Apr 23, 2019

The Collegian’s top 10 reasons to vote

Patrick Tran / The Collegian

As the election approaches, students are encouraged to vote

Whether it’s changing the world or simply performing one’s civic duty, college students across the nation are finding more and more reasons to vote.

Forget that it happens to be a historic election (first African American presidential candidate and first female vice presidential candidate), or that it’s the first election since 1952 without an incumbent running, it is also an election with much at stake.

Fears of recession while still in a midst of a bloody conflict overseas are compelling the millennial generation to voice its concerns as much of the outcome of these issues will fall upon young adults.

Several college professors and other authorities from around the country expressed their confidence in the power of the college-age generation to influence the decisions that affect all of us.

10. We fight the wars
According to a study conducted by Linda Bilmes of Harvard University, the average age of a service member is 25. In a stark contrast however, the average age of a U.S. senator is 61. The only way to shift the decision making from people who decide to go to war to those who fight in them, is to vote.

9. We will live the consequences
Whether we agree with the current foreign policies or domestic decisions that are made by the current administration remains moot unless we vote and make our voices heard. However, regardless of whether we cast our ballot or not, we will be living with the consequences of those decisions and policies, and the shape of our future will depend greatly on the decisions made today.

8. These are the issues we should care about
Fred Vanderhoof, chairman of the Fresno County Republican Party, emphasized the influence college students can have on this election by voting, “because money is at risk, as 22-year-olds, 42-year-olds and 62-year-olds. Retirement plans are at risk. Medicare is at risk. This is a pretty dire situation and we need to carefully consider what the next president is going to do and how to fix those issues.”

7. Be part of history
Many people feel that this presidential election is one of the most important since 1933, when Franklin Roosevelt was elected president. Just like back then, a global conflict and an economic crisis were occurring. Leslie Hiatt, Communication Director for the Fresno for Obama organization, summed up the importance of college voters. “Young voters realize that this election is so critical and historical, they will want to be able to say they were apart of it in the future,” Hiatt said.

6. Unlike the popular John Mayer song, we don’t have to “wait for the world to change”
While catchy, “Waiting on the World to Change” gives the younger generation an excuse for remaining misinformed and inactive. Well, the truth is, college students have run out of excuses, and if the world is ever going to change, that change will have to come from us. We won’t see any difference by just waiting.

5. It’s our right… and our duty
It may sound cliché to talk about voting as a duty, but according to the U.S. Department of Defense, the estimated total of brave men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice during the course of all U.S. conflicts (not including the current war in either Iraq or Afghanistan) is well over a million. After such a high price was paid for our freedoms, it seems wrong not to exercise those rights that came at such a high cost.

4. We matter, because there are a lot of us
“Getting the youth to turn out to vote will make a significant difference in either party,” said Pedro Ramirez, president of the College Democrats. The majority of college students are a part of the millennial generation, which includes people born between 1977 and 1997. The millennial generation rivals the baby boomers in numbers and influence, and they are currently makeup more than 76 million people. There are 50 million eligible voters of the millennial generation, and whichever party can mobilize the youth vote can make a significant difference in the decisions of these elections, both on the federal and state levels.

3. The current economic decisions go on our tab
Regardless of whether you personally own a home and are affected by the sub-prime lending mortgage crisis, the $700 billion bailout bill of financial institutions is our problem, since we will be the ones paying for it. “All this borrowing will have to be paid off, and people that are older will retire. Yet it’s the people that are younger that will be entering the workforce and who will pay taxes for a long time, and the younger people will be responsible for paying back this bailout,” Dr. Russell Mardon, chairman of the political science department, pointed out.

2. The next president will have a lasting effect…
This president will appoint at least one and possibly up to four Supreme Court justices who interpret many debated policies. Currently serving on the Supreme Court are three justices over the age of 70 (88, 72 and 72), and one justice is 68 years old. Supreme Court justices serve for life. So while a presidential term lasts only four years, the administration’s philosophies and beliefs are carried on through the appointment of the justices. Some of the policies to possibly go before the court in the next few years include gay rights, abortion, gun control, privacy and civil liberties in the age of terrorism.

1. Let’s make our presence known
Fresno City Council member Henry T. Perea said by proving we are a force to be reckoned with, college students can influence more than just the outcome of the elections. Rather, we could significantly influence campaigning platforms and techniques.

“I think [college students] bring a more progressive attitude towards politics. If they did mobilize and vote, you would see candidates running on a more progressive agenda,” said Perea.

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