Sen. Barack Obama is changing a world where parents often give advice to their children. Many super delegates or regular voters have recently admitted to switching their vote to the candidate that their young son or daughter favors. Even those who are not at voting age are having an influence on their parent’s decision on whom to vote for as our next president.
The shift in parent’s favoring their children’s decisions over theirs is both a good and a bad political change. In the 1970s, young adults naturally rebelled against President Nixon without their parents’ backing. It made them feel like they did not have to follow the norm and could express their opinions. Many were beaten in demonstrations and protests. Today we have another political era that is catching the attention of young people. However, instead of being punished for their political opinions, they are being supported by friends, family, and even by a wide variety of T-shirts that are available for all the candidates.
Parents of these young supporters have seemed to cave into the trend of voting for Sen. Obama. Do they simply not care enough about their own opinions or do they think looking “cool” in front of their children is more important?
When I choose a candidate or political issue that I am in favor of, I do not let anyone persuade me otherwise, because my choice is based on research, speeches, platforms and change that the candidate has made so far.
I may not be a parent, but even if I was, I would not let a child of mine override my own political decision, unless I had not researched candidates thoroughly enough. I would listen to the reasons why my child was so adamant about a candidate, but I would think about my own reasons as well.
It seems that the democratic primaries have become about swaying people to vote their way instead of letting people think about what they want to do. Candidates calling super delegates is nothing new to a presidential primary, but children as young as 18 having the power to persuade stubborn parents is a new development.
Most of my own family does not support the presidential candidate I have chosen to vote for in November. Even though I strongly voice my reasonings to them, they see my choice as unreliable compared to the other choices. I have had many debates with family members and friends about the candidates, but it ends with everyone still attached to their own opinion.
I think that the reason young teens are able to easily persuade their parent is that parents are always looking for ways to relate to their children. Between ages 18 and 21, young adults may become rebellious, as well as start to become more involved in current events and political issues. Parents want to encourage their children to vote, as it is important to their future. Before the current democratic fight we have going on now, many teens did not show an interest in politics or even know who was running for president.
Yet, even though it is important that young adults are involved in politics, I think that they are more attracted to the hoopla of it than the actual policies. A teen may wear a colorful T-shirt saying, “Obama for yo mama,” but do they know all the work he has done this far? Do they know his stance on the Iraq War and universal health coverage?
It is important for parents to listen to their children, but not at the expense of losing their own opinion to earn popularity points with their budding offspring. The next president of the U.S. should bring everyone together, but their campaign to get there should not kill the voices that are getting run over by the popular opinion. We have different candidates for the fact that everyone has a different opinion on how our country should be run. Parents should not vote for a candidate that their children love, but they do not.