My Opinions Matter

Nora Lupi - Madison, Wisconsin
As heard on The Bob Edwards Show, August 31, 2012
Nora Lupi

To be true to herself, Nora Lupi believes she must speak up – especially about politics. She developed her opinions during dinner table debates with her parents. Now in college, Lupi is eager to join the dialogue about the future of our country.

Age Group: Under 18
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When I was growing up, I was a teenager no one listened to—and I grew sick of it. So, I’m here to let America know that the future of our country, those kids you’ve raised and sent through high school, the ones you thought were so easily distracted, are strong and we want to be heard.

Many people throughout my life told me to shut up or mind my own business when I attempted to express my opinions on politics, gay marriage, abortion or the death penalty. What I have come to realize is that I have just as much right as anyone to say how I feel about whatever topic I choose. I no longer believe that I should just blend in with the crowd. I am ready to make a stand and shout out to the whole world what my opinions are.

I believe that teenagers have just as much capacity to speak about the government as anyone else does. I do not think that I am any less informed than the next person, regardless of their age. I know that if I don’t speak my mind, I will not be true to my nature.

I was raised in a family where politics were always discussed and debated. Many times my parents and I argued for half the night over the same issues the Supreme Court deals with. It was in this climate that I started to form my own opinions about the government. I learned that my opinions matter.

So why does it constantly seem as if teenagers are insignificant?

Unfortunately I know the answer. I know that the answer is that the government is not looking far enough into the future. I am not recognized as a future president, a future CEO or a future revolutionary. All I am to them is a loud, obnoxious teenager. I think it is time that we are heard for more than what we are perceived as. It is time for me to be recognized for my knowledge, my interest and my ability to lead.

So, America, were you all not in my place once, with no power to speak and be heard? Isn’t it time for the future of America to begin voicing our opinions about important issues?

I believe it is. I believe in so much more than freedom of speech. I believe in the power and strength of the future America, and I believe that it is time we all took a stand. I believe in us.

Nora Lupi is an art history major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She attended rallies and volunteered for campaigns on campus during the 2008 election season. Lupi says she continues to debate politics with her parents, who live in Manhattan.

Homepage photo illustration by Chim Chim via Flickr