It has seemed impossible during the last few months to open Twitter and Facebook or to watch the news without one particular topic screaming for attention, whether you want to give it attention or not.
If you aren’t sure already, that topic is politics.
With the presidential election coming in just over a year, all forms of public communication are inundated with positive and negative information about candidates from both sides of the race.
But we’re college students, right? We shouldn’t have to worry about voting and politics yet, right?
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University conducted a study which showed that only 45 percent of people aged 18 to 29 voted in the 2012 presidential election. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. has approximately 53.5 million people within that age bracket. Do the math and that’s almost 30 million votes unplaced by our generation.
Almost 30 million votes that can make a difference.
Many people in our generation have taken a backseat view of politics. Honestly, we’ve gotten lazy about it. Instead of proactively seeking out information about candidates who may one day lead our nation for better or worse, we pay attention only if information is spoonfed to us in classes or through a brief blurb on our Twitter newsfeed. When students go out-of-state to a college, they tend to think that filling out an absentee ballot is too much of a hassle, if they’re even registered to vote at all.
As American citizens, we need to take advantage of our right to vote, and we need to stay informed about candidates and the issues they discuss.
Politics isn’t a game and voting isn’t a fantasy sports draft; the presidential race is so much more important than that.
And yet, our generation treats the reinstatement of Tom Brady as quarterback of the New England Patriots as exponentially more important than who may be the next leader of our country.
I know as college students we’re busy; I’ll be the first to agree with that statement. But please make time to get to know political candidates and their stances on issues. Show an interest in the future of our country. Dig deeper into current issues and expand your knowledge of politics.
And please, help make a difference and make an educated vote when the time comes.