This New PSA From Knock The Vote is Ageist and Divisive
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Liberals, If You Want To Elect Progressive Leaders This November, Don’t Use An Ageist Ad To Promote Your Agenda

Making a statement in a PSA at the expense of demonizing the elderly directly opposes the values progressives are trying to broadcast.

Liberals, If You Want To Elect Progressive Leaders This November, Don’t Use An Ageist Ad To Promote Your Agenda

Ageism is a relatively new term, mostly used to describe discrimination and prejudice against older adults and the elderly in terms of access to jobs and social services. We see evidence in our culture and policy-making that treats the elderly as less valuable members of society.

But ageism works both ways. We commonly see articles and hear discourse criticizing the young "millennial" generation for harming our country with postmodern ethics, a sense of entitlement, and laziness.

When observations about different age groups are founded on empirical evidence, they can help us understand our society; but lumping entire generations into a box of negative traits causes problems for all of us.

Old folks may blame the young for sending the world "to hell in a handbasket," but young people are also growing increasingly disdainful towards their elders.

A new advertisement encourages young people to register to vote in the midterm election this November, but its argument is founded on ageist assumptions.

ACRONYM, a digital organization that promotes campaigns to elect progressive leaders, released an advertisement to encourage young people to turn out in support of Democrats for the upcoming midterm elections.

The one-minute video, titled "We're Doing Fine, Are You?" features elderly actors as Trump supporters, speaking emphatically to the young liberals who are watching, encouraging them not to vote.

They make statements taunting millennials for low turnout in elections and boasting that their vote put Trump in the White House. "Climate change? That's a you problem. I'll be dead soon," says one woman. "Tax cuts for the rich? Hell yeah, I'm rich as f**k," quips another man.

This provocative appeal to young voters was effective; the video quickly went viral and was even covered by

TIME Magazine.

Though it's true that in 2016 a majority of voters over 50 voted for Trump, the ad leverages an appeal to pathos and ageist attitudes to prove its point, insinuating that old people are the problemin America.

While I admire the ad's ability to reach a tough crowd, its method is counterproductive to the progressive values it advocates for. By targeting elderly voters as "the enemy" that liberals should fight against, the advertisement does more than encourage election turnout; it deepens the divide in an already disunified nation.

Just as we fight against racism, sexism, xenophobia, and other forms of prejudice that grip our nation, ageism should also have no place in the minds of young and old on either side of the political aisle. If we wish to heal an increasingly divided America, we must call out and oppose divisive rhetoric regardless of who or where it comes from.

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