Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Role of Youth in US Election – an Inspiration for Afghan Youth

Youth play a tremendous role in United States (US) in different fields of life. Politics, that did not attract them much, is now experiencing a great participation of youngsters. And, the ongoing election is a witness to that fact. Youth are participating with motivation in the election and the candidates are counting much on youth vote. Candidates, along with many other analysts, believe that the youth vote could even be the deciding factor.
Participation of youth in the US presidential elections experienced a declining trend till 2008, but in 2008 election young voters, in fact, helped much in electing President Barack Obama for the White House and also played a role in keeping him there in 2012. According to estimations, Obama received around 65 percent of the youth vote (voters from 18 to 29 years old — in 2008, and around 60 percent in 2012). These voters made up about a fifth of voting-eligible citizens and around 50 percent of youth vote.
In the ongoing elections all the candidates from both the parties have strived to gain youth votes as they realize the importance of the youngsters in the modern age. Therefore, they have worked closely in their region to attract millennials and they have valued their inputs, efforts and support at the polls. They believe that the youngsters intend to make a difference and realize the importance of fiscal responsibility and a better government for the future in US. They seem to understand that youngster play a key role in modern technological developments and particularly in social media. And, these are the tools that can be usefully utilized by the candidates for their campaigns.
Youth in the US have now realized that they can be a part of change in the society if they participate actively in the elections. They experienced it while choosing Obama and now currently they seem to be voting for the candidates that stand for more radical changes both in Democrats and Republicans. As youth are more energetic and emotional, they want real changes to be seen in their lives. It has been observed that they are mostly concerned about the health and education policies and they are more inclined to vote for those candidates who have better policies for education and health. Whoever and however they vote, the most important factor is that they are participating in the democratic process and letting the people hear their voices. In fact, the overall participation of youth is appreciable and will ultimately turn into greater importance in the second part of the election.
The growing participation of youth in election process in the US provides a guiding example for many other countries as well. The youth in other countries, particularly the ones that have weaker democracies, can also take initiatives and play decisive role in the election process in their countries. The youth in Afghanistan can learn much from the youth in the US to come to the front and be counted in the democratic process that is very fragile and requires tremendous participation of the youth.
As youth have energy and enthusiasm and Afghan youth have proved in different ways that they have such energy; therefore, they can support Afghan democracy in its evolution. They proved in the last presidential election in the country that they, in the face of so many issues, have the courage to defend a democratic process, therefore, many of them casted their votes. However, there is more to be done.
A real change within Afghan political setup is possible only when the younger generation participate actively in politics. Afghanistan’s political system is still being dominated by old players; resultantly, the new ideas are very rare to find. Most of these politicians even do not believe in a political setup and do not believe in empowering the people in true sense. Hence, relying on them would never guarantee marked changes in the future. So without participation of youth in the system and particularly in the election process would deprive the country of better socio-political changes.
Afghan youth, keeping the example of the youth in the US, should understand that they have to change their destinies themselves. They need to realize that they are more educated than the earlier generations; therefore, they have more responsibilities to shoulder. They have had the opportunities of having access to modern education and technology and they have to use that opportunity for the betterment of themselves and the society as whole.
They have the right to censure the politicians and their policies but they have that right only after they make efforts to change the status quo. If they themselves do not participate in politics and elections, they would not be in any position to have their say and let their voices be heard and thus they will also lose the right to criticize others, as others will ultimately pursue their own objectives and interests.