I caught this photo this past week of Vivienne Westwood in Britain with a shirt on that said “Don’t Let an Older Generation Decide Your Future. Register to Vote”. It really struck me.
Then I watched Bernie Sanders give his speech detailing his future plans. There is no doubt based on the stats of Bernie’s voters that he got out the vote for the young and sparked a flame pointing out the issues that the youth is frustrated by. I get it.
Towards the end of his speech he challenges the young to get involved in politics, to embrace politics as a platform to incite change.
Years ago, in the mid-90’s, when the tech scene was just starting in NYC, there were more than a handful of politicians who came and talked to people who were interested in politics. I was one of them. These politicians wanted us to come to Capitol Hill and talk on a panel for senators. Not one of us had any interest in that. After all, why didn’t they use technology to talk to us? Didn’t they see the future?
Fast forward the private world has jumped ahead of the back end (and front end) of the political world to the point where the disconnect is a huge divide. I don’t see many kids interested in running for office who are really big picture, deep thinking intellects yet that is what we need. The young seem more disenfranchised with politics for good reason. There were over a dozen candidates that ran for the Republican nomination and the majority of them are egomaniacs who are backed by one person with very deep pockets using the delegate as a puppet. How can the youth get excited about getting involved with politics when they see the power game being played out in Washington with no care about the people.
The message that Westwood wore on her t-shirt is spot on. There is a deep divide between the youth and the older generation. Technology is changing our world. The youth see where we are going and politics doesn’t appear to engage, excite or give the youth a reason to get to the polls or get involved.
Not sure how we change this but certainly rolling back the amount of no limits from private individuals through PACS who give huge sums of cash to a candidate thanks to the Supreme Court might be a step in the right direction. As for Britain, I hope the youth get out the vote because it is their future more than anything else that is being voted on this week.