Youth Voter Apathy: The ultimate consequence

Soraya Marashi, Senior Writer

Nowadays, it’s extremely common to overhear a conversation between two adults about the rotten, rebellious, and politically incompetent youth of the modern day (you and I). In fact, at this point in the election year, we’ve just about seen and heard it all: politicians love to discuss it, newscasters love to interview highschoolers about it, and journalists love to write about it. Indeed, millennial political apathy has taken its toll on the mass media as well as on the election itself.
While older generations complain about our political unawareness, our tendency to be inactive isn’t without reason; the political world is a daunting one, and the controversial issues we vote on are scary. We feel we don’t know enough, and at this point in our lives, voting is the last of our priorities. Our plates are full with college applications, attempting to maintain decent grades, and enjoying our last full year of freedom. How are teenagers who don’t even know how to manage a bank account supposed to help make a decision on how to manage an economy?
While these fears are valid, there is something scarier than the thought of politics: decisions being made for us without proper political representation. If we don’t vote, older generations will vote on policies that will affect us in the future, like Social Security. Not only that, but simply the principle of us not utilizing a right that is readily granted to us in our democratic society and denied to so many others across the world should be alarming in itself. By not voting, we are taking for granted a right that has been fought for and coveted since the birth of our country.
We have a right to proper political representation and to have a say in decisions that affect us. Too often do we underestimate the value of our personal opinions, values, and beliefs. These opinions aren’t meaningless if we can transfer them into a tangible vote, and not just any vote; together, we millennials can determine the outcome of an entire election.
We’re not failing to turn in a slip of paper, but also failing to capitalize on an opportunity to express our opinions: the heart of a democratic society.
It’s time for change. If you’ll be 18 by election day, take a stand for our generation and vote.