Editor’s Note: Zach Silverman is the president of College Democrats in Boulder.
One of the most troubling traits of our dear university is the amount of apathy that fills our hallowed halls. One might disagree, using such examples as the many fine student organizations we have on campus, both political and otherwise in nature, as well as a vibrant Greek life and powerful student government. I do not mean to accuse those who are active in our community of being apathetic, but it would seem that every time that a conversation even hints at the possibility of steering toward religion or politics, they have been cast off as “too serious of subjects.”
I believe that it is time that we – the next generation of leaders, businesspeople, scientists and engineers – need to strip away the apathy and start having political conversations.
Not every conversation of every moment of the day needs to be a heated argument about the framers’ intent on the Second Amendment, and I do not believe that every conversation needs to be about the existence of God or the evidence proving otherwise. All I am saying is that it is time for us to stop shying away from such subjects.
We, as college students, are constantly trying to prove to the world that we are old enough and mature enough to handle things like being able to consume alcohol or smoke marijuana because we are responsible adults who can handle such burdens. If we truly want to prove to our parents and past generations that we are, indeed, mature enough to handle those types of responsibilities, then we should be mature enough to handle adult conversations that consist of politics and religion. If we can’t even handle mature conversation subjects, why should we expect our parents to believe that we are mature enough to drive a car with a BAC of .05?
The ability to conduct meaningful conversations about mature and important subjects should not be focused on proving to our elders that we can handle more responsibilities, though. The real reason it is important for us as young adults to have these conversations is because, as of now, it is the above-30-year-olds who are shaping the future that we will be living in tomorrow.
Right now, climate change is creating super hurricanes, massive blizzards and unprecedented wildfires; at the same time, our political leaders not only refuse to prevent it, but some do not even believe in its existence. Social Security and Medicare will be bankrupt before we can even fathom of retiring, and our leaders refuse to reform it in fear of angering the elderly. It is our grandparents’ generation that refuses to vote for anyone who even whispers about decreasing their government checks even though we are paying for it and will not receive the benefits.
I ask you: Why are we allowing people to make decisions about our future who will not even be a part of it?
It is time for our generation to take the reins and grasp our future with our own two hands. It is time for us to get off the couch and be able to have meaningful and intellectual conversations about issues that affect us now and will affect us in the near and distant future.
Today is the day that we use our time and our energy to do one of the many things that is completely free of charge and also has an incredible amount of impact on the world: we need to start having these conversations about serious subjects. It does not matter whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Socialist or Evangelical Christian. It does not matter whether you believe in a progressive tax system or flat tax, or whether you believe in a strong military or no military at all. All that matters is that you talk to people with different ideas in a civil and meaningful way so that we, as a generation, can come up with solutions for the numerous problems that our elders seem to have no interest in solving themselves. Let’s take back our future because no one else is going to do it for us.
Contact College Democrats President Zach Silverman at Zachary.firstname.lastname@example.org.