The power of voting

Rebecca Smith, Editor in Chief

Millennials have as large of a voter base as Baby Boomers, but our voice always falls flat due to a lack of voting. Whether it’s because teens don’t know how/where to vote or that they don’t know the issues or that they just don’t care, we are letting people over the age of 60 decide our future.

Only a fraction of seniors are eligible to vote this year, and not all of them will. It is more important now than ever before to register, preregister, and constantly check registration.

Voter suppression is happening, but silence is not an option. Midterms are on Nov. 6 and their outcome will completely change the political climate one way or another.

Issues like health care, immigration and gun control are the most prominent topics. It is no longer about party, it’s about who’s going to fight for basic human rights.

The country has become desensitized, and the lack of empathy and abundance of hate is overwhelming. One message has become clear this last year: we refuse to care until it happens to us.

There was a school shooting in North Carolina on Monday, but no one knows because only one person died. There is a caravan of thousands of people traveling up to the Mexican border to legally seek asylum in America, but they’ll be met with hate and military force. There was a shooting in a synagogue by someone deemed the “#magashooter”, but people refuse to believe that the hate speech spewed by the president has any influence even when he is cited as having inspired the shooter. Thousands of people will die if Obamacare is repealed, but just like these other issues, no one cares until it happens to them.

Teenagers face an insurmountable amount of stress in school. The added fear of being killed in the place that’s supposed to help you grow and better yourself is where this country has failed.

The fact that in the 1930s Hitler was able to rally people together to try to kill off an entire population and that same rhetoric is being used today to justify shooting up a synagogue is where this country has failed.

Fleeing a place that refuses to accept your race, sexuality or religion only to be greeted by guns at the place that’s supposed to be a safe haven, is where this country has failed.

Affordable health care shouldn’t be considered a privilege only the upper one percent can afford. All humans need to feel protected and cared for, and the fact that in America we refuse to help each other, is where this country has failed.

In a country that preaches love and acceptance, and was founded on freedom of religion and speech, our ability to turn our backs on those that need us most is inexcusable.

The only way to ensure that these horrendous things don’t define America is by the power of democracy, the power of the vote.

Empathy and human decency are needed to cause some serious change for the better, and until we make our voice heard at the polls, the public will be in a constant state of fear.

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