As a Government major, I would be quite the failure if I was not following the Presidential Race. With Fred Thompson, Rudy Guiliani and John Edwards all recently dropping out, the candidates are narrowing down. I know you’ve probably heard it a million times before, but this may be the most exciting Presidential Race in the History of our country, and this is the first one I get to vote in!
With the Texas primaries coming up in just over a month, I find it incredibly important to stay aware of what is happening on both sides. It disappoints me to know the age group ranging from 18 and 24 consistently has the worst turnout on election day. Even though Texas is far from being a swing state, there is no reason for young people to use the excuse of “my vote doesn’t matter.”
Being in a collegiate setting, I find there are so many opportunities for young people to educate themselves. There are screenings of the debates, voter registration booths everywhere and above all- we’ve had presidential candidates come to speak in our city!
Over Christmas Break, my mom told me about an article she read about college students who would give up their vote for a given price, specifically tuition. As a college student with loans, I understand completely the desire to have tuition no longer be a concern- and I go to UT where tuition is about a quarter the price of NYU’s (the school in the article). At first, I was quick to defend my fellow collegiates, but the more I thought about it, the more disappointed I became.
Sure, not having loans or having to worry about how you’re going to pay them off would be quite fantastic, yet no amount of money is quite equal to the right to have a say in your government. It is so easy to take for granted something we have always had, and hopefully always will have. I still remember I was the only person in my high school friend group who seemed excited about turning 18 so that I could vote. Most seventeen-year-olds seem to be excited about cigarettes or the like, so why is there such a lack of faith in the process of voting? Why do only about 60% of Americans vote in any given election- and that’s seen as a great turnout?
Now that I have this great opportunity to blog for the University and voice my opinion. I hope all young people reading this will consider the importance of voting. Our nation runs on the people’s opinion. Essentially, if you have an opinion on anything related to the government, that is reason enough to vote. I have never met a student who did not have an opinion, so we should use that. We have opinions and a voice and it is foolish to let those go unnoticed.
I hope this 2008 election can be the time when the age group of 18-24 shocks the world and shows up in huge numbers. I believe it can happen, so let’s make it a reality.
Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good: ‘Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm. -Ralph Waldo Emerson