Alright readers, it is time for my final opinion piece. And even though you may be sick of talking politics, I want to end my time with a final message before November — a message that I have said in previous pieces, and one that I will continue to spread. GO OUT AND VOTE.
I don’t mean it in the P.Diddy circa 2004 “Vote or Die” kind of way. And I also don’t mean it in the “Vote or this country will die” kind of way, either. I mean, go out and vote because it will help people for generations to come, no matter the outcome.
There is no vote you can place that will reduce terror attacks around the world. If anyone has made that claim, they are wrong. Extremists will always be extreme, and anyone who tells you otherwise is just trying to play off your fears.
There is also no vote you can place that will fix whatever problem you have immediately. Presidents move slowly, and their actions are often not felt until after they leave office. Remember that system of checks and balances our brilliant fathers of fore thought up? They still manage to keep the President’s power relatively limited.
What voting does do is reinforce the importance of voting. I anticipate that we will have the highest voter turnout in the past four elections this November due to how polarizing the candidates are. Whoever wins, it will remind everyone how simple and effective voting is. It will serve as an example to those not of age that when they turn 18, they should get involved.
More than anything, this election is voting for ideologies. As much as the candidates would like you to believe, you are not voting for them. You are voting for what they stand for.
On one side, we have the direction our country has been moving in steadily for the past 20 years or so. One of respect, equality and minimizing federal power. This is an ideology that many believe has run its course.
The other side is the pushback of this 20-year movement. It is a group of people that is tired of being compassionate to the extent of which a wrong word at the wrong time could be labeled as a hate crime. It values free speech, even in its most blunt and honest. And most of all, it wants the power to be increased to the point where specific groups of people can be exiled.
I am not here to say which side is better, or which you should vote for. In fact, there is a third side, one that I believe will play a more important role than ever. You can choose to vote outside of the confines of traditional parties, and place your vote for the ideology of change. Not the change both primary candidates preach, but change from the parties they preach from. Even if that vote doesn’t infact elect a president, it is a vote of confidence for changing the system.
We have immense power this November. Not only is our generation the bearer of great influence, but we are the example that future generations will look to. In the history books of 2116, what will they say about the year 2016?