In the United States of America, when a citizen turns 18 years of age, they are considered a legal adult. With that title comes the ability to live away from home, be charged and processed legally as an adult and the right to vote both nationally and locally.
Why is it, then, that so many young adults, after they choose to move out, begin to realize that being alive is expensive and begin to complain about the government systems around them, but do not take part in voting on national and local levels?
In a media-obsessed society where our nation’s youth are quite literally putting themselves in danger for another “like” on their Facebook page and where their social media presence is regarded higher than their education, these young Americans seem to have lost their voices when it comes to the issues that truly matter.
Scroll through Facebook and you will see memes and rants about Harambe and laments about the fact that there is no Ditto in Pokémon Go. You will see outcries over the fact that white male rapists are not receiving what they deem to be appropriate repercussions for their actions. There’s the war on choice and love, and the issue of transgender bathroom rights.
You angsty youths of America, what are you doing to change what you don’t like? You’re loud and flashy on Facebook, but surprisingly silent at the polls and absent from the caucuses. In fact, in 2014, only 10 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 actually participated by casting their vote. You’re quick to lash out on Twitter about #hottopicoftheweek, but have you looked into changing the foundation of the issue in our legal system? You find yourselves burdened by taxes, healthcare and all of those wonderful things that come with being an adult, yet you choose to do nothing about it.
You want power, so take it. You have been given the most important power in this entire country, a power that so many have died to obtain. That is the power of your voice through voting.
Yes, vote for the president. “Every vote counts.”
However, don’t just pick who you think is the best choice to lead our country. Choose the local leader who you think is going to do the most good in your community, in your city.
You don’t like what you have to deal with on a daily basis? Change it at your local level.
You were given this power so that you can make this nation better than it was yesterday. Don’t leave it up to the president and the Supreme Court to make all of the decisions for you, because they may not choose what you think is best, no matter what party you both identify with. Don’t leave these decisions up to the big names in your community.
Your voice is just as strong. Imagine what could happen if you actually used it. Let’s make sure that Kanye isn’t your next motivation to run to the polls.