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Sunday, April 21
The Indiana Daily Student

national

Vote, then whine

I’m sure you’ve heard the spiel in your high school government class or from your parents: Vote, vote, vote, blah, blah, blah. Because of that, I shouldn’t have to write this article.

Here’s the problem: Only 49 percent of us, the youth, are voting. What doesn’t make sense about this equation is that 70 percent of our parents are voting. Our parents are voting for our future.

Do you really want the same things a completely different generation wants?

The candidate you choose or don’t choose will be the one setting forth the policies impacting you as you enter the job market. Or buy a house. Or get married and have kids. We are a third of the electorate, yet we are only a fifth of the vote.

I could tell you to vote because people have fought hard so that you might have the right to do so, especially if you’re a woman, or because you should have the right to vote, whereas many other countries don’t. But you’ve heard all of this, haven’t you?
Instead, I’m going to tell you to vote, then whine, instead of what most of our generation does — just whine.

In the 2000 election, 600 votes in Palm County, Florida, decided the outcome.
That president made a lot of drastic decisions for our country, and a lot of you complained. A lot of us are still complaining. But what if 601 more people had voted?

Would our world be a different place?

It seems like everyone’s complaining these days. I’ve heard it from all my friends. “The country will be the same no matter who I vote for!” “My vote doesn’t matter!”
And then the next day, they’re complaining about taxes or our soldiers in the Middle East.

I’m fine with your complaints. I can guarantee I’m going to complain about our government at some point, too. But you don’t deserve the right to complain unless you’ve taken your own steps to try to change things. If you haven’t voted, you don’t get to whine.

This election is going to have an impact on you whether you vote or not. I can guarantee that. Four of the nine Supreme Court justices are older than 70. The presidential candidate you vote for could have the opportunity to appoint enough justices to ensure a conservative or liberal majority for decades.

If you think a president doesn’t have any power to make a change, don’t be quick to think the same for our Supreme Court.

This was the judicial body of nine people that decided segregating schools was unconstitutional, gave the Internet First Amendment protection and decided women have a right to choose. Are any of these something you would be willing to give up?
I’m not telling you who to vote for. I’m not telling you who to complain about. You can decide that all by yourself. Just try to find the time to vote.

I know you know how to complain, but don’t forget, you have to earn the right to do so.

­— crshelle@indiana.edu

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