Listen to the youth

Autumn Chase, Editor

During February break, there was an uproar when Sen. Diane Feinstein from California disrespected her young constituents attempting to convince her to support the Green New Deal.

When Sen. Feinstein was asked to support the bill, she responded with hostility. Her main reason for not listening to their viewpoints came from her supposed expertise in the subject of politics. “I’ve been doing this for over 30 years and I know what I’m doing,” said Feinstein in a Time video of the encounter.

It begs the question: At what point does someone become an expert in a field?

The youth in the video were armed with information packets and articulated their argument professionally. I wish I could say the same for Feinstein.

As soon as the Green New Deal was mentioned, Feinstein attempted to shut down the conversation instead of having a civilized debate with her younger constituents and perhaps even educating them on the topic. I believe that Feinstein was acting smug and appeared to not have heard a single word of what the young people were saying, even though they had valid points.

The young people in the video repeatedly mentioned the fact that the planet is in peril and that we all have to work to save it. They also mentioned how they would be the ones to deal with the consequences from this generation’s lack of action.

“The government is by the people and for the people” and “our parents voted you in” were some of the phrases the youth used while addressing Feinstein’s arrogance around the Green New Deal. “You have to listen to us,” they said.

This interaction between the young people and Sen. Feinstein brings up some important issues regarding adults listening to the youth. These are people who are not of age to vote, but still want to be heard, and have opinions just like everyone else. They are going to be affected by these decisions. They will “suffer the consequences.”

If something is bothering young people that can be changed through legislation, then they should have the courage to stand up for themselves, and more adults should listen. Every parent says that they want what’s best for their children, but when a kid knows what is best for them, some adults, like Feinstein, patronize them.

At what age do our opinions become valid? If a topic is researched and opinions are based in logic then everyone should be heard, regardless of their age.