Voting Editorial by Grace Baker
Voting Editorial by Grace Baker
The John W. Pope Civitas Institute's research on voting participation states that 18-25 year olds comprised only eleven percent of registered voters during the 2008 presidential elections. Young people are severely underrepresented in the world of politics. The simple result of the lack of participation in young adults is that their interests in politics will not be considered and therefore they will be neglected and discontented.
Consider the movie V for Vendetta. This film's protagonist is a revolutionary in an oppressive society, much in the tradition of Orwell. “V,” however, bears one major distinction from Orwell's Winston Smith – his success. In the totalitarian government under which he has lived, personal freedom is a thing of the past. “V” takes it upon himself to show every citizen of his nation that they have minds, wills, and memories. Each man can, they come to realize, decide what is best for himself without the interference of the government. The government is usurped and the people revolt. Individual rights are restored.
Tyrannical societies abridge the freedoms of their citizens and make it impossible for those citizens to have a say in what happens in their country. These people cannot make changes because they lack the voice with which to speak their desires. Our country gives us a voice periodically in the form of a vote. Each citizen who is of age is granted the right to contribute to his or her idea of a brighter future through this vote. But consider this: isn't it just as ineffective to have a vote and not to use it as it would be not to have the vote at all? Wasteful as we are, we have come to sit so comfortably in our rights that we throw them away like they were nothing at all.
This is not the kind of behavior that ensures a prosperous and secure future for American Government and Politics. Rather, behavior like this ignores the responsibility of a person to his own environment. Children, as any parent will tell you, are experts in the field of making messes and then screaming because there's a mess. Perhaps it is necessary to capture and preserve the spirit and innocence of childhood, but this is one attribute from infancy to adolescence that most certainly does not need to be carried into adulthood. What young adults should consider each times they have the chance to vote for something is whether that issue's outcome will affect their lives in any way. Each person must ask himself or herself, “Does the president matter to me? Is this issue of importance in my life?” More often than not, it becomes apparent that the very reason that we have the chance to vote on certain things is because it has been found that those things will affect us a great deal.
Make no mistake, not to vote in a society that expressly asks for our opinion before making changes is wasteful and insulting. It is an affront not only to the men and women who run for office, but to those early Americans who safeguarded our right to have a say in our government. If young people in America don't start taking responsibility for our society, we are not headed for a terribly bright future.