Why Did 2016 Have To Be My First Year To Vote?
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Politics and Activism

Why Did 2016 Have To Be My First Year To Vote?

I'm not telling you who to vote for -- I'm telling you why you need to vote.

Why Did 2016 Have To Be My First Year To Vote?

I'm sure as many of you are and as my politics teacher has said to us, "I'm sorry this is the first election you guys have to vote in. This is not how it usually goes down; it's just really disappointing." Ugh, yeah, so that's the understatement of the decade -- I would say century but we have 84 years left to go and something far crazier could happen, yes even crazier than having to pick the lesser of two evils in this year's election...

1. Where should I even begin getting info and how?

How did we get here, between this rock and a hard place of an election? How is one supposed to sift through all of the crap this election has brought up? It is near impossible to know what is true and what is not; it is extremely frustrating to have this be the first election I am having a chance to vote in as a young adult. I am a 19-year-old college student, majoring in journalism, constantly seeing new developments in this election that I can barely keep up with. A girl in my politics class this past week said, "I feel like so much of this election stuff is over my head. I did not know where to begin in order to get credible information, so I could formulate an opinion on who I wanted to vote for." Quite frankly, I get it; she, like most college students, really do not know where to start looking for information. Watching the debates, reading weekly articles from multiple outlets (Fox News, New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NBC, etc.), and educating yourself on the different candidate's policy stances on immigration, medicare, taxes, and improving the national debt will help one come to their conclusions, though. Voting is one of the most direct rights that American citizens have, and it is so important to exercise it, especially this year.

2. How and who do you pick?

Regardless of my political views, it is quite a shame to have to pick between a businessman that lots of people see to be a misogynistic person that is not taken seriously by other politicians or a woman whose husband had an affair while he was in office who many people see as a compulsive liar that misappropriates funds within the Clinton Foundation and the one responsible for Benghazi. Now in past elections, past mistakes have caught up to candidates but none of them have been quite as damaging and influential as Hillary Clinton's and Donald Trump's (I type their names and I still shutter at the fact of who we have to pick between). The simple fact is, though, this is who we have to choose from, unless of course the other two, not-so-popular presidential candidates, Dr. Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, pull out electoral votes in a couple of states and damage the 270 electoral votes needed for Clinton or Trump to win -- that would really be the icing on the cake. There have also been rumors of a popular write-in candidate taking lots of votes away from these two as well. All of that is to be determined, though...

3. Why is this election so different?

This election all around is unique -- there have never been so many Republicans adamantly and openly opposed to the Republican nominee because he isn't the cookie-cutter, predictable politician. A Democratic nominee has never been questioned to decide whether criminal charges should be filed against her within the campaign season because of an email scandal. There has never been a Republican nominee that tweets out his opinion about "crooked Hillary," this "rigged election" and the prejudiced media so openly (here's his Twitter). There has never been video of the Democratic Presidential nominee saying "What difference does it make?" in regards to questioning on the death of four American soldiers in Benghazi, nor has there been a video of the Republican nominee threatening to put the Democratic one in jail for her blatant disregard of the laws in this country, in regards to her email scandal, at the second debate if he gets elected to be President (link is also below). There have never been accusations of the Republican nominee participating in sexual harassment so close to Voting Day. Rarely has the current Democratic President's brother ever backed up the Republican nominee for President either, regardless of how estranged Obama and his brother are. There has never been talk of free college tuition from someone as passionate as Mr. Bernie Sanders, who people still deny not being the Democratic nominee, and moderators have never grilled the presidential nominees during the three debates as hard as they have this year. Americans have never put SnapChat filters on the presidential nominees at the debates either, nor have so many hair jokes been thrown out at both nominees. And, ultimately, America has never has a business man running up against a woman for president -- this election has changed the dynamics of politics, and in my opinion, for the bad.

4. Where do we go from here?

All of these things have put serious questions in the back of Americans' mind: where will our country be in another four years with either of them and who is the better choice? The most controversial question that has arisen from this election also, is what if Americans do not like either of the major party's nominees for the presidency? What do we do then? I have formed my own opinion, but it is up to the rest of America to decide theirs and educate themselves. Most importantly, everyone needs to vote, period, end of discussion. Regardless of who you vote for, if you don't vote then you cannot really complain about the outcome. Early voting has just started, and official Voting Day is November 8, so go out and vote if you do not do anything else. Educate yourself before you go, though -- don't just vote for Hillary because you are a woman and don't just vote for Trump because you despise Hillary! There is simply no excuse for not voting, even if you are not too pleased with either major presidential candidate -- you still have to vote for your state and local government officials this year.

5. What is truly at stake for this election?

Ultimately, our economical future is at stake, as our national debt is at an unsustainable all-time high of $19.7 trillion. Voting for your state officials will determine which political party gets control of the House and Senate since both are up for grabs this year. Who we elect President will also determine the next Supreme Court Justice as well, which is a huge deal as their terms are life-long and will influence the dynamics of our justice system for 20+ years. This election is very important, that is why voting and political awareness is even more important right now. In light of all of the shade thrown and uncertainty amongst this election, though, please enjoy the video below of Mrs. Clinton dancing to "Juju On That Beat," which was featured on Ellen...

So, now it is up for you to decide America, who are you going to vote for?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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