“My vote doesn’t even matter, so what’s the point?”
“Every president lies about what they are going to do anyway.”
I hear these statements far too often. As a political science major in her 20s, it depresses me to see the disassociation between millennials and the political process.
First off, let me start out by telling you that your vote does matter. You not only have a civic duty to the democratic process, but as a millennial, you are part of the largest age group that is of legal voting age. This apathy that we’ve grown to accept needs to end.
Secondly, and this part is the most important, you need to educate yourselves. I cannot properly express how pissed off it makes me when millennials try to argue politics and they legitimately are not making any sense. I have a hard time contemplating how so many people willfully choose to be uneducated about something so important. We are the generation best known for being permanently attached to our phones. Put that Google search to good use and learn something. Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I understood what that drive meant, that desire to learn, far before I discovered his words.
In general, millennials need to learn what the electoral college does, how the three branches of government check and balance each other, how the president is not the supreme ruler of this country, and for the love of all that is holy, please learn what bureaucracy is. Do not tell me how all bureaucrats are evil, spineless bastards and then parade yourself all over Facebook about how we need to pay our educators more. Plot twist: professors are bureaucrats, too. I know I’ve probably blown your minds already, but let’s just dive a little deeper.
Do not blame POTUS for the inability to “get things done.” Our country was founded with a political process that breeds gridlock for a reason. The Founding Fathers wanted to ensure that no law could be created too quickly or hastily by government. We have a fundamental distrust of those in power and that’s OK. I won’t bore you with all of the specifics (even though I want to) but rather I will challenge you to educate yourselves. Bureaucracy affects us every single day, our leaders are important, and your vote matters (so don’t waste it by being a dumbass).
Maybe you don’t have a desire to change the world, but I do. It wasn’t those who sat idly by while apathetically scrolling through their social media feeds who made a difference. It was the individuals who found that passion for learning, the fire, and refused to let it burn out. The way things used to be does not define how things always will be. Change is terrifying and beautiful and we constantly need it. I know that the intricacies of our political process can be frustrating and difficult to grasp. However, in America, you change the world by changing politics. If you don’t know what the Constitution says, how can you know if your rights are being violated? How can you choose a candidate to support if you don’t understand their platform? Do not let your family, friends or news feed define your beliefs. Every single day you should strive to be better, smarter, funnier. Your life will be affected by democracy, by politics and by bureaucracy whether or not you choose to understand them.
Do not be the sheep, be the shepherd.