If You Don’t Vote, You Can’t Complain

Growing up in the state of Georgia, I was the nerdy kid who couldn’t wait to be old enough to get a Georgia voter sticker. Here I am, now 20 years old, and voting in my first presidential election.

Having just dropped off my absentee ballot in the mail, I started to think about politics a whole lot more than anyone should. But more than anything, I thought about how many times I’ve heard young adults my age, and even older, say “I could truly care less about politics”. Here’s the big problem with that, our political system is a huge determinate in many of the things we as Americans do, so newsflash…. you should start caring. I’m widely aware of the scandals and drama that modern politics emulate, however this is the system our country has been built on, and as a citizen, it’s your duty to care.

I’m aware that our politics right now is one big blunder of a mess. I’m not here to even hint to which candidate I voted for or to appeal to one side, but simply to tell you to do the very least and be informed, don’t be obnoxious, and for the love of all that is good, VOTE.

The age rang 18-25, which includes myself, is the lowest range of voter turnout, according to staticbrain.com, where only 58.5% of that demographic even register to vote. This statistic is alarming, especially considering that generation is going to be the only entering the workforce post-college, where the government will determine how much we pay for insurance, taxes, and such. We need to start caring. It’s actually quite hilariously sad when I walk into a lecture hall and hear my peers talking about something that Trump said or Hillary did, but then if you ask them if they plan to vote, they shrug and say something along the lines of “Oh I’m not sure if I’m even registered to vote.”

However, older generations aren’t off the hook. Stay educated, watch debates, read a wide array of articles, and just simply be a good citizen. Don’t vote for one candidate just because it’s your party, or just because you saw a biased post on Facebook. I think we can all agree there is nothing quite as bothersome as a middle-aged woman ranting about how much she hates one candidate. Several people I know deter from being any sort of politically involved because of those types of people.

Last but not least, we must stop thinking of this election as a lesser of two evils argument. We must look at who offers us the most of what we believe and value. One can complain all they want about how they don’t like either candidate, but hey they got there through primaries and such, and whether it’s because you didn’t vote or whatever the circumstance may be, these are our choices as of now, and you must pick one.

Whatever you do, and whatever it takes, vote. I went through the bothersome process of absentee voting this year due to living in a different state for school, but I voted. There’s truly no excuse when our government makes it possible to vote in 9/10 circumstances. This is one of your only chances to have a say in how our country is run, because who we put in office will be there making legislation and decisions that affect each and every one of us. Do your part, as a citizen, because as a good friend of mine says, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.”

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