Mister Mack writes about attending a county democratic meeting and how disillusioned he is with the lack of young people involved.
Let’s be clear. He’s not upset with the young people but more with the system as a whole.
I read his words and I’m only going to comment on what I’ve seen happen recently in my own world because I don’t have access to what’s happening in other places as I’m not there. I also, before I get into my observation, want to say that younger people like Sean and Ilyssa give me a happy as they are very kicking up the dust and it’s a good thing.
I do, however, want to talk about young people in rural communities and the political infrastructure that, on occasion, is not always welcoming to them.
I don’t think young people are all detached in rural settings because I’ve seen some very active folks who are operating outside of the constraints of established political settings. An example is one of the writers who works with me. She ran for office, knew she probably wasn’t going to win and did it for the experience. I fully expect her to hold an office within the next few years. She ran for a delegate position. Politics excites her and intrigues her. However, she has seen some things that bother her some times and has shared it with me. I ache for her because there are people that want to have lively debates about policy, about the state of the nation and how to create a situation that would give local people the desire and passion to vote. She wanted that. She didn’t get to be part of the process because some things were already set in stone.
And she wasn’t that interested in walking the party line that was dictated to her without at least talking about it.
Several years ago, I tried to be active in the party. I didn’t want to talk about bake sales. I wanted to be involved with the process of local and state government. I saw such great opportunities and I was extremely excited. Let’s just say, I wasn’t treated badly but I also wasn’t given a voice and I didn’t feel heard. At that period of my life, I just softly walked away without anger but with some disappointment. I guess I was either too liberal or too strange.
One thing I try to do now is talk to people one person at a time. I can’t change minds but I can create a dialog. Sometimes there have been disastrous results other times it’s been more than ok. When only 4.4 percent of our county voted in the last election, I can’t help but wonder if older members of both parties have alienated some of the younger voters, and more financially disadvantaged voters. Just an observation I’m giving you here.
Older people, such as myself, must make a commitment to make sure that those people who want to be involved in parties are heard, something that I wasn’t given. That new ideas are sometimes agents of positive change. No matter what the side of the political aisle they sit on.
We are more fortunate here in one respect and that is there is a college with active individuals participating in the party system.
But those people, more times than not, move away because employment opportunities are limited here.
And what did I do to have a voice?
Well, eventually, I started a blog.
Incidentally, those young people are going to be in charge very soon. They better start being included on a local level because they are the ones who are going to sway the near future of this nation.