It’s Outrageous! Old people voted!

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Credit:Telegraph

Titus 2:1-8 is one of my ideals for society – a society where we learn from our elders and where we humbly listen to what they have to say. I long for relationships with older women in my church who can help guide me in loving my husband and children, being self-controlled and pure, working at home and being kind and submissive to my husband. The Bible is clear that our elders are not to be disregarded and that they have much to offer us.

I must admit that I have often felt frustrated at opinions that sometimes feel as though they come from people with age on their side. But perhaps it is because they have age on their side that they also have wisdom on their side. Perhaps they were once tempestuous and impatient like me! And perhaps I would do well to listen and learn. And I am trying to; and by the grace of God I hope that I am growing in humility and getting better at it.
Consequently, I am really quite amazed at some of the anger aimed towards our elders after the referendum vote. Talks of high elderly turnout swinging the vote, and the suggestion that this is somehow unfair because they only have to live with the decision for 16 years. Either we are a democracy, or we are not. And if we are, every vote is equally valid and respected. Regardless of age. Or gender. Or sexual orientation. Or political opinion. Or religion.
Now, personally, I’d love to see a voting system where there is no minimum age and votes are accepted based on some kind of gauge of understanding of the issues. But, of course, this isn’t going to happen.
So here’s the thing. These ‘old people’ who are going to die soon, who have “destroyed our country” for future generations – some of them fought for your freedom and the freedom of future generations. Some of them lost fathers and brothers for your freedom. They have lived life both in and out of the EU. They have watched Prime Minsters and governments come and go. They have lived through many economic hardships. The possibility of not being able to freely travel through Europe as students or on road trips is lamented and blamed on elderly voters: elderly voters who had no opportunity for higher education and only travelled through Europe to offer their lives for your freedom.
Perhaps we could offer them a little respect. Perhaps we could stop suggesting that their vote is in some way less worthy because of their age. And perhaps we could stop directing anger at them on social media, where many of them have no means of defending themselves.
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8 thoughts on “It’s Outrageous! Old people voted!

  1. I agree that we should listen to our elders, however age doesn’t always bring wisdom.

    A lot was said about how the EU was more than what was promised in the last referendum, age should make people realise that politicians don’t always deliver exactly what they say.

    A lot was made about the rules that the EU has brought in, one that upset a lot of older people was the ruling on having to sell things in grams rather than pounds and ounces. Now, it could have been handled better by the government of the time, but things like that were likely to put people off the EU. Whilst capping roaming charges would attract younger people to it. Putting different generations on a different stance towards the EU.

    It’s also not only this vote, there are a lot of young people who say that older people don’t understand what the world is like for them. I’ve had it when saving for a house, being told things like do without so that you can save faster. Things like a) broadband, which means you can generally get what you need for less than buying it in a shop, so that’s a false economy b) furniture, as if saving the little we spent was going to make a significant difference to our ability to save up a deposit (most of our furniture was second hand and either free or very cheap, other than a few key items, like our bed and our sofa which were new. Even with our sofa we looked for a second hand one for sometime before buying new).

    Yes we do need to listen to our elders, but we shouldn’t just agree with what they say just because they are old, nor should we just discount it because something that they said before was wrong.

    However there are a lot of things that the young see that the older had (free university education, final salary pensions, houses that were able to be purchased with just one salary, and so on) and feel that all those things have been taken away from them by the very people who benefited from them.

    As such the anger is a lot more deep rooted than just this one result, it’s just one that they can show their frustration at without it being aimed at one person (see also tuition fees).

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    1. I totally see your point, and I don’t necessarily disagree that there are valid frustrations. But you’ve raised these in a respectful way that can open up discussion between people holding differing opinions. I guess that was my point: disagree, but disagree respectfully (as you have done) and don’t simply insinuate that there’s something less valid about a vote because it comes from an older person πŸ™‚

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  2. Hi Beth, I think this is a great post and democracy should indeed be honoured and older people given respect.

    Please would you consider putting inverted commas around the phrase “destroyed this country”. It changes the tone massively.

    Thanks =D

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  3. A helpful article. Perhaps, the anger towards elders is not born of impetuosity, but of belief that behind their support for Brexit is the irrational xenophobic panic of a bygone era.

    The sheer delight expressed by Brexit campaigners has not been in celebration of freedom from the shackles of EU bureaucracy, or the repeal of overbearing Strasbourg legislation. It has simply been about immigration.

    As a black man, it smacks of hypocrisy for the older generation to talk up the ills of open borders, while turning a blind eye towards post-colonial plundering of the Caribbean and other Commonwealth nations by British multi-national corporations, like Tate and Lyle and BP.

    In Christ, there’s ‘neither Jew nor Greek’, but apparently that doesn’t stop people placing their own physical and spiritual boundaries on which ethnicities are the neighbours whom they should love as themselves.

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    1. I completely agree that racism of any kind should not be tolerated, and it’s awful that, as you say, there is some degree of celebration at Brexit by those who are simply being racist. And I agree that you’re right that we mustn’t ‘choose’ who our ‘neighbours’ can be. I think what I’m trying to say though is that reaction which suggests that the vote of older people isn’t as valid as that of younger people is also wrong. And that, whilst it is perfectly legitimate to disagree with other people’s votes and their motives, there are ways of doing that that are kind and loving. I think I’m also conscious that, as a leave voter, I feel as though I have been bundled in somewhat with those whose motives may have been sinful. I’ve no doubt that there were older people who did vote leave for racist reasons (as there were probably also middle aged and young people who did), but I don’t think it’s right to cast such aspersions on all of them. Also, regardless of what has happened we are still called to try and live a life as outlined in the Bible, and Titus 2 does call for us to be humble and learn from those older than us (though not to unquestioningly accept all their views). Thanks for taking the time to respond πŸ™‚

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