New Generation, New Politics

Lena Dibiasio, Grade 9, Staff Writer

Many people in older generations love to say that “kids these days” get their political opinions from their parents. It’s true, a parent’s take on political issues in the news would influence a growing teen, but it's certainly not what defines their thinking. 


Growing up in an era of change and activism, high schoolers have been more exposed to the raw, emotional sides of our world today. Fire drills and lockdowns echo the trauma of the Parkland and Columbine school shootings. Children protesting climate change in the streets is a daily occurance. Turning on the television to see dozens of African American teens ruthlessly murdered due to police brutality is not unusual. This generation has seen so much and had to experience all of it with little voice in making a change. 

It’s no secret that there’s a large gap in views between the young and the old. The older members of society seem to care more about economic issues whereas younger generations seem to care more about social issues. Since teens witness so many injustices occurring in society, they tend to lean towards more liberal, leftist political ideals. 


Caitlin Levy [‘22] described her childhood as belonging to her, not her parents. “Any political views that differ from my parents are a product of not only my individuality, but of a different world––one with more tolerance but also a disturbing sense of hatred and threats to our planets and freedoms,” she said. 


A survey at HSAS showed that a majority of freshmen and sophomores would support Bernie Sanders if he were still running for president and are attracted to his calls for a revolution. He stands for the idea of a new wave of politics, preaching Medicare For All and tuition-free colleges. According to the New York times, more than 60% of democratic voters under the age of 30 supported liberal candidates like Bernie Sanders. This demographic is clear amongst the students of HSAS. 


On the contrary to the notion that kids get their political ideas from their parents, when the same Bernie supporters were additionally asked who their parents supported, most said Biden or Bloomberg. When pressed as to why, many admitted that their parents didn’t like how ‘radical’ Bernie was and that the two more conservative candidates would do more for the economy.

 

Parents of the current children of America didn’t grow up in as much political revolution and turmoil as today's teens have, and that shows through who they support in the elections. Furthermore, many parents grew up during the Cold War, in which socialist policies were highly stigmatized. 


While it may be the Bloomberg supporters voting in this election, ten years from now the young activists won't be so young anymore, and they’ll be ready to vote. Soon, they’ll be forging their paths into government positions and will start making the rules, pushing the older generations out of power. With a new generation comes change. 

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