Photos courtesy of WHYY.org
As the 2020 election year draws closer, it feels like all we hear about is politics.
Seemingly, the only thing news channels can talk about are the primaries, the way swing states will vote, and unending attempts to influence our opinions about one candidate or another.
It’s for a good reason.
A presidential election is one of the most important events in our country, and gives citizens the power to determine what they want the government to focus on. Ultimately, though, we need to ignore all the chatter about the election and focus on the one question that we, as soon-to-be adults and high school graduates, need to ask ourselves.
Should we vote?
The answer, of course, is a resounding yes.
When we vote, we send a message to the government about whether or not we approve of the direction in which it’s taking the country. Voting is where our power as citizens come from. One of the founding principles of our country is the public’s ability to elect representatives and officials that will advocate for their rights and needs. If we squander this right that is enshrined in the Constitution and given to us by the Founding Fathers, we are doing a disservice to ourselves and our country. Every person needs to understand the power they hold and the duty they have to their country.
Do Spring-Ford students understand this weighty responsibility?
Some would say no, since many feel that the younger generation is self-absorbed, focused on “trivial” things and disconnected from real world issues. However, I wanted to ask them for myself and find out what they think.
“Yes, I definitely think it’s important to vote, and I plan on voting in the presidential election,” student Sophia Weaver said.
Other students echoed the same opinion, with senior Maclen Lewis stating, “I’m gonna vote in the election, because voting is just something you need to do.”
This refutes the idea that teenagers may be unengaged and disconnected, because people hold beliefs to the contrary. When the student body is engaged and informed about politics, they can make decisions that benefit them and the values that they hold. In order to vote for representatives who will advocate for the issues that we care about, we have to first understand what those issues are. Through government and history classes that educate us in high school, we are given the tools we need to make rational and logical decisions when voting.
The most important part of the voting process is, of course, the voters themselves. Without citizens to cast votes, elections would have no purpose. This is why it is so important for everyone, high schoolers especially, to vote if they can. The changes made and laws passed now will affect our adult lives and future for years to come. We need to have a say in the process.
The opportunity is ours for the taking, we just need to get out and vote!