Satire Is Shaping the Next Generation of American Citizens
Politics and satire have been inextricably intertwined since the dawn of the political society as such. Nowadays we have countless satirical shows that mostly focus on the current political issues that are plaguing the modern society. How does this affect the American youth and will the end result be positive or negative?
The next generation of American citizens are individuals of ages 18 to 29. Research shows that up until 2014, this demographical group was very passive when it came to political engagement. According to CIRCLE, only 21% of them cast their vote during the midterm elections. If we want the system to change for the better, this is just not enough in terms of political activity of American citizens. Fortunately, it seems that satire is coming to our aid in this matter.
When we talk about satirical shows, we refer to those hosted by the likes of Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. These are people whose main goal is to inform their audiences and more importantly, make them think about the society in which they live. They’re becoming more and more popular among young Americans, mostly because they deliver news in a funny and relatable way. And it’s not just hearsay – research shows that Colbert and Stewart have audiences comprised of 43 and 39% of people of ages 18 to 29, respectively.
Many believe that Colbert and Stewart are actively changing the way we consume news. Both of them have unique ways of bringing political events to our attention, all the while entertaining just like any other entertainment program. But what’s even more important, their humor is largely based on satire. This means that the point of their discourse is not only to make fun of political figures and events, but to make us reflect on them as well. As such, satirical shows are shaping the next generation of American citizens, and for now, it seems that the end result will be an overwhelmingly positive one.