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Tis Time

Talk of politics is everywhere; from talk shows and satires, to music, radio, and cartoons. There’s no escaping it. If it’s such a vital part of our everyday lives, then why is the youth voting percentage so low? To put it simply, they just don’t care.

Adults value government because their beliefs are brought forth and are what drive our nation. While I learning about the different parts of government, it became clear to me why young Americans don’t vote. Many don’t find that the issues being discussed affect them. Prescription drug coverage, social security, it just isn’t relevant to our lives yet. They are little words that fly way over our heads, when in fact these issues involve us all. Many people of all ages have medical issues and require prescription drugs, and social security is our identity concealed in a few digits.

I don’t think it should not matter whether young Americans vote or not. Why would you want someone to vote who is uneducated on the topic or has no interest in it? It is too important of a subject to have just anyone take a large part in it. Uninformed voters are easily swayed and, if swayed the wrong way, could put a damper on our country in the long run. George Will, a conservative columnist for Newsweek magazine said it brilliantly, “declining voter turnout is no cause for worry”. Voter turnout is not nearly as vital as protecting our nation’s democratic system, unless the youth of our nation is educated on the subject.

Photo by Party Hard Politics

Indiana University did a study last election. They came up with theories on why young voter turnout is consistently lower than their elders. They asked simple questions and took them apart. Questions such as “what are the factors that influence whether people are likely to vote” and “why young people around the world vote in lower numbers than their elders”. A survey was prepared and sent out across the university. As the results came back, 30% of respondents said they were irritated with the activists around campus constantly urging them to take polls. Other said they just didn’t care to hear about Barack Obama day in and day out.  It is also the appeal of advertisements. As I have witnessed firsthand in class, presidential ads have a major impact, both negative and positive, on voters. However,

Out of all of the topics discussed in our government class, the presidential campaigning topic has had the most impact on me. Learning about the campaigning aspect of the process opens my eyes to new innovative ideas that might capture the eye of the public, more so than some of the ads today. Quality in the commercials is what attracts young voters, as it is important to get much of America involved once and for all. I believe that our generation must be educated on the importance of politics and the changes that the voters, themselves, can encourage simply by participating. It is not up to the select few to run our country; rather it is up to us. We can make our voices heard, and we can make a difference. If young adults realize that they could influence the course of history, voting participation would skyrocket.

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  1. May 10, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Thanks, Molly – nice job!

    I’m a little confused about paragraph #3: are you saying that it’s okay that voter participation is declining – maybe because uninformed voters would do more harm than good? You cite George Will – is that his view, as well?

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