Don't Vote? Don't Complain
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Don't Vote? Don't Complain

Bad politicians are elected by good people who don't vote.

Don't Vote? Don't Complain
Media JRN

It is no surprise that 2016 has been an election year that will not soon be forgotten. With media covering the good, the bad, and the ugly of the election it has been hard not to feel like you are in the middle of the election yourself...or so I thought.

I was recently talking to one of my good friends and I asked her the dreaded question, “So who are you voting for?” Her response hit me harder than slipping and falling on ice in the dead of winter. She responded, “I’m not, why would I?”

It quickly came to my attention that many of my peers in the millennial generation aren’t so interested in voting on November 8th this year. But why? Don’t they know that millennials make up about 32% of the U.S. population? Don’t they know that if 75% of millennials, instead of 25% like previous election years, voted we would be able to actively bring issues that matter to us to the top of politicians priority list? Do we just not care anymore about politics?

The reality is that it isn’t that millennials don’t care about politics, they just dislike it. Research by Harvard University found that less than one-third of young people think that running for office is an honorable thing to do and two-thirds believe that politicians go into public service for selfish reasons. We are filled with frustration. We no longer trust our government or politicians to put our interests at the forefront of legislation.

Okay, so yes, this may be true. We may not be happy with how things have been going and we may not be all thrilled about one or both of the candidates representing the major parties. But, does that mean we need to perpetuate the learned helplessness of our generation and sit behind our computers and complain about them through memes and social media posts? No.

It means we need to get up off of our butts and become educated and responsible voters! Your vote DOES matter. There have been multiple past elections that were determined by swing votes. For example, the Presidential race in 2000 between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush came down to a single state and a few hundred votes. Additionally, John F. Kennedy squeaked out a victory over Richard M. Nixon in 1960 by just 0.1 percent.

In the 2016 election, our future President is not the only important thing being voted on. Elections are being held for city, county, and state level offices as well. All of which have the ability to make changes in our lives and communities.

Millennials so desperately want a change, yet don’t want to get up and vote to make it happen. We need to stop hoping for change, and go out and help make that change happen. We are not powerless and our opinions do matter. We live in a great country that has provided each and every one of us with opportunities, including the right to vote.

For many, many years the only people who were allowed to vote were white men who owned land or a business, but now in 2016 any US citizen, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or first spoken language, who is 18 years old can vote.

Please, I beg of you, don’t take this for granted. Your voice is important but the only way to be heard is to speak. Do this on November 8th by voting at your local polling place. For more information about who is on your ballot and where to vote, visit the Rock The Vote website.

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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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