Make a difference by educating yourself

By: Megan Graves, Columnist

As the presidential election creeps closer and closer, a lot of us young adults are being bombarded with information about the candidates and suggestions on who to vote for. We look at Hillary and think that it’s totally and completely awesome that a woman could potentially be our next president, that feel we should applaud her for making it this far past the glass ceiling. We see Bernie and think that all of our friends seem to really like him, and we kind of collectively wish he was our grandpa. Then we see “the Donald” and think there’s no way that human cheese puff could ever become the next president of the United States.

Well, here’s what’s wrong with all of that. Yes, it’s amazing that a woman is a serious presidential candidate when we only got the right to vote 97 years ago (shout out to our strong female ancestors). But that shouldn’t be the only reason you vote for her. Yes, everyone on Twitter is constantly telling you to feel the Bern, which, by the way, is just about the dopest slogan possible. But that shouldn’t be the only reason you vote for him. And yes, Donald Trump is an offensive, extreme piece of garbage. But that shouldn’t make you think he can’t win.

Our generation takes our right to vote for granted. We don’t care. It’s too much effort to register, and then we have to wait in line, and in between then we have to, what, you mean, educate ourselves? Yes. That’s exactly what we have to do.

Everything I just said is what the generations before us believe about us. They think we’re too lazy to go out and make an educated vote. They discount us. But dudes, there are so many of us. We are the future, dammit, so let’s act like it.

What if you vote for Hillary just because she’s a powerful woman, and you don’t like a policy she puts into action? What if you vote for Bernie just because all of your friends did, and you don’t like a policy he puts into action? What if you don’t vote at all, and Donald Trump wins? Trust me, you won’t like any of the policies he puts into action.

I know debates are long. I know they can be a little dry sometimes. But actually, once it starts getting down to crunch time, which it is, these people throw shade like nobody’s business. If you tune in, you might be, dare I say it, entertained (and informed). The next president of the United States will directly and personally affect you. They will affect your education, your job, your wages, your children, your environment, your rights as a human. Don’t even get me started on how much the next president will impact the rights of women. (To be honest, I already got started on it, and you’ll be reading a lot about it this semester.) The point is, your vote matters.

Let me put it this way: Donald Trump has been quoted saying that if his daughter weren’t well, his daughter, perhaps he’d date her. His ex-wife accused him of rape throughout their marriage. A video of him speaking was used in a terrorist recruitment video.

If you don’t vote, that could be your president. So, please, educate yourself on the candidates, hit “no” when Netflix asks you if you’re still watching and vote. You really will make a difference.

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