor. I decided to go to the event because I thought it would be fascinating to learn about the leading candidate in my area and more about the political process.

I learned about Ossoff’s background, prior experience and his ideas for making America proud again. I was inspired to see teenagers, seemingly just a bit older then me, volunteering with the congressional campaign. I believe it is important for all teenagers to learn about candidates, no matter the election, and it is important to keep up with what is going on in the world and politics around us.

During the presidential election campaign season, I would get into heated arguments with my hockey teammates, who were mostly conservative. They would always end these arguments by saying, “Why do we care? We’re just kids. We can’t even vote!”

I believe it is important to know about the issues in the world even though we cannot vote. If we do not pay attention, we will not be ready when it is our turn to make a difference. If we don’t know about the issues that face our world, how are we supposed to fix them? How are we supposed to learn from the mistakes of the current world? We learn history to learn the mistakes of the past and to learn to never repeat them. Today, we are experiencing history in the making.

The opinions of teenagers matter and should be shared, as we are the people who will have to deal with these highly contentious and divisive issues in the future. Soon, it will be our turn to make America proud again!

Andrew, 15, is in eighth grade at The Galloway School and enjoys enjoy ice hockey, karate, video games and playing the alto saxophone — in addition to following politics.

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