This morning I received an email from one of this site’s regular readers about a YouTube video. It’s a song, a parody of Cher Lloyd’s “Want U Back,” about the issues in the election, performed by students at the Ron Clark Academy. Her point in the email was how these kids know more about the election than some adults that will be voting on Tuesday.
Here’s that video:
This reader’s comment about the video was that “maybe they can open a few people’s eyes to consider some of the issues instead of just pulling a lever.” She apparently shares my disgust for people blindly voting all for one party rather than considering issues and making informed decisions.
(And, yes, I’m quite aware that it’s possible to consider all issues and end up voting for only one party’s candidates. Still, a vote from an informed voter is better than a vote from a party loyalist.)
There are valid criticisms of this video, like the fact that there are other non-D/R candidates with viewpoints worth considering and that the viewpoints of Romney and Obama in the song aren’t exactly accurate (Obama avoiding war, for example), but there are some positives in this video that really jump out at me.
First, it addresses real issues. So much of American politics has become this split between the left and right. It’s become a class warfare in many ways, and the two primary candidates (especially the incumbent) aren’t doing much to get us away from that mindset. I’m encouraged to see students of this age with at least some concept of the real issues in front of voters this year.
Second, it teaches students the importance of participating in the political process. My generation is a generation of politically apathetic voters. It’s blatantly obvious when I attend a meeting or political event and find myself, at 35 years old, one of the youngest people in attendance. If we’re going to get young people involved in the process, they need to understand the importance of participating in the political process.
Kudos to the Ron Clark Academy for daring to challenge children to understand the issues facing their nation. After all, the children singing in this video will be voting within the next decade.