What is Presidents’ Day?

With the two most recent Presidents of the United States being over the age of 70, their ideas are rooted in the past. Having younger voices represent America brings forth new ideas for the future generations and the changes we want to see in the world. With more and more young voters entering the scene, we as students feel that it is important that we feel represented in presidential elections. 

Presidents’ Day is a federal holiday and is always celebrated on the third Monday of February. This holiday was created in 1885, originally to recognize the birthday of our first President, George Washington. Now, it’s a day dedicated to remembering our country’s past leaders, and the way their choices have impacted us as a nation.

The switch to Presidents’ Day occurred in 1971 as a part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Although this was an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the workers of our nation, Presidents’ Day is so much more than just a day off.

This is a day for us to think about who we want to see in office and how their morals align with ours. Our world has gone through drastic changes since the start of the century and some of these changes are better understood by those of a younger age. With the current social issues we are facing now, it would be nice to see how a more youthful president would manage.

While we’d never suggest the older politicians can’t do the job admirably, we like to point out the number of younger options available on the national scene.

Current U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, 41, is a graduate of both Harvard and Oxford. He’s a Rhodes Scholar, and spent nearly a decade as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy, and served a tour of duty in Afghanistan. He speaks several languages and was elected mayor of South Bend Indiana. He and his husband have also been outspoken advocates for LGBTQ rights.

Sen. Cory Booker from New Jersey is another youthful candidate. At 53, he’s a few decades younger than our current president. Booker attended Stanford University and Yale Law School, and like Buttigieg is also a Rhodes Scholar. He’s been a strong advocate for same-sex marriage, single-payer health care, women’s rights and affirmative action.

One of the youngest members of Congress is Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. While at 33 she is technically too young to be president at the moment, she’ll hit the legal minimum of 35 soon. She’s among the most passionate advocates for issues of income inequality, and was the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress when she was elected at age 29.

Closer to home, we have Sen. Amy Klobuchar. While not exactly young, she’s far younger than the current and previous presidents. She’s shown compassion for student loan and poverty issues, and has the kind of Minnesota grit and kindness that would be used in the White House.

We as young voters should demand that our voices are heard on the national stage. The old generation of politicians have had their time. In a world that’s constantly changing, it’s our turn for some representation.

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