In 2016, the U.S. population was made up of more 323 million people—but according to the Washington Post, about 100 million people didn’t vote in the presidential election that year. Let that sink in for a minute. Nearly a third of the nation didn’t vote, and from my perspective, the results have been apparent. That why I feel the need to reinforce that every college student should be voting in the 2020 election. I have lived all of my college years during the Trump administration, and I feel that it’s time I give my 20s a shot being led under someone great.
During the time that the current adminstration has held power, there has been open military confrontation, people have been held in immigration detention, and environmental funding has been slashed. These moments are only just scratching the surface of chaos in America, and they have only occurred within a three-year period. I know that I can’t afford another four.
You’ve probably heard this quote by Elie Wiesel: “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.” Well, it’s true—and that’s a classic case of apoliticism. Apoliticism is a lack of enthusiam or concern towards all political affiliations. Personally, I don’t think voting should be so dependent on what your political affiliation is, just as long as you are passionate about an issue. Voting goes beyond the candidate you want for president, it involves voting people into local government and championing issues that you hope to defend.
When I tell some of my classmates that I want to be a political journalist, I’ve gotten responses like, “Oh, I don’t really pay attention to politics.” Okay, but what does that mean? What that sounds like to me is someone saying, “I’m privileged enough to not care about what impacts other people.” Yet all students need to care about this election because we’re at a critical point in history where we need to act fast for both the environment and human rights. I don’t want another four years of clinging to my phone, panicking when the next stressful piece of news drops.
It only takes five minutes to register to vote online. I hope for an increase in student voter turnout during this election season, as truly nothing is more important right now.