By Abby Zutz
Being a teen during this recent presidential election was hard. Everyone said, “You have no say, you can’t vote anyway”; “Your opinion doesn’t matter.” What they don’t know is that younger generations are building a new country. We are the future of the country. Our voices deserve to be heard just as anyone would like their voices to be heard and opinions to be validated.
A political view to me is unnecessary. Seems to me that every time politics is brought up — whether it be a small talk with friends, in history class, or even around the family table — arguments start. People are fighting to be equal and to stand together instead of separated. When we drop everything and forget about arguments over which political side we may be on and stand together as one nation, we can change things, we can make a difference, we can be heard, and our opinions can be validated. But there is so much hatred for the other side.
So no, I don’t ask that you drop your opinion, because your voice needs to be heard and your opinions need to be validated as well. However, I do ask for everyone to drop the hatred for the other side until there is no “other side.” And always remember there are always two or more sides of the story. Take others’ thoughts into consideration; don’t become defensive when talking with someone with differing opinions. Talk to them, explain why you may disagree with them, and be kind.
With all this being said, I hope you can control your hatred and you can respect the highest role of government, the President. Whether they be the person you voted for, or the person you despise, you should always respect people in higher roles than you, even if President Biden didn’t have your vote, he deserves your respect. And most importantly, don’t take the risk of losing friends and family because they may not believe in the same things.
This election may have not had the outcome you wanted. The results may have angered you, or brought joy to your family. These next four years, we may face battles and differences. But that happens to us all no matter the circumstances. Political views should not be a reason to not be kind. Respect others’ opinions, respect other people’s values, and listen to what they have to say. After all, you can’t force someone to fight for something they don’t believe in. And if you want people to listen to YOUR opinion, you must not be hypocritical, and you must listen to their side of the story.
On January 6, 2021, we encountered a U.S. Capitol attack. “I thought we’d have to fight our way out,” said Representative Jason Crow, Democrat of Colorado and a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq,” as stated in a New York Times article “What Happened at the Capitol Yesterday” (last updated February 6, 2021).
Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, was unsparing in his criticism of President Trump as the instigator of the day’s events. “Today, the United States Capitol — the world’s greatest symbol of self-government — was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard — tweeting against his vice president for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution.” He added: “Americans are better than this: Americans aren’t nihilists. Americans aren’t arsonists. Americans aren’t French revolutionaries taking to the barricades.” Sasse made these remarks in the “What Happened at the Capitol Yesterday” article. These words stated by people living in this moment, in the middle of the chaos. They were a part of this attack. As Ben Sasse stated, “Americans are better than this”
As a teen during this recent election, I realized how important it is to vote, to speak your words and opinions, let your voice be heard, and stand up for what you believe in. America is better than this; America is better than the two sides hating on each other. America is so much more than a political argument. It takes both sides to compromise. Listen to your opponents words, listen to their story, because even though I am just a teen, I believe as a country we could be so much more than this.
Abby Zutz is a student at Fillmore Central High School. She is one of nine area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 22nd year.