Opinion

Exercise your right to vote

Friends, young people, students of John Brown University, I am here today with a message: go vote.
While you as a younger voter may not feel that your vote matters, I am here to say that you are wrong. For one thing, voting in itself is a right that we should take responsibility for. If we as the youth of this nation fail to stand up for our beliefs, then we will only feel the repercussions of our decisions later on.

Actress Scarlett Johansson urged young people to vote last week at the Democratic National Convention. “Whether we can get health care, afford college, be guaranteed equal pay – all of these things are at great, great risk,” she said.

In 2008, less than half of all eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 24 voted – less than half. Young America, why are we speaking with half our voice when so many issues at stake here directly affect us?”

Now while many of us enjoyed her performance this past summer as Black Widow in “The Avengers,” she manages to bring up some very good points. Health care, college tuition prices, equal pay – these issues either already are or will affect us as college graduates.

RockTheVote states that “we are the most diverse group of young people in history we’re civically engaged in our communities, passionate about issues, and politically aware,” or at least half of us are. It is important to do your own research on different issues and to be fully aware of each partys’ stance on those.

Mary Lee Gibson, vice president of College Conservatives at the University of Tampa, registered to vote for the first time at the Republic National Convention.

Gibson says that “I’m more concerned about the economy right now, just that being a college student graduating soon, its a little nerve wracking.Im about to go out into the world – I don’t know if I’ll have a job. I personally am Pro-Life, so it’s hard for me to even justify being Pro Choice. My personal belief is that God put the child there for a reason, and something great will happen to that child and its not a single persons decision to take that life away.”

Whether you are concerned with social issues such as immigration policies, or you are into the economic status of the country, research is a singular responsibility. There are thousands of political bloggers who will tell you what to believe, present one sided arguments, and hope to sway you to their way of belief. Take these people with a pinch of salt.

Better information comes from a variety of news sources (not just one channel or news paper), professional bloggers, and candidates themselves. If you only look into one source you’re limited to only a part of an issue. The website www.isidewith.com is a good starting place to see which party you would be more affiliated with.

I’m not telling you to vote for Barack Obama. I’m not telling you to vote for Mitt Romney. I’m only telling you to take note of your responsibilities. Vote on November 6th.