It’s a common trope among people ages 18 to 30 that their vote doesn’t matter in the United States, and that they can’t make a change. But I want people within this age range to change their thinking, because it actually does matter how you vote, who you vote for and what you’re voting for.
The youth vote is important because we are the future. I know, that sounds cliché, but it’s extremely true. If we make changes now, the future could be unbelievably different.
If the youth voted, college kids in the future could be going to public universities for free. In the process, we could even make it easier for us, those that are graduating up to our eyeballs in debt from tuition and loans, by getting our debts waived.
We could push to legalize marijuana. If we start in our respective state, it could become a nationwide event. If this happens, people with actual medical uses for the drug wouldn’t have to uproot from their homes and lives to move to Arizona or California. And if it’s sold for recreational uses, it can be taxed, much like cigarettes or alcohol.
Social change can come from our vote, as well. We could push for more social reforms and civil rights opportunities for the oppressed and the poor.
With our vote, we can make major strides to promote environmental change. Things like helping reverse the effects of climate change with solar and wind power sources, finding ways to lessen our carbon footprint as a nation and hold those accountable for environmental disasters across the nation, like those in Flint, Michigan.
The presidential election is one place to start. We need to look at who fits our interests the best. Don’t vote for just anyone because you heard a funny quip from them on the Internet, or because it’s automatically decided by the media that they’ll win. You need to do the research yourself.
It doesn’t stop here. Pay attention to who is running for Congress in your area, because ultimately, they have the most influence. A president presents bills, but Congress votes on them. We need to vote for politicians who will represent us the best.
What comes with the vote is research, time, and criticism. Connecticut’s presidential primary is on April 26. This is the first step in deciding our future, and with so much tension in this country, we need to voice our opinions and make a change for the better.
Don’t think that your vote doesn’t matter, because it does. We have the opportunity to turn the tides from the baby boomer generation to the millennials.
Make sure you’re registered to vote, and go out there to make the difference, no matter how big or small it may be.