by Lexi Kimmel ‘21
Politics used to be an old person’s game. As we look back on the history of the United States, we see a slew of old white men that have been leading the country since its founding in 1776. This trend has been challenged in recent years, as young fresh faces emerge into positions of power and bring youthful and diverse ideas into a 245 year old system. Teens have become more active in the political community, bringing on a new generation of activists and future leaders. But how does this affect the interpersonal relationships of Generation Z?
Everyone approaches activism in a different way. Some march for their cause, some start petitions, and some simply post information in an effort to educate others. Social medias such as Instagram and TikTok are used by some teens as political forums, especially during the recent presidential election and the Black Lives Matter movement over the summer. People’s opinions and party affiliations are broadcasted through what they post, which can be problematic.
It has always been a general rule of society that we respect others’ opinions, even if they differ from our own. This rule pertains to subjects like what fiscal policies we support, or what football team we want to win on Sunday. In the past, political opinions fell under this rule. Before systemic racism was brought to light for those who are not affected by it, before families were separated and caged at the border, before elections caused the entire country to hold their breath and pray for a better tomorrow. Political opinions are no longer a matter that can be looked past. People’s lives hang in the balance of what name is written on your ballot, and I, along, with millions of teens across the country, am not sorry for ending a friendship over your ignorance and blatant disregard for others.