This I Believe

Barbara - Crestwood, Kentucky
Entered on August 14, 2007

This I Believe

I believe my generation has failed our adults of tomorrow. Two generations ago our grandparents voted in every election and knew about the candidates running for office. This reverence for the democratic process has been garnered with pride for my generation, but it seems to have stopped with the baby boomers.

I can remember listening to my parents and other adults discussing political candidates. I vividly remember John F. Kennedy’s name and that he was a Catholic Democrat, I was six years old. That generation knew each candidate’s platform and they made rational decisions at the voting booth.

As soon as I turned eighteen, I registered to vote and my first Presidential Election was the year Jimmy Carter won. I had graduated from high school and was working as a bookkeeper for a small business. I discussed the election with my co-workers, who were my parent’s age.

Move the clock forward forty years and I’m having a conversation with my nineteen-year-old niece. She could tell me everything that is happening to Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, and Brittany Spears. I started discussing our next Presidential Election and she asked me if President Bush was a Republican or Democrat.

I didn’t want to react with such disbelief, so I calmly said, “President Bush is a Republican.” She gave a nudge with her shoulder as if my answer didn’t mean anything to her anyway. She was probably just humoring me by faking interest in the topic at hand. She isn’t registered to vote and has absolutely no idea who is running for office. She is a lovely, caring young lady, but her world is all about “me.”

My niece’s generation is all about “me.” They live for the moment and aren’t planning for the future. So where did I fail as an aunt? If I have all this passion for our honorable right to vote in the greatest country, how did I let my niece slip through without knowing the most basic information about our President?

I am not basing all of my concerns on one nineteen-year-old. I believe this is a common thread for a great deal of the younger generation. Now that I have realized this constitutional right has been overlooked, I will make every effort to help this up and coming generation learn about our duty as citizens. I cannot absolve myself from the responsibility of teaching the younger generation the power of standing in that voting booth and given the freedom to select the candidate you believe is the best choice based on your own personal integrity, ethics and moral values.