Run for political office! What?? Run for political office!?
Run for office. Participate in the political process. Vote in younger representatives.
You may be thinking, “Oh, hell no!” but read on.
Do you know how old you have to be to run for office in the House of Representatives? The answer is 25 years old. Do you know how old you have to be to run for Senator? The answer is 30 years old.
But did you know that the median age for the House of Representatives is 57.8 years old and for the Senate it is 61.8 years old? Old people are running this country! They are making decisions that will affect your lives for decades to come. I know it probably feels like you can’t do anything to change things, but you can. And you need to! Your future depends on it.
Why leave all the governing to men the age of your grandparents? Do you trust them to pass laws that will benefit you now and in the future, or are they more focused on what will benefit them?
It is usually old men who send young men off to fight wars. Old men have more money and more power than young people and they are not fighting for you. Do you want to be drafted? It could happen.
So, okay. Maybe you won’t begin by running for office right away, but you can vote. You can get involved in supporting someone you feel will represent your interests. You can volunteer some time to work for a candidate you want to see get elected. If you don’t know of anyone you are willing to support, then consider running yourself if you are old enough.
You can get involved in protests against things you disagree with and care about. This country needs some input from its younger citizens. It needs fresh ideas. Do you know how old Alexander the Great was when he began to rule? He was 22 years old. When he was 16, his father went off to war and left Alexander in charge. Youth is not a reason to avoid politics.
Are you truly represented in Congress? Probably not unless you’re an old white man. Congress is supposed to be made up of people who represent Americans, but the median age of Americans is 37.8 years old. Of the 327,996,618 Americans as of June 25, 2018, about 125.9 million of them are adult women, yet only about 20% of Congress is female.
If you are African American, you are not represented well. Only 9.4% of Congress is African American but you make up 12.7% of the population. Only 8.5 % of Congress are Hispanic or Latino who make up 17.1 % of the population. Asian/Pacific Islanders make up only 3.3% of the Congress. Native Americans are represented by only 2 representatives.
Run. Do something. It’s your future.