I am not 18 years old yet. But this year, being 18 means a lot. It means that I can finally drive with other people legally, it means I can vote. It means that under the law I am an adult.
(Under my parents, ha-- that’s a different story.)
But under the circumstances of what has been the craziest election in recent American history, the chance to vote has slipped out of my hands by a mere few months. It’s frustrating, to say the least. It’s even more frustrating when I see people not voting.
I remember being in eighth grade and having my friend’s mother explain to me why she wasn’t voting. Her answer was simple, "I’m just not that interested in politics."
It still confounds me today: how can one not be interested in politics? I know that politics doesn’t have to be on the forefront of your mind in every single conversation, but politics do shape our daily lives. They are the laws we follow, the standards we hold up, the society that we live under. Shouldn’t we all care about that? Shouldn’t we all have a say in the way our government works? And living in the United States gives us a say (whether or not that say actually is influential is another argument) in just that. We are given a vote, so go out and use it!
And if you’re going to use it, use it wisely. Fear mongering is a huge idea that hounds our American elections and causes people to shy away from the third party candidates. With the electoral college, the fear becomes real. Nowadays, the electoral college is just a hinderance to the voting process, but because it’s there we have to work with it, not against it. Voting for a third party candidate that has no chance of winning (According to Politico, Evan Mcmullin could potentially win Utah) is throwing away your vote.
Sure, vote with your conscious, but this election has become more of who do you not want than who do you want. So why give your vote to a person who’s not going to win?