A New Generation Of Voters

A New Generation Of Voters

Things are changing at the ballot box.
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I'm sure everyone is just about done hearing about this upcoming election. Recently the battle for the highest position in the free world has turned into a scrappy cat fight about things that no one ever saw coming. Suddenly our debate about who our next President should be has subsided so far from what their actually policies are, to personal attacks about things the candidates (or their husband) has said or done years in the past. On that note I will preface this article by saying that I will be voting for Hillary Clinton, as I simply cannot accept anything Trump says as Presidential and I find him seriously unqualified for the job. If you're still with me, this article is not a Hillary puff piece or anything like that. It's about something much bigger than these two candidates.

The situation we find ourselves in with this election is a result of our own actions as voters. We expect our President to be held to higher standards than the average person, but this election especially, we have set the bar so, so low. There is no more calmness, no more coherent conversations, no one is listening anymore. Just like our representatives on capitol hill, the political divide in America is so deep and immense, that no one is willing to stand near it and hear the other side. Campaigns are getting uglier than ever, and we eat it up. We live for the drama and scandal. And that's okay when it's a gossip magazine, not for the position of President. It's okay for Democrats and Republicans to disagree with each other, to argue and debate, but we're beyond that. We're beyond debate. We are to the point of violent rhetoric. Attacking people physically and verbally just because of their political beliefs. Both sides scream at the other, calling them names and insulting them as human beings. Suddenly Trump supporters are deplorable xenophobic racists. Suddenly Clinton supporters are carpetbagging anti-patriots for support "crooked Hillary." No longer is anyone themselves anymore with a political belief. Everyone is suddenly labeled as the worst possible thing from the other side. Could you imagine Trump and Clinton supporters sitting in the same room for ten minutes without breaking out in some violent action toward each other?

This is why this election is more critical and important than ever before. Younger voters are becoming more and more vital to Presidential elections. Political Scientists argue that President Obama won his election in 2008 because of the youth vote, as they came out in numbers like never before. It seemed like Obama had surged life into the voting population, bringing in so many young people into politics that may have not voted otherwise. And the same thing happened again with Bernie Sanders, who was a college campus mogul. Whether or not you agree with what President Obama or Bernie Sanders stand for, anyone situation in which more people who don’t usually vote are excited to vote, is a great situation. But Obama and Sanders aren’t on the ticket, and I feel the youth vote is slipping away. In a time where the youth vote is increasing and increasing, we’ve hit a wall that could send it back to the depths.

Instead of being excited for the future of America, a lot of voters are despising this election. And I think it’s fair to pin a lot this dark rhetoric being throw around due to our older generations. As younger generations are growing more and more socially accepting, they face older generations who are desperately holding onto their old society. They keep trying to hold onto what they their America is. And no one “owns” America. As more and more younger generations grow that have the potential to end all of the hate and anger in this country. But this a watershed point. If they are totally turned off by this election and decide that it’s impossible for rational, cohesive, mutual discussion to be had, then they may never come back. And then we’re faced with dealing with what older generations think American should be. We need to be moving forward as a country. Not back to where we were. So I ask everyone: Stop the hate. Go out and vote with respect for everyone on both sides of the aisle, and maybe we can finally start talking about change when we want it.

Cover Image Credit: NBC Washington

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Pete Buttigieg Is On Everybody's Radar Now, But Can Mayor Pete Really Become President Pete?

Charisma, polyglot and success in reviving a Midwestern city make him a viable candidate for president. But will this hold?

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At the time of writing this, at least 18 people are vying for the Democratic Party nomination to challenge Donald Trump during the Presidential election in 2020. This includes some heavyweights, such as Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Cory Booker. There are also fringe candidates, like Andrew Yang. Then there are the formerly fringe candidates. One person fits that bill: Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Pete Buttigieg has erupted as a potential candidate for the Presidency. He recently took 9% of a recent poll in Iowa, the state that begins the general election season. The question is this: why has he gained so much traction? There are several potential reasons.

First, Mayor Pete has, at least compared to Trump, significant governmental experience as the mayor of South Bend. He has been mayor since 2011. He began his time in office at the age of 29 and has since been re-elected with 80% of the vote in 2015. His success in the city has shown: the city experienced significant growth following a population decline between 2000-2010.

The Mayor has also spearheaded some rebirth projects in the city, including converting the old Studebaker plant in town into a tech hub, conversion of the city streets downtown, and millions of dollars of private investment into the city. As a result, Mayor Pete can tout his success here as examples of why he could be president.

Other supporters claim that he is immensely talented and intelligent (though I do not like this reasoning). Mayor Pete was a Rhodes Scholar after attending Harvard. He knows myriad languages, including Norwegian. He is well-acquainted with various philosophies, including that of well-known intellectual Antonio Gramsci, whom his father has written on.

Though this line of thinking is flawed (I mean, Julian Castro attended Stanford, Cory Booker was also a Rhodes Scholar and Elizabeth Warren lectured at Harvard Law School), it is easy to see WHY he resonates: when compared to the President, Pete is levels above him.

Finally, a lot of what he says resonates with people. He speaks about his faith with fervor and honesty, something I appreciate greatly. He talks about the virtues of progressive politics and supporting policies like universal healthcare, labor unionism, combating climate change among other policies. His youth ideals combined are valued by many.

However, Pete still has his critics. Concerns about the gentrification of the city, wiretapping, and targeting of vacant properties that led to accusations of targeting of minorities in the city are what concerns many people. There were also previous issues with the police chief in the town, who recorded conversations, and who he demoted, which raised concerns for racial bias.

Whether or not this affects the primary at all is anyone's guess. However, he has momentum. Maybe Mayor Pete will become President Pete someday.

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