"Only the Young": The Young People's Call to Action

“It keeps me awake, the look on your face

The moment you heard the news

You’re screaming inside and frozen in time

You did all that you could do

The game was rigged, the ref got tricked

The wrong ones think they’re right

You were outnumbered this time” 

 

In her new song,“Only the Young,” Taylor Swift, who had long kept her political views private prior to the 2018 midterm elections, makes a plea to the young. Her song is both an encouraging call to action, but also an acknowledgement of the hard work that young people have put it in, even when they frequently haven’t seen the results they seek. And this paradox is what makes her words such a perfect illustration of the current political climate. Anyone who has ever supported a candidate that came up short on election night or prematurely suspended their campaign, or has fought for a cause and has yet to see the results they seek, can relate to her words. The hours spent canvassing, making phone-calls, and relentlessly trying create change in the form of new leadership or laws seem like they have gone to waste. “You did all that you could do,” but ultimately it wasn’t enough. 

 

At the same time, Taylor stresses that “only the young” can produce much needed change. We have to keep advocating for what we believe in. The fight doesn’t end with one, two, or even ten losses. With every loss, no matter how painful, comes that little bit of progress that moves us closer to the ultimate goal. Maybe it’s the few people who you convinced to fight alongside you and who will be a force to be reckoned with next time, or the continual pressure you put on lawmakers that wasn’t enough this time, but laid the foundation for the years to come. “They think that it’s over,” but in reality the fight has “just begun.” 

 

Taylor reminds us that we have to keep fighting the good fight. We shouldn’t forget the pain from previous losses, but we can’t let it stop us either. We should use that pain to motivate us to fight even harder next time. We need to remember that the causes that got us in the fight in the first place are still there and aren’t going away any time soon. And the results are within reach – we just need to ignite that spark within ourselves and keep it burning endlessly. 

 

“Don’t say you’re too tired to fight

It’s just a matter of time

Up there’s the finish line”