Now I can imagine an answer saying, “Kid, go home & play CoD. You don’t know anything about politics if you say you like Trump.” Now I don’t want to offend anyone, but I know my policies and I would vote for Trump over Hillary.
With my limits as a kid, what can I do to actually help the campaign?
Read, read, read, read, read.
- Go to the library and read up on the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Iraq War, the Iranian Revolution, and the histories of Afghanistan, Poland, and Israel. The older the publication date, the better. All revisionists have an agenda.
- Then hop on the internet and read up on current events: recent drone strikes, Iran’s last election, Putin’s annexation of Crimea, the Supreme Court’s recent decisions on Voting Rights Act and Same-Sex Marriage, etc.
- Familiarize yourself with journalistic language, slant, spin, and verbiage. (In fact, go ahead and check out this famous George Orwell Essay: ) You will very quickly learn to detect left-leaning and right-leaning language from various outlets. Read both.
- Fact-check the debates. (Ignore campaign speeches and the reporting of campaign speeches; they are vacuous fluff akin to pep rallies.) Make a list of every quantitative claim either candidate says and verify it: Last month’s job growth, last year’s GDP, the 1989 nationwide crime rate, the number of abortions performed per day, the gender pay gap, etc.
- Challenge every adult you know to share what personal experiences led them to believe the way they believe and vote the way they vote. (Note, it is extremelyimportant at this step to talk to people with whom you disagree and to listen and absorb conflicting ideas.)
- Start a blog. There is no age requirement to post personal essays & ideas on the internet, or to comment on others’. Become engaged. Use the knowledge and understanding you have gained from steps 1–5 to challenge others’ public postings and challenge your challengers’ reactions to yours.
Now, four years will have gone by. The year will be 2020. You will be 18 and eligible to vote for the first time. Donald Trump may be running for reelection. Or, if he loses in 2016, he may be running for a second time in 2020. Even if he’s not on the 2020 ticket, you will still be an informed eligible voter. Don’t vote your heart. Vote your mind.
Note: I admire that you are aware and engaged at such a young age. When I was 14, I didn’t care about politics or history or current events. I never started forming distinct opinions on this stuff until I was in my late twenties. In that regard, you are already eons ahead of me.
This article first appeared on Quora