Young voter turnout in the last election was absolutely abysmal. According to civicyouth.org, 21.3 percent of voters between the ages 18–29 turned out to vote in the 2014 midterm elections.
However, I see on the horizon a glimmer of hope. That glimmer, magnified by social media and the charisma of a couple of candidates, is something that instills great pride in my heart every time I see it. Each day, that glimmer gets a little brighter.
That glimmer is the movement of millions of young people across the country, standing up and demanding that their voices be counted in the 2016 presidential election. Every day, I get on Facebook and see at least three of my friends talking about politics. Are they misinformed? Possibly. But everyone has to start somewhere.
They are talking about what Bernie Sanders stands for. They are sharing why they don’t trust Hillary Clinton. And members from all walks of life are coming together to try to figure out how Donald Trump is still in this race.
While I am not here to weigh in on which candidate I support, I will say that I’m simply glad to see our generation talking about these things. We are all slowly wading into the waters of adulthood, and with that comes the great burden of civil responsibility. Instead of shying away from it, as so many of us did in the 2014 midterms, we are embracing it head-on.
But hope is a fragile thing, and believe me when I tell you that I have grown cynical from my years of trying to get our generation to care. So heed my warning: Do not allow this to lose steam. No matter who you want to run our country, dive into this election with reckless abandon. Volunteer to work at the campaign of your choice. Most importantly, remember to take time to vote Nov. 1, 2016.
Now you probably expect me to make a stirring speech, but that’s a bit too cliché for my taste.
Instead, let me leave you with some life advice. Someday, we all will be old. If there are no grandchildren in your future, then more than likely there will at least be a neighbor kid or distant cousin who looks up to you. They all will be in their history classes some day, learning about the early 21st century. To the children to come, you will be that storyteller. They will hang on every one of your words. So when they ask which candidate you voted for you in the 2016 election, do you really want to tell them you just sat at home?
Go forth, volunteer and vote. Give your time, and voice your opinions without fear of being shouted down or called an idiot. Go make this cynical editor proud.