Friday, August 15, 2003

What if? 

A student in New York City, fresh out of high school, takes issue with the democratic party's taking for granted of the youth vote, and the trashing of our planet:

Published on Thursday, August 14, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
Young People Are Speaking -- Is Anyone Listening?
by Michael Gould-Wartofsky

But to the Democratic pols who are wondering why we aren't Party animals, many of us would say: Why should we care about you if you've never shown you care about us? This impression--and with it, the desert landscape of American politics--will only shift when these people start to listen to what we're already saying...
...What if we reversed the slew of attempts to impose policies on young people that just don't work? Abstinence-only courses instead of sex education and access to reproductive health resources; high-stakes testing that holds kids back a year for filling in a couple of bubbles incorrectly; "security measures" that criminalize students and violate their civil rights in and around their own schools. If a candidate vowed to help lead America to treat its youth with dignity, for a change, its youth would respond, for a change.

And what if a commitment were made to bring foreign and environmental policy in line with the desires of those in this country who will be most affected by them, who will have to live (or die) with their lasting consequences? Surveys showed a clear majority of young people opposed the war-maybe because it's our friends and families whose blood greases the machine of empire-building, our future and our freedom left in the dust it kicks up. We'd also like to know we'll make it to the age of the politicians. What if they promised to base policy on international cooperation instead of multinational corporations? Insurance of global standards of living and working, starting here at home? Policies for the survival of our earth itself, like renewable energy? The energy of the young could be renewed immediately.