Thursday, September 16, 2021

More importance on drivers’ license age than voting age

The late great Canadian philosopher and media theorist Marshall McLuhan is said to have once remarked that American youth attached much more importance on reaching the drivers’ licence age than the voting age. He was expressing his outrage against the largely apathetic young people on whose minds the deceptive values of popular culture had taken root. What mattered to them was the fast life of the cities and the unquestioning consumption of products of that culture; cars, music and fashionable clothing. A critical appreciation of that culture was non-existent, and neither was there any attempt to explore the interconnectedness of political and economic systems – the very systems that sustain themselves by ‘manufacturing’ the culture and imposing it upon a gullible people so as to distract them from issues that really matter. Now, if we look at voting patterns in Zimbabwe over the decades, we would see that the people who have been in power for almost four decades now owe their good luck to the participation of mostly older people in electoral processes. Or, alternatively, we can say they owe their good luck to the non-participation of young people in electoral processes. Whatever the case, the truth of the matter remains that the youth are not participating in elections the way they should be participating and that should change especially now that the country is approaching what is set to be a critical election in 2018. The youth should register to vote and they should go out on election day and vote because their very lives depend on it. There is no hope for them if they keep living a fantasy life of the movies and dancehall music without taking action to make sure those fantasies become reality. The youth vote has been the missing link all along but it could all change if everybody who is 18 years and older decides to register to vote and go on to vote when the day comes. The zeal each of them have to get a driver’s licence should be the same zeal to register to vote. Cars come from the factory, the factory which depends on good political decisions to function, good decisions that can only be made by good leaders, good leaders whom we can only get if we vote.comment

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