Rock The Vote: 5 Reasons For This Generation To Vote In The 2014 Midterms
There’s quite a bit of Millennial bashing in the press right now. If you watch the news, you’ve heard the claims: We’re lazy, entitled, selfish and too busy on Tinder or watching “KUWTK” to care about current affairs or the upcoming 2014 Midterms.
Sure, we keep up with the Kardashians. But, we also read the newspaper, frequently peruse blogs, vocalize our opinions, debate with each other on social media and possess an unabashed curiosity for what we, as a country, are discussing at any given moment.
Want to know who is on the ballot in every state and what they’re polling at? I can tell you!
What’s most remarkable about our generation is our diversity, our cultural makeup – and that applies to our interests, too. We stay current on music and entertainment, art, science, sports and politics, thanks to the unprecedented level of access to information we have at our fingertips.
So, what’s with all the trash-talking? It’s simple, really: As Millennials, we are a major threat to the political system as it stands.
Congress is 90 percent white, and the average age in the US Senate is 62; the issues these politicians pay most attention to reflects this reality.
But, Millennials are the largest generation in our country’s history, at 86 million strong, outnumbering even the Baby Boomers. We could be a powerful force in deciding this country’s future, forcing those who represent us to pay attention to the things we care about, but only if we show up at the polls.
That’s the thing about voting: My voice is equal to your voice. By not voting, you are giving the naysayers what they want: the authority to speak for you.
Maybe you think not voting is the same as boycotting. It’s not. When lots of people don’t buy a product, companies pay more attention to you and change their marketing tactics, or even their products.
When lots of people don’t vote, politicians pay less attention to you and shift their attention to the interests of those who bothered to vote.
Hence, why you hear politicians talk ad nauseam about social security and corporations during campaigns. If this isn’t reason enough to show up, consider that there are people in this country trying to make it even harder for young people to vote.
If your one vote didn’t matter, why would they pass a law in Tennessee allowing professors to use their university IDs to vote, but prohibiting students from using their university IDs? Why would they get rid of polling places on college campuses in North Carolina? Or shorten the early vote period in Ohio, which so many busy, young people took advantage of in 2012?
Because your vote matters.
If you’re still on the fence about voting this year, here are Rock The Vote‘s reasons why Millennials need to exercise their right to vote in the midterm elections this November :
We are passionate.
Millennials are incredibly optimistic about the future and care deeply about issues in their community, which is why more than 60 percent of young people volunteer for causes they care about.
They are not swayed by political parties as much as they are by candidates willing to discuss the issues about which they are passionate.
Mainstream media often claim Millennials are jaded and that there’s an “enthusiasm gap.” They can’t seriously wonder why choosing the next US Senate leader isn’t the most exciting thing in our lives, given that these are our choices!
We are big.
Generation-Y is enormous. We make up 52 percent of the world’s population and are the largest generation in the country’s history. We are 86 million strong, outnumbering even the Baby Boomers.
We are diverse.
In addition to being the largest generation in the country, we are also the most diverse — 43 percent of us are non-white.
We are savvy.
Millennials have been equipped with the information, tools and technology needed to solve problems quickly and creatively. More than 90 percent of Millennials are online and never away from their phones; we are digital natives, and we do things differently.
Political candidates have to make an effort to reach us where we live in order to make an impact.
We are influential.
Millennials wield tremendous power – be it in our consumer habits, social behaviors, or political turnout. We are the largest voting bloc in the country today and among the most vocal, thanks to our mastery of social media.
When we vote, we have the power to make an impact on elections and drive the national dialogue.
Photo Courtesy: Rachel Mayo
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