Although the election is 57 days away, our generation still lacks a voice. The conventions concluded Thursday, the presidential nominees became official and Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will duke it out on Nov. 6. But here’s the real question: why don’t we care?
Our generation rocked the vote four years ago. Students rallied, people cared and political conversation flourished even among those unable to vote. Taking an active role in politics doesn’t have to start when you turn 18; we are in college now—and we have the ability to vote. We have the power to decide the future of our nation, and it’s a big deal. So what is going on?
The media—national, local, social and the like—throw the important headlines at us every day. We are blasted with intimate details of each candidate’s life—from childhoods, personal relationships to their political decisions dating back to the first time they were able to vote. Despite the fact that we have so much access to information, we choose to ignore it.
We understand that the flood of information can be overwhelming; the news briefs, constant headlines, photos and speeches can make you feel like the news is stuck in an infinite loop of public policies and party platforms. But stop and think for one second, can you actually name something Romney stands for? Do you know what the acronym POTUS stands for? Where did Paul Ryan come from?
If you can’t answer these questions, don’t feel bad. You have plenty of time to learn.
Just because politics are a difficult subject to grasp doesn’t mean they should be ignored. They aren’t going to go away. As we get older, policies we choose not to bother with today might come back to bite us. The majority of citizens who actively vote are above 65 years old. They care. We need to show the same enthusiasm.
Becoming involved in politics post-retirement is too late to see any changes. If we want to rock the vote, we’ve got to do it before we hit the rocking chair.
If you are eligible to vote but are not yet registered, visit elections.state.ny.us to get started.