Why It's Important To Vote As A College Student

Why It's Important To Vote As A College Student

"Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good. 'Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

If there is one thing we are starting to see more of in the media lately, it's the 2016 presidential elections. If you're a college student, this is more than likely the first presidential election in which you will be old enough to vote. As a college student, I hear a lot of different opinions based on whether or not to vote. Many times I have actually heard, "I'm probably not going to vote because I don't get politics and one vote won't make a difference." It's easy to think of yourself as one voter out of millions, but what about all the other people thinking the same thing? Votes add up and yes, all these votes can make a difference in an election. The reality is, we're adults now and as adults, we are given this great privilege to vote.

So really, how does the whole voting process work?

If you don't remember how voting works from your 7th grade constitution class, here's a basic run down. We the people, technically only have a partial say in the outcome. Sure, your single vote may not change the direction of an election, but it definitely helps. In November, unless you are a part of the electoral college, this will be your final vote cast in the election. The popular vote is the common vote and it is basically the vote that gives members of the electoral college an idea of what the people are thinking. Think of this as a survey! Each state has the same number of electors as its U.S senators plus the number of its U.S representatives. We vote for these electors because they have to make such an important decision! These electors typically vote based on the candidate that won the popular vote in their state, but there is no official rule stating they have to vote this way. That is why a candidate can win an election even if they didn't win the popular vote. These electors are your final decision makers and place their votes in December.

Okay, I get it...but I still feel like my vote doesn't matter.

You're vote does matter though! The reason behind the popular vote and the electoral vote is because when the U.S Constitution was created, our founding fathers thought a sole popular vote was a little too risky, but they also didn't want to give congress all the power of voting for our country. So, this was the resulting compromise. We are at an age where we have the opportunity to voice our opinion (with a little help, of course) and we certainly shouldn't take this opportunity for granted.

I feel like I don't know enough about politics to vote.

You don't need to know everything about politics, but you should have a basic understanding behind each politician's views and how they plan to create change and guide our country. Think about how a president's decisions might affect you in the future. What line of work are you planning to enter? How will the president support your ability to pay off student loans? How will you pay for your medical insurance when you can't stay on your parent's insurance anymore? Side note: You can no longer stay on your parents health insurance plan when you reach the age of 26. Is there a candidate with similar values as you that you wish to see represented? These are all important questions to ask yourself before you pick a candidate.

Of course there are more specific and important methods to consider when narrowing down the candidates. Think about following the candidates on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media. We are a generation that is all about social media, so keep updated with a candidate's campaign in your news feeds. The next easiest way to help guide your decision is by following the debates. If you didn't know or watch already, the first republican primary debate occurred on August 6, 2015. During the debates, a moderator will ask common questions that can help sway the public's decision. You may even find these questions interesting or something you've never considered, but important. You can base your decision off the candidates' responses, as these are questions they should be prepared to answer.

How will my vote change the future?

Placing your vote is just the beginning of how you can voice your opinion and change America. We are the next generation of leaders and it is up to us to shape our country the way we want. This leader will voice our opinions, aid in our decisions, and ultimately affect the lives we live for at least four years. Voting is maturity! It represents the point you have reached in your life to not just make decisions for yourself, but also for the ones you care about and others in this country. You have the potential to make history. Why waste this great privilege?

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Illinois Republicans Just Gave A Neo-Nazi A Major Platform

As if having a raging racist for President isn't enough.

Dictionary.com defines a neo-Nazi as a person who belongs to a political organization whose beliefs are inspired or reminiscent of Nazism. We learned about Nazis in school; they were the notorious villains of the story who came to life in a terrible, disgusting way. We learned their absolute hatred for any other race besides their own, insomuch that they murdered those they hated.

It is always a bit of a surprise to me that people who believe in this kind of hatred still exist today, simply because it seems impossible to hate someone that much. Yet society is still plagued with them, and in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, they’ve been given a microphone to express their views.

The villains that many minorities fear and continue to fear are alive and well, spreading their narrative around like wildfire, destroying everything they come in touch with.

And Illinois just made one of them extremely comfortable in one of the most powerful state positions.

70-year-old Arthur Jones became the Republican nominee for Congress in Illinois on Wednesday, upsetting many who had vehemently campaigned against his placement. Tim Schneider, the Illinois Republican Party chairman seemed to have fought the hardest, saying Jones isn’t a “real Republican” but rather a “Nazi whose disgusting, bigoted views have no place in our nation’s discourse”.

While Jones disregarded the accusations of being a Nazi, he has been an active participant in the white nationalist movement for years. He ran for mayor of Milwaukee with the National Socialist White People’s Party and runs a campaign website that features a page that disregards the Holocaust completely.

While many continue to make excuses for Trump and his entirely questionable feelings toward minorities, Jones is a Nazi through and through.

Allowing a Nazi into a position of power like Congress invites many dangerous ideals and actions into society, similar to the rise in White nationalism following Trump’s win.

After Trump’s win in the Presidential Election, hate groups have increased by four percent and white supremacist terrorism has seemed to have erupted. The largest white supremacist demonstration, Charlottesville, brought terror to minorities as it seemed the villians were trying to “take back their country”. Trump has not only refused to denounce ties with white supremacists such as former Klan leader David Duke, but has also had the audacity to surround himself with advisors that have direct ties to radicalism.

Whether you choose to see it or not, almost every shooter that has destroyed communities of schools and concert goers was a white nationalist seeking to somehow purify America. The second you hear about a shooting or a homeland terrorism attack, the first thought that pops into your head is a white nationalist.

Giving yet another Nazi a massive platform to continue to spread this kind of hatred will make things worse. We step back into a history that offers no mercy for minorities, a history that seeks to purify the natural diversity of human nature.

While nearly everyone agrees Nazis are bad news, not everyone agrees to truly recognize it. We’ve become a society that shames those who simply want validation and equal treatment. We disregard it as over-the-top and too much to ask for.

The only way to fight this hatred is recognizing what is going on and taking action about it. Don’t elect neo-Nazis, for one, and don’t perpetuate the narrative that they are harmless. Choose to love, choose to be good, fight the better fight. It’s really not that hard if you put your mind to it.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Sun Times

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You Shouldn't Take Part In March For Our Lives, And Here's Why

You’ll be surprised why.

There are zero reasons. We are marching for gun reform to ensure that everyone in this country is kept safe and that another tragedy like the Parkland shooting never happens again. 17 lives were lost which is 17 too many.

Please take part in history and march on March 24th. Be part of the change. In the meantime sign the petition, call your local legislators, and whatever you do, don’t stop talking about it.

Cover Image Credit: March For Our Lives

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