TRAVEL AND ACTION
Don’t tweet - vote Written by Tara Bagherlee Graphics and design by Kathy Xie
It is 2016 and American political culture has culminated in presidential candidates engaging in Twitter fights, constructing memes and catalyzing their campaign strategies via Snapchat filters. There is no doubt that this election has been baptized in Internet culture. Obviously, campaigning is necessary when trying to be elected “Leader of the Free World,” but it is easy to wonder why it is being done on the online residence of millennials.
Millennials’ political influence
to think people are so blindly apathetic to politics that they are not even willing to peruse a candidate’s website or switch the channel to CNN and leave it on in the background. Partisan media is also partially at fault for this increase in political indifference. Media is meant to be unbiased -- if people actually turn towards the media to educate themselves, there should be sources that are not so heavily colored in the reporter’s political judgement.
According to the Pew Research Center, millennials make up approximately 31 percent of the electorate. And yet, in the 2012 presidential election, Fulfill your civic duty only 46 percent of millennials voted. Compare this There is also the classic case of “I’m one person, to a voter turnout of 72 percent among people 71 does my vote really matter?” Imagine 54 percent and older. of the millennial electorate repeating that same In other words, Clinton and Trump recognize phrase at the same time during the 2012 presidential the power at millennials’ fingertips and they are election. It is easy to one speak for oneself, but when willing to learn how to speak everyone is thinking of hiself or Millennial in order to garner herself, one’s “minor” decision Would you still feel votes. not voting ends up impacting this way if you lived of Although this election the future of the entire nation. has been nothing short of somewhere where voting Apply this to our current is not an option? entertaining, this urgency to political climate: according to the galvanize young people to United States Election Project, vote speaks to an issue of substantial magnitude. almost half of eligible voters (46.9 percent) did Young people are notorious for being lazy, and not vote in the 2016 presidential election. This is a their consistently low voter turnout does not sickening truth, one that stings the most for people deconstruct this image. Millennials are quick to live- who were not eligible to vote in the election but had tweet presidential debates and share their opinions a voice to raise in the conversation of American on Facebook, but when it comes to going to the politics. polls, millennials can make up every excuse to avoid In a country where this privilege is granted, I expressing their opinions in an arena in which it ask those who never bothered registering to vote really matters. or going to the polls: would you still feel this way if you lived somewhere where voting is not an option? Intolerable apathy If you wish to stimulate change and if you wish Many young people exhibit disinterest in voting to see your values represented in government by because they dislike both candidates or don’t officials who would mobilize to bring such change, know about their platforms. These are both valid I highly urge you to register to vote. We are citizens concerns; as bipartisanship becomes antiquated of one of the most open liberal democracies on this and polarization shapes our political future, this planet, a privilege not available to many. One of the indecisiveness phenomenon grows, ultimately merits of this citizenship is our ability to participate deterring millennials from the polls. in political discourse, and one of the premier ways In a society where any information is accessible to be heard is with our ballots. within seconds, why is the excuse of information We were given voices to use them. Don’t be scarcity still used so frequently? It is embarrassing silent.