The Time Is Now: How This Generation Can Take The Reigns On Our Political Future
Generation-Y is unfortunately the low man on the totem pole. We're not young enough to be stress-free about our futures, and not old enough to reap all the benefits of tax credits and other supplemental income.
We can easily get lost in the shuffle, and if we remain ignorant to our woes, it might be harmful for us in the future when it’s our turn to run the country for the next 20 years.
With that being said, this generation has to face the facts: Student loan debt is over a trillion bucks, your dream job (if any job) won’t be happening anytime soon and it’s not the government’s duty to take care of you.
It’s time for our generation to buck up and seize our political future. Here’s how we can do just that:
It pains me to hear people who have the right to vote simply choose not to. It’s basically an acknowledgement of being a sheep, or someone who just follows his or her neighbor.
We live in a country where the leaders are elected by the people, yet less than 60 percent of the voting age population voted in the 2012 election, less than 20 percent vote in primaries and the undecided voter has a huge role in the decision-making process.
Do you know what that means? Every November, we’re f*cked.
So, undoubtedly, the most important thing a 20-something can do is exercise the right to vote. Voting provides empowerment, knowledge and personal responsibility. It should instill the same fervor in Millennials as Team USA does in the World Cup.
If you don’t vote, you have no voice; your opinion, no matter how educated you are, means nothing if you have not taken an active role in bettering your future, as well as the country’s.
If we gain a bigger percentage in the voting totals, we gain a bigger voice in our government.
Read the newspaper
Unfortunately, daily news on your doorstep is a dying medium. In fact, it may have already flat-lined. But, the newspaper is still the top source for news, despite the wealth of information provided by the Internet.
Of course, newspapers, like everything else, have political leanings, so it’s important to know what you are reading, who wrote it and what pieces of info to take from it. Start with the basics, like what is happening in the States.
While international affairs are important, immediately jumping into overseas matters will make you miss the stuff that affects you personally.
Talk about politics
Now, before you open your mouth, make sure you can ACTUALLY talk about politics. Don’t start shooting from the hip about a subject you know virtually nothing about.
Don’t be one-sided, as that’s another easy way to display your lack of forethought. A skilled debater knows the opposition's views and how to pivot or counter-attack the opponent.
The same goes for a friendly discussion: Know your strengths, know your weaknesses and know how to maneuver between the two.
The bottom line is simple: Talking about politics helps the younger generations get involved with the discussion. This turns into passion for politics and passion is all it takes to start changing the future.
Did I mention voting is super important? Okay… just checking.
Oh, and to make you feel guilty, there’s this: Minorities could legally be forbidden to vote until 1869, and women’s suffrage was challenged until 1920.
You basically owe it to this country's ancestors to vote.
Channel your youth
The best part of being a Millennial is that we are young. We can get fired up, we can rage all night and we can push through obstacles with a take-no-prisoners attitude.
The government needs that youthful kick in the ass. Imagine a world where 20- and 30-year-olds are organized, educated and spirited voters who have their voices heard and demand change in Washington.
Let’s start the movement today. Start a discussion with your friends regarding the horrifying future of unstoppable student loans, coupled with the rocketing costs of tuition. Join your campus’ young Democrat or Republican club and surround yourself with politically conscious compatriots.
Most importantly, register to vote.
It won’t happen tomorrow and it won’t happen next week, but the world is already faintly hearing us. Let's turn up the volume; Generation-Y can be incredibly powerful if we put our minds to it.
So who's ready to scare Washington?