In every election cycle I hear the same thing from people my age. They complain that they don't want to vote for someone who does not represent them, who does not speak on the issues of young people.
And you are not wrong. Campaign officials talk about the importance of Medicare and Medicaid, social security and taxes. There are other topics to focus on as well, but those topics are always floating around. All important topics, of course, but all topics that apply to an older population.
The natural progression for this school of thought culminates in a simple question. Why these problems? Why do politicians focus on this?
The answer is simple: Because young people don't vote. It's by no means a new pattern. Voters under 30 have long been the least registered age group of voters and the least likely to be eligible to vote.
According to the US Census, in 2014 less than a fifth of voters aged 18 to 29 voted, compared with nearly 60% among those over 65. However, voter turnout in a mid-term election is always lower than in a presidential election, but these numbers tend to follow the usual pattern.
It seems only natural that politicians who rely on votes to be re-elected should focus on the population that votes the most. However, this behavior creates a vicious circle for young people: they don't vote because nobody is talking to them, and because they don't vote, they are not addressed.
It goes on and on, and every election I hear someone uses that criticism to justify their decision not to vote. Maybe I'm just cynical or disagreeable, but that line of reasoning always drives me against the wall because it tends to mean one of two things.
First, this person is not interested in voting, but is unwilling to admit it. Or second, they are really upset with this trend but refuse to be part of the solution. For me, that's far worse than the first reason.
It's worse because they'd rather wait for the politicians to suddenly change than take over the agency themselves.
I hope you do not get my message wrong. I do not want to rule out legitimate concerns some people have when they vote. There are many of them. I am not advocating supporting any of the major parties even though they are dissatisfied with their candidates, and I am not saying that choosing to abstain in protest is sometimes not a valid option.
I'm just saying if we wait for politicians to speak to us, we may wait forever.
However, the future is not all doom and darkness. The turnout of young people in the 2018 election has nearly doubled, and experts estimate we could see similar values in the general election this year.
And it does not seem to be a coincidence that some major lead candidates have put the problems of young people, mainly study costs and the resulting debts, into focus.
Maybe, just maybe, if we carry on like this in November, maybe we will be addressed a little more.