Who Is Really To Blame for Voter Apathy?

Who Is Really To Blame for Voter Apathy?

Apathy is an inevitable part of life.

I have many reasonable excuses as to why I won’t be voting in the New York primaries on April 19th. The first excuse: there are other things I would rather be doing on my birthday. The second, and the most important: I just don’t care. I have been asked more than five times in the past two weeks who I’ll “be supporting,” and have responded with a variation of, “I don’t know, I live on the outskirts of modern society,” every single time. I admit, I use this phrase too often, but in this particular case it is a great example of the fact that voter apathy is very much alive.

As much fun as it is to blame the government for all our problems, the bureaucrats are not completely responsible. It is more society and it's beliefs that everyone’s opinion matters that has caused this phenomenon. There are roughly seven months before the November elections and it’s now official, there is nowhere left to hide. It is impossible to turn on the television without seeing coverage of the presidential candidates. Even worse, it is impossible to check social media without being virtually suffocated with someone's political opinion. Remember how it’s said that one shouldn’t discuss politics at the dinner table? I’d like everyone to pretend that the world is their dinner table.

In essence, voting is something that should be valued. People have given their lives in order for us to be able to hypothetically take the fate of our country into our own hands, yet there is something about being practically smacked in the face by the opinions of ignorant, and often naive, “political activists” that makes voting so unappealing. Actually, it is also the fact that I am expected to have an opinion that makes me absolutely not want to have an opinion. Everywhere I turn there is someone saying that “this is right” and “that is wrong,” completely convinced that their word is bond. If these people would, at anytime, like to take a giant step down from their high horse, I’d be happy to explain that shoving political beliefs down someone’s throat can only backfire. Although the law deems us adults at 18 years old, we are essentially still children, and what happens when you tell a child they should do something? They do the exact opposite. Telling young voters that they are obligated to vote only results in increased voter apathy and a desire to go against social norms.

This being said, I do a very good job at avoiding all things related to politics. Though I frequently check social media and my mother insists on playing NPR every morning, I have managed to absorb very little about the upcoming election. This is what I do know: Donald Trump is a bigot, Hillary Clinton is inconsistent, Bernie Sanders is a socialist and Ted Cruz, well, Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer.
Cover Image Credit: Google.com

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Knowing The Difference Between Redirection And Failure

This difference is everything.

Redirection, by definition means, the action of assigning or directing something to a new or different place or purpose.

Collectively, we know what redirection means in the basic sense of the word. However, when we experience redirection, we often view the situation as a failure or a loss. We as human beings can become easily frustrated or discouraged in seasons of misfortune and perceived failure.

In life, it’s rare that things go according to plan. We don’t get the job we wanted, we graduate college in 6 years not 4, perhaps don’t even finish, plans get cancelled and we disappoint ourselves. Unfortunate scenarios and events occur in everyone’s life, and no one is immune to mishap. So how do we stop viewing these inevitable complications as failure?

First, we must learn to not recognize them as such. Life is not easy and when things don’t work out it doesn’t mean we’ve failed. Often times we’ve just been redirected. We’ve been put on a new path to reach our end goal. This can be a challenging concept to accept at first, we often feel pressure to complete certain tasks in a very specific time frame or order. However, there is no right or wrong order when it comes to living your life. We all experience different events at different ages and each one of us embarks on a different journey to reach our unique end goal.

That being said, it’s common for people to feel that they have failed at a task due to time, specifically lack of time. We feel we weren’t given a fair amount, we miss a deadline or progress takes us longer than projected. Not completing tasks by a deadline can leave us feeling like failures, often times our lack of timeliness results in sanctions from someone who holds more power than we do. The fear of punishment can also manifest the fear of failure. Time is a non-renewable resource we cannot make up for lost time or create extra time for ourselves, but when we fail to meet a deadline it is important we forgive ourselves.

Failure leaves us feeling as if we have limited or no options after. We have exhausted all of our energy and resources into one project ultimately to watch it fail. After experiencing this, it can be hard to become re-inspired and find a new focus, but refocusing can be the best remedy.

Not every failure should be viewed as a loss, some failures provide us with new opportunities and growth, they redirect our lives and put us on the path we are supposed to be on. We will be disappointed and we will be hurt in this life. However, being denied of a job does not mean you’re forever unemployed, it may open new doors, the relationships that you’ve been hurt in can help you grow and prosper with your next partner, and every mistake made is not the end, they may even foster success.

Redirection happens to everybody, no one’s life is perfect or simple, even if it appears that way. As humans, we all struggle and we all feel like giving up at times. Let redirection fuel your next journey and allow your failures to become your inspiration.

Cover Image Credit: Caitlin Rounds

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The Contradiction Of Being "Woke"

Is just saying you're an activist enough?

It's no secret that students everywhere are forming many different opinions on gun violence, among other political issues, and it's important that young people stay involved in the political climate. We are the nation's future. However, as I evaluate the situation, I begin to wonder if just saying you are an activist is actually enough to voice an opinion.

Lately, I've seen countless tweets calling out gun violence in America, and there's a glaring contradiction I see whenever I stumble upon these tweets. On the one hand, I agree with the viewpoint of these young people, and I want to support the aforementioned tweet, however, is tweeting really enough to call yourself an activist?

I don't want to act like the gatekeeper for social issues, but it seems counterintuitive to jump on the bandwagon of BLM or March for Our Lives when in reality, many of the young people tweeting or expressing an opinion online, are really only doing it for the publicity. With the goal of being "#WokeGoals," many young people find themselves forming an opinion that is just an accumulation of what their parents or their favorite celebrity think.

While yes, there is merit in listening to the opinions of others, its beginning to seem like activism is mainstream, and in order to catch the sensationalist wave, many younger people are voicing an opinion for the sole purpose of jumping on that bandwagon.

We are an incredibly vocal younger generation, which is incredible, but more often than not we are preaching to the choir. I highly doubt that a Twitter argument over politics is actually going to change someone's mind, nor do I think that unbridled rage can change the opposing sides mind, however when you tweet, your social circle is going to be the primary audience, and it's more than likely that they already agree with you.

Activism for the sake of change is needed, and important, however in order to achieve the social goals that one claims to support, it is necessary to back that up, and not get swept up in the sensationalism of it all.

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