If You Don't Do Your Research First, Please Don't Vote

If You Don't Do Your Research First, Please Don't Vote

An uninformed vote is barely a vote at all.

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You can't go anywhere now without someone telling you to "go vote."

It's on what we watch on TV, all over social media, family members are telling each other and people are even telling their friends. Reminders to register are everywhere, and that's a good thing. So, many people are using whatever platform they have and at the highest level possible. It's good to know that reminders are everywhere, so there are no excuses to not vote.

The midterm elections are more important than ever, and the only real way to make a difference is to vote to change it. We have the power to flip Washington upside down and we should be excited about it. The way our country is being run is upsetting and pathetic. That is why not just having a voice, but also using it, is so important. Young people usually have fresh opinions and that can really help.

So, yes, vote. Early vote, absentee vote, vote on November 6th at your polling location. Do whatever it takes to make your voice heard.

But please do not vote because you feel like you have to and don't vote absentmindedly.

Don't vote based on political party alone, or gender, or age. And don't let anyone tell you who you should vote for based on what they think. Voting is an independent process and first-timers can be swayed and pressured with voting constantly being shoved in their faces. Young people should be encouraged to make their own way.

Vote for policies and people who have done notable things that you agree with. You should know your town, state, or country will be in good hands with the people you vote for. Do enough research to know you're making the right decision. Vote because it's a cool thing to do, but also because you really want to make a difference.

No one should just accept what they're given when we operate under a democracy and with so much freedom to make choices for ourselves. There is no reason to accept defeat when it comes to elections. However, not voting isn't the worst thing one can do.

In some ways, not researching is worse than not voting at all. When someone votes for someone they know nothing about, it takes away from votes that were thought out and it gives someone a vote who maybe shouldn't get it. When people are telling us to "go vote," they mean to become educated to know what side we stand on with every situation and then find people to support our visions.

An uninformed voter is hardly a voter at all.

There are so many resources that will help gather all the information to make conscious decisions. Pave your own path and do what you need to feel comfortable making such a lasting contribution. The country is going downhill fast, so do something about it if you're feeling passionate about it.

Take your time figuring out which candidates are right because your vote is worth a lot and there's a lot riding on it.

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The Struggles Of Being A Millennial Republican

To us, conservative logic just makes sense.
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We are the few, the proud, the Millennial Republicans. Our duty is to make sure the Grand Ol' Party stays alive and thriving, a task we proudly take on. We have forsaken all of the #FeelTheBern hashtags and declined to retweet the selfie of Kim Kardashian with Hillary Clinton. Our refusal to partake in the ideology of our peers does come at a cost by making us the unpopular kids at the political lunch table, a title we are actually okay with. Our "coolness" is a small price to pay to make sure America remains the best country in the world.

The Millennial Conservatives are a rare but amazing group of people who can bridge the gap between generations. Our basic principles still align with those of our parents' and grandparents' while bringing a fresh perspective to the table. To us, the conservative logic just makes sense. This is very clearly not the case for everyone, though. Every argument has been hurled our way for why it is crazy for our generation to vote red, but none have even come to close to convincing us to leave the right wing.

Unfortunately, there are still the daily struggles of being surrounded by democratic peers. These are a few situations which every twenty-something conservative can relate to:

When your liberal professor goes on a rant about the GOP.


Every time you see a Facebook rant about Bernie making everything “free.”


Actually, every time you see anything about #FeelingTheBern.

When you get on Tumblr to look at pictures of cute dogs and are bombarded by anti-Republican posts.

When Hillary Clinton did the "nae nae" so we were supposed to forget about Benghazi.

When people automatically assume you are voting for Donald Trump.


That friend who tells you all about how bad the Republican debates were but didn’t even watch them.

When a Democrat says they are the party that doesn’t judge anyone then calls all Republicans homophobic, sexist and racist.

When you find people your age who share your political stance.

You are a woman, so you must be a Democrat.

When someone tells you that Republicans are just “old, white men.”

When someone tries to convince you to switch parties.


Cover Image Credit: Jeremiah Schultz / Flickr

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Be White Feminists

I am white. I am a feminist. But I try very hard to avoid being a "white feminist."

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Preamble 1: I'm not sure if you're aware, but it's a humid, grey April afternoon and being a woman comes with extra challenges, to which I definitely did not agree but they were probably in some fine print that I skimmed. Bummer. Anyway, feminism! Feminism's place in 2019 is contested but I am coming from a place of having heard many of the sides; given that, it would be lovely if you would hear my side.

Preamble 2: Before I get into this topic, I want to acknowledge the place of privilege from which I come. Look at my fully Irish name, I am white. Believing in social, economic, and political gender equality, I am a feminist. But I try very hard to avoid being a "white feminist". As a student at Texas A&M;, a university that sometimes strays into homogeneity in both thought and demographic, I've been noticing a pattern in many conversations concerning gender equality. The pattern is that of white feminism.

White feminism is a Western-styled picking and choosing of feminism that entails a set of beliefs tolerating the ignorance of issues that mostly impact women of color.

Contrast this philosophy with intersectional feminism, which recognizes multiple identities and experiences within us, while promoting more united gender equality. Without intersectionality, our essence cannot stand against oppression and stand for equality without acknowledgment of the nuances of different historical struggles. As women, we face difficulties, but not all women face the same oppressions and marginalizations – and that cannot be overlooked in narratives.

As far as gendered-based violence goes, the Justice Department estimates that one in five women and one in seventy-one men will experience rape in the US. However, here's where the necessary nuances come in.

Women and men of color are more likely to experience this form of violence than white women or men. Women and men who are LGBTQ+are more likely to experience this form of violence than straight women or men. Lower income women and men are more likely to experience this form of violence than women or men in the highest income brackets.

So, yes, one in five women and one in seventy-one men are rape victims. But quoting that statistic without disambiguating the data can mislead readers or listeners of the ways that different identities amalgamate into this final number. Essentially, disproportional oppressions exist. All people are at risk for gendered violence, specifically rape, in America, but some people are more at risk.

If you need more of an explanation, think of the following analogy. White feminism is to intersectional feminism what #AllLivesMatter is to #BlackLivesMatter. Everyday Feminism contends, "the former's attempt at inclusiveness can actually erase the latter's acknowledgment of a unique issue that disproportionately affects a specific group of people".

If you ever find yourself guilty of white feminism, (I've been there!) know that we are all evolving. As long as you are open to education, we are all on the same side.

Here are three vital steps you can take to make your feminism intersectional!

1. Reflect on yourself. 

Reflect on your long-held beliefs based on your perspective alone could not apply to someone else. Reflect on your privileged experiences and acknowledge them for what they are.

2. Think about others. 

Once you've figured your internal state out from step one, you ought to look at the experiences of others with the same level of validity as your own. Ethically, feminism focuses on equality. Yes, that means stopping sexism, but it also expands to mean stopping complicated systemic oppressions that affect more than just white women. That said, white feminists are not the enemy in the fight for equality, rather, they are underinformed.

3. Don’t be afraid to grow. 

Say you were wrong. There's less shame in it than you think. In fact, I genuinely wish our culture was more forgiving of people who made an honest mistake in their past, but their hearts were/are in the right place.

Allow yourself to move onwards and upwards. We are all works-in-progress. We are all striving for better versions of ourselves. Intention is everything and your intention should be to always learn.

Intersectional feminism is challenging, like all educations. If you're doing it right, it should force you to think and even make you feel a little bit uncomfortable. After all, while feminism is here to help, it is not here for your (or my) comfort.

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