Fed Up with Partisan Politics, Teen Starts Own Political Party

Oct 14, 2011 6:18pm

The youth are riled up, they are not going to take it anymore, they are revolting . . . against partisan politics.

Alright, maybe not exactly revolting, but one teen has had enough of the partisan gridlock that has mired national politics of late. Connor Brantley, 13, started a political party, United Now, which aims to end partisanship in government.

“People too often listen to the media and let them make up their mind for them,” Brantley told ABC’s “Top Line” today. “I think that politicians focus more on scoring political points than they do serving us, and no one thinks that’s the right direction: Tea Party, Republican, Democrat, whatever. That’s just not the right direction for this country, and it’s time we do something about it.”

Brantley would start with encouraging people to get their information from outside the media, which he says is “misinforming people.”

Voters “aren’t as informed as they should be,” said Brantley. “They may go and they vote straight party. Or they may go and they vote for the candidate who they saw, whose name they saw most often appear in the news.

“What United Now tries to do, is say, ‘Look, you can make up your own mind. We’re not going to tell you who to vote for, but you should know the facts before you vote.’ And therefore I think people are going to make more informed decisions.”

The 13-year-old seems well aware of the power of the youth vote.

“Young people are the citizens of tomorrow, and they’re playing an important role in our political system,” Brantley said on ABC’s “Top Line” today. “I think that the biggest problem right now is they just don’t understand how politics is affecting them and what big of an impact they can make.”

President Obama’s 2008 campaign resonated with young voters, many of whom came out in droves to support him. There is no guarantee that he will capture that demographic again in 2012, and Brantley said it is because young people do not need to be told who to vote for, they can make up their own minds. What young people do not realize, said Brantley, is why they should take part in politics at all.

“Young people don’t realize how politics affects them. I think that’s the biggest problem,” said Brantley. ”People don’t realize what our politicians are doing behind those closed doors.”
Brantley juggles his interviews and time at United Now with, of course, school. He turns 14 at the end of this month, still four years away from voting eligibility. Aside from educating legal voters, doing network interviews, and working for local elections, Brantley said he also plans to run for government — student government, that is.
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