No excuse for avoiding Nov. 7 vote
November 3, 2006
On Nov. 7, people across the nation will go to their local churches, community centers and elementary schools to voice their opinions on who they believe will best lead their towns, cities and states. They will exercise their right as American citizens to choose who governs them. They realize that so many of the decisions they make today will directly influence tomorrow and where this nation will be 20 years from now, 30 years from now and maybe even 100 years from now.
A lot of people understand that it is crucial to vote.
And a lot of people really don’t give a shit, and a lot of those people are college students.
I recently braved the UW-River Falls campus to find out if students plan to vote. If they answered, “yes,” I asked them what issues they found to be important in the upcoming election and why. If they answered, “no,” I also asked them to tell me a bit more about their decision.
I was expecting to get to educated answers, especially from those who realized that being knowledgeable is crucial in the world we live in today.
Yet I was unpleasantly surprised.
The vast majority of the students I asked said they were not going to vote, and when I asked why, they gave answers like, “I don’t really care about politics,” or “I never really got into them.”
It’s ridiculous that college students paying for an education would not take the time to sit down and conduct a little background check on the candidates who are running for office. I know we are all busy and we all have homework and we have to work and so on, but that is not an excuse for us not to care where this country of ours is going.
Our forefathers fought hard so we could have a government where the people were able to actively participate, and not have to sit and watch while some dictator controlled our lives.
We have the power to control what goes on with the government, and instead we make excuses and more excuses to defend the fact that we are inherently lazy. And then we bitch and moan about the decisions our leaders make.
If you don’t care about politics then you don’t care about the war in Iraq, stem cell research or the marriage amendment.
And if you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to bitch and moan.
Also, if you say you don’t like politics because you don’t like the political advertisements where candidates are attacking each other and you see it as stupid or juvenile, you still don’t have an excuse.
I guarantee that you probably live for “Real World,” “The Bachelor” and the hundreds of other reality shows where people are stabbing each other in the back, so don’t pull the card that you are too grown up to show an interest in this type of campaigning.
But I shouldn’t generalize all students. There were a few diamonds in the rough, and some people had a lot of educated opinions on the issues they felt were important. Props to you for exercising your right and being able to back it up with some knowledgeable facts. You are the ones who have the power, and hopefully some day you won’t feed off of the easily swayed and apathetic.
The point is, it’s important to be a little bit educated on politics, and it’s important to vote. It’s easy for others to take advantage of you if you don’t care, and the last people who we want to take advantage of us are politicians.
My advice to you is tape Nip/Tuck this week, read up on the upcoming election and vote Nov. 7.
Rebecca De Neui is a student at UW-River Falls.