Thursday, November 26, 2020

U build blocs

Youth must make political mark Tuesday with turnout

One vote does matter - and this year more than ever.

This year’s presidential election is unpredictable, and in addition, many local and statewide races are close. Not since 1960 has a presidential race been this contested, with candidates still vying for votes.

When political pundits attempt to predict which voter’s bloc will bring a turnout to win races, most do not see young voters as a powerful force.

Nor do politicians target young people when campaigning. Candidates should not be blamed for their strategies. Young people have a history of low voter turnout, causing many politicians to view concerns of the country’s youth as a waste of time. This in turn increases young voter apathy.

Voting is the only real way to break into the political system. When young voters prove they care enough to vote, politicians will start to care about young voters. Only then will candidates really address issues young people feel are important.

But issues debated in this year’s elections have more impact on lives of young voters. Issues like Social Security not only affect older Americans, but also will have direct impact on the lives of young Americans.

For example, if Social Security is emptied, it will run out when today’s young voters need it. Plans to privatize Social Security would affect what is done with the money that is taken out of young people’s paychecks.

In addition, the next president will likely appoint as many as four Supreme Court justices, who will interpret the Constitution and establish legislation that will affect all Americans for several decades. Other issues that are constant in every election, such as the environment, also impact the future of young Americans.

Voting is not just a fought-for right, but the responsibility of all Americans. Young people are obligated to educate themselves about these issues, and decide in which direction they want their country to head.

Voting is the best way to promote change and ensure that the government is truly representative - it is the cornerstone of democracy. The government is not truly representative if it is elected by only a portion of citizens.

While voting in every election is important, this year, a small number of votes really can help determine who has a place in the state House, U.S. Congress and the White House. The presidential candidate who earns Michigan’s 18 electoral votes, as well as other key battleground states, will likely win.

Voters should not stay home because they fear their chosen candidate will not win. Even a vote for a losing candidate sends a message about what Americans really want.

Young Americans clearly care about this country. They volunteer at rates higher than any other previous generation, and show their dedication to political activism through protests and demonstrations.

This activism must move from the streets into the voting booths Tuesday, when it can make the most difference in the future of the country. Please remember to vote.


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