Editorial: It's your civic duty to vote ... just do it

The 2016 presidential race has become one of the most shocking and outrageous elections our country has ever witnessed. Donald Trump has the held center stage of the media’s attention since his announcement to enter the race. His baboonish, arrogant ignorance has attracted far too much attention, and he has left his other competitors wondering what hit them. Americans seem to be attracted to the likely fascist candidate because he isn’t an establishment politician. He is proposing radical ideas (not to mention unconstitutional) that resonate with voters because voters are tired of the usual politics. We want something done. Whether these ideas are rational doesn’t matter.

However, on the other end on the other end of the spectrum, we have a similar candidate who gets much less coverage than he should. Bernie Sanders announced his bid for president to the reply of astonishment and laughter. Very few people had heard of Bernie Sanders. It seemed highly unlikely that he would be a threat to a well-established big name like Hillary Clinton. Oh, how the game has changed. In the same way that Trump’s strange brand of conservativism attracts the Republican voters, Sanders' socialist ideals are attracting many Democrats especially from the millennial demographic who have a tendency to be more liberal and idealistic. A few months ago, many were confident that we would see Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, the two establishment candidates, going head to head in the general election, yet now Jeb Bush is barely registering in the polls and Sanders is neck and neck with Clinton.

The fact that the two anti-establishment candidates are doing so well and garnering so much support should send a clear message to Washington. The American voters are tired of politics as usual. This race could very easily be a fascist versus a socialist. If that happens then there is an even greater chance, we’ll saying “President Sanders” come next January.

But there’s a catch. Although Sanders’ support is climbing in the polls, his election hinges on whether the millennials vote. In America, the youngest Americans are, the less likely they are to vote. The highest voting demographic is 65+ and the lowest is 18- 24. Young people don’t seem to care about what’s happening in Washington DC. The American youth figures that one vote in millions doesn’t mean anything, and so millions of us don’t vote.

This is a problem. An entire demographic is being misrepresented because we refuse to represent ourselves. How could Congress ever pay any attention to a demographic that doesn’t elect congressmen. We don’t seem to realize the power of an entire demographic voting. Why are there so many old white dudes in politics? Well, maybe it’s because they’re elected by a bunch of old white dudes who actually vote.

There are only a couple reasons not to vote. The first is being physically unable to make it to the polls. This is completely acceptable. Stay safe. The other is being uninformed. An uninformed vote is dangerous, however, being uninformed is a sorry excuse. Get informed. We live in the age of information. There is no reason to be uninformed. Take 30 minutes and, instead of watching cat videos, do some research on the candidates. Imagine a political stage with a near 100 percent voter turnout rate. Everyone can be represented as long as they represent themselves.

An individual vote may not win an election. It is, in reality, one out of millions. Nevertheless, those millions can vote together in order to make a change. This change could be electing an openly socialist president. For better or for worse. If the millennials do not vote then Hillary Clinton has a much better chance of taking the presidency; however, if we do vote then Bernie Sanders -- or maybe someone else … because young people do not participate, we really have no way of knowing who they will favor -- might win the presidency hands down. A government’s strength is directly tied to the effort of those running it. As Americans, we are the government. We can make a change so long as we vote.

The essence of this opinion piece -- the importance of casting an informed ballot -- represents the collective opinion of the LSNews.org editorial board. The positive nature of the comments regarding Senator Sanders reflect the opinion of this piece's lead author, opinion editor Aaron Davies. This piece does not constitute an official position of the Lampeter-Strasburg School District, nor the advisor of LSNews.org. Questions or concerns can be directed to lspioneernews@gmail.com.


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