Presidential Races: More than Checking a Box Every Four Years
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Politics and Activism

Presidential Races: More than Checking a Box Every Four Years

Presidential Races: More than Checking a Box Every Four Years

The GOP Debate took place Thursday, August 6, 2015. With much expectation going into the debate regarding the potential candidates for the presidential race and the patiently awaited responses, many of us crowded around the television to watch the first of numerous debates take place. As expected, the outcome left viewers with mixed emotions and yearning for the next debate to begin.

This column does not serve as a political agenda piece, but rather an informative piece regarding politics. I do believe there is a difference.

I sat on my couch Thursday night as I fully and attentively listened to each candidate speak. I refreshed my Twitter feed in between each brief commercial break to follow-up with the live-tweeting from the debate, and to update my personal Twitter with quotes and my opinions regarding each of the candidates answers. I soon became enraged as I updated my feed and saw the uneducated and mindless tweets that were being circulated by young adults from my age-group.

There was a clear following and admiration for Donald Trump, a celebrity that has decided to transform himself into a politician and a forerunner in the presidential race. His following and support lies in a younger crowd that believes he is amusing and entertaining, which are qualities that I do not believe a politician should have. Trump's fan base began tweeting such things as, “Donald Trump is spitting fire up there.” First of all, that ignorant lingo is typically referred to rappers as they spout their lyrics, not to a man that could potentially be running the country. It is almost as if the younger crowd of Republicans find him to be entertaining as he says comments that are blatantly offending, refuses to be respectful to anyone who disagrees with him, and provides no proof to his accusations. He is a ticking time-bomb, and mildly entertaining to watch as he explodes. However, he is no candidate for the presidential election.

If people starting at a young age began to educate themselves about politics and issues in this country, we as a whole might be able to see through Trump’s unnecessary behavior and realize how ridiculous it is that he is running for presidency. However, we live in a world that discredits 18-year-olds who talk about politics, because people are under the assumption that their opinion does not matter because they are not old enough to form their own thoughts. For example, although I am a young woman and do personal research on politicians, and find politics to be intriguing, my thoughts are deemed invalid. People are under the impression that all I am doing is representing what I have been told throughout my childhood, and that I am incapable of having my own personal political stance.

Many of you can disagree with this statement, but as I live-tweeted throughout the debate the night the GOP Debate took place, there was backlash from my twitter followers saying that I was too young to understand the issues being discussed.

How dare we begin to belittle someone for educating themselves at an early age. We live in a country where voting is a right that every citizen is given at the age of 18, whereas in other countries people are fighting in wars, being killed, and praying for the day that they are able to vote. An absurd amount of citizens take their constitutional right to vote for granted, and that is an absolute disgrace.

I am not here to promote my political preference or try to persuade you, because I know how pointless that is to do. However, I am here to ask you this: to educate yourself, to read a book, read a column, examine a synopsis from the debate, fully watch the debates if you can, or participate in any other activity that somehow furthers your knowledge. If you begin to participate in politics and gain your personal standpoint and opinions on issues, it will make the process of voting a more crucial and meaningful act, because it now pertains to you on a personal level.

I can only hope that the future of politics entails endless support and encouragement for the younger generation to begin educating themselves about political issues, and politicians in general, before it is too late. Because it is never too early to begin educating yourself. As Stan Lee once said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” The young-adult vote has the possibility of holding close to 50% of the vote; for example, in 2012, the voting rate for ages 18-29 held 45% of the votes according to "Young-Adult Voting: An Analysis of Presidential Elections, 1964-2012" by Thom File.

When you vote, your vote is more than a check in a box; it is your choice on who and how this country will be run for the next four years of your life. If you want to see something happen in this country, educate yourself and make a change to the system. Citizens of The United States are fortunate enough to be able to have a say in our government and the policies being discussed. It is time we as society, even those who have just entered the legal voting world, take advantage of our constitutional rights and take a stand. How will you use your vote?

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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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