Editor’s Note: VoiceWaves #Vota blog posts feature diverse youth commentary and views on the upcoming elections. Don’t forget to turn out the youth vote on Nov. 8th!
This year’s presidential election is by far the most controversial and extraordinary one in modern U.S. history, and not for the right reasons. One candidate, a former president’s wife, could potentially be the first female president of the United States, while the other, a T.V. personality who perhaps climbed his way too far up the political ladder, is unlike any major-party candidate we’ve ever seen.
Even still, the votes are split. Some still say that the Republican candidate’s nomination is a rare occurrence that does not fairly reflect all the progress America has made. But in fact his rise represents an uncomfortable truth: our country hasn’t progressed as much as many of us might have thought.
Listen folks, it’s time to get disillusioned about our modern day social conditions. No, black people are no longer slaves and Japanese immigrants aren’t living in internment camps, but we still have quite a ways to go. And with so much at stake, people should recognize that this election is no longer about Democrat vs. Republican or Conservative vs. Liberal.
This is about right vs. wrong.
This election cannot afford people voting based solely on party affiliation or single issues.
The problem with voting based on party affiliation is that you may overlook larger policies you don’t agree with for the sake of tradition. Some people don’t even bother to familiarize themselves with a party’s campaign because they assume their platform hasn’t changed since prior elections.
While platforms rarely change drastically, the candidates can and surely do. For example, Bernie Sanders ran a Democratic campaign, but his policies resonated a little too much with the more hardened liberal ideology than what most party members were used to. Trump is running as a Republican, but his views and policies arguably lean more towards radical conservatism.
Another ideological obstacle is single issue voting, which is more common than one might think. For example, maybe you feel very strongly about abortion or maybe your number one concern is gun restrictions. Either way, one of those views becomes the sole determinant of how you vote. Everyone has issues they‘re passionate about, and that’s not a bad thing. But, it does become a problem when your vote, which determines the fate of our entire country and world, is based solely on THAT. ONE. ISSUE.
We cannot turn a blind eye to the candidate’s entire platform as a whole because we agree with their stance on one issue we deem most important. Putting all our eggs into one basket has never paid off.
Instead, I urge you to look past the party you’ve always voted for, and not allow one factor to determine your vote.
There is no perfect candidate, and you’re going to have to compromise. Whether you sacrifice tax cuts for stricter gun control, or loyalty to the party you once identified with for a more qualified candidate, the choice is up to you.
Do not let your pride stand in the way of the future of this country. Too much is at stake. It may seem hopeless for some, but we must not forget we have a say. I truly believe we can make a change, and the only way to find out is through action. There is strength in numbers, and there are plenty of us.
Your voice matters.
Fellow millennials, I urge you to get out and vote this November. Our future depends on it.