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Before US Senate runoff – American youth are awakening – News


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Gen Z was the driving force behind the Democrats’ surprise midterm performance. Now she wants to complete the coup in Georgia.

Mark Putman hands the small group of young students T-shirts, flyers and a large handkerchief. Then he directs them into the center of the Georgia Technological University campus.

It’s lunchtime, soon it will be teeming with students who will be queuing for their lunch. And that Putman wants to persuade to vote: “Explain to people why young people should vote and how important voting is to change things that mean something to you,” he instructs the small group standing around him.

Legend:

Mark Putman prepares with his men in front of the center of the Georgia Technological University campus.

SRF/Pascal Weber

They are volunteers who want to take part in this «canvassing» event. Canvassing, that means something like “cleaning doorknobs”, “voice advertising”, or quite simply addressing voters directly. The activists set off in groups of two.

High turnout

Mark Putman is the leader of the young activist group Voters of Tomorrow. The name says it all: they want to be the voters of the future. And they are: “Many people say that our generation is asleep. But when I look around, I see something else.”

Putman is still a student himself, he believes in facts and he delivers them: in the past midterms, almost every third boy went to vote – such a high turnout by young Americans has only happened once in midterm elections in the last 30 years.

Less polarized

The majority of these young voters chose the Democratic Party. For Putman, however, this has less to do with party politics as such and more to do with the political content of the two parties:

Young people of our generation are less specifically a Democrat, or a Republican.

“Boys of our generation are less specifically a Democrat or a Republican. We are more independent because we have recently seen too many political decisions that have caused us to lose confidence in our two-party system.” Putman is determined: “We are more open, political content is more important to us than political parties.”

Young generation feels betrayed

The young generation in the USA feels betrayed by politicians who primarily serve their own, mostly financial, clientele. And who practice ruthless partisan politics with no room for compromise.

The so-called Generation Z, those born after the year 2000, have had enough of that. “We’re gaining momentum, the energy is exploding here. We just have to get this across the finish line now. That’s what we fight for. We will achieve our goal.”

Mark Putman is already at the next event. At the University of Oglethorpe, specifically young Muslim voters are to be informed about their political rights. It’s a typical Gen Z occasion.

Equal opportunities for all, gender equality, environmental protection, mass shootings, freedom from abortion, freedom of education – these are the big issues in America and the world that have awakened this generation.

Ashleigh Ewald joins Putman: “If these freedoms and justices, which are important to us, are endangered, in our view, by harmful laws, then our generation just stands up and votes. Then we vote these politicians out and vote for people who we know will stand up for us.”

Ashleigh Ewald speaks to the camera.

Legend:

Ashleigh Ewald and her teammates have a clear goal: to influence the Georgia election.

SRF/Pascal Weber

It was primarily candidates supported by ex-President Trump who had to experience this new power of the young generation. “Voting is important. And elections have consequences,” says Mark Putman. The young generation of the USA clearly seems to be becoming more political again.

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