This I Believe

Kaitlin - Lexington, South Carolina
Entered on October 31, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Politics play an important role in the American society today. America is a democracy in which people have many freedoms one being the right to vote. Therefore, I believe when we are given this privilege of political opinion, it is crucial for us as American citizens to exercise it.

Reaching the age of eighteen is an important milestone in a teenager’s life. They gain the right to vote along with various other rights. Therefore, many young adults believe that politics do not concern them until they reach the age of eighteen. However, I believe that this is not true. It is essential for teenagers like myself who are not yet of voting age to still be aware of the political issues affecting our country. The knowledge that we gain now will only prepare us when we become of the age to vote. Our political opinion must be voiced because we must show the country we care. We care about what is going to happen to our parents’ retirement savings. We care about how global warming is affecting the environment. Our concern for this matter is vital, because we are the future of the country and if we do not care, who will?

I work as a river guide in the summer leading customers down the river in kayaks. I always tell them that if they encounter rapids or rough rocky sections of the river to keep paddling and keep their paddle in the water, because once they take their paddle out of the water, they have no control over which direction their kayak is going. This is a perfect illustration of the importance of political involvement. When the country enters tough times or “rapids”, it is imperative that we keep our “political paddle of opinion” in the water, because if we stop “paddling” for the issues that matter most to us, we will have no input on the direction that our country takes. The day we quit voicing our opinions is the day America loses its democracy.

The right to vote is an important right that everyone should exercise. It is one of the easiest ways to make your voice heard in politics. However, you are called to express your position not only through voting. It is through standing up for what you believe is right. It is through donating money to causes that you support. It is through campaigning for politicians that you believe will represent your values in the government that will truly bring about changes. So, always remember to vote because as William Simon said, “Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote.”

I believe in always voicing your opinion on politics even if you are the only one raising your hand. As November 4th approaches, remember that the direction of the country is in your hands…so say what you need to say, because what happens in 2008 will affect us for years to come in many aspects of our lives whether it be healthcare or the economy. America is a democracy run by the people and for the people… well that is if we keep on “paddling” for what we believe in.