Why You Shouldn't Stop Caring About The Election After Tuesday
Look, I get it: It's November of an election year, and you're tired.
Some of you are tired of listening to the unfiltered thoughts that come out of Donald Trump's mouth. Some of you are tired of listening to Hillary Clinton's lies or the constant mention of her emails.
And then, there are those of you who really just want it to be over because you're tired of them both.
It's been a long and dirty election season. A whopping 16 candidates dropped out of the GOP race, and Bernie Sanders battled Clinton all the way to the Democratic National Convention.
There has been name calling, attacks on character, mudslinging campaign ads and the circus that was the three presidential debates. By now, we've seen it all.
But just because you're tired doesn't mean you should stop caring a week before Election Day. I'll let you do that on November 9.
Here's why you need to keep your political energy up until the election is over:
The Political Olympics
The presidential election is like the Olympics for politics. We wait a few years to watch a small number of individuals battle it out for their country, or in this case, political party.
Just like it's an athlete's honor to compete for their country, it's your honor (and responsibility) to vote.
You have the opportunity to choose the person who will run the country for the next four years. Not everyone in the world gets to do that.
It's an athlete's honor to compete for their country, and it's your honor (and responsibility) to vote.
I'm not here to lecture you on the privilege you have in the United States compared to non-Democratic nations, but I am here to tell you that this is your chance to participate in government.
If you don't vote, you can't complain.
The Millennial Voting Gap
Being tired of the election also means you shouldn't just suddenly decide not to vote.
According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials (those in the 18 to 35 age range) make up 31 percent of the electorate. They tie with Baby Boomers as the largest voting demographic, but turn out to vote at the lowest rates.
In fact, only 46 percent of eligible Millennials voted in the 2012 election. Those numbers are even lower in non-presidential elections.
Don't let your voice go unheard out of laziness. Show the country Millennials care about the future. Vote.
Don't Forget To Go Local
Voting because it's your civic responsibility isn't the only reason you shouldn't stop caring about the election now, though.
Yes, I know you're tired of hearing about Clinton and Trump, but the presidency isn't the only office you're electing. State and local government offices are on your ballot, along with a multitude of propositions and measures.
I think we often forget about state and local government elections because information about the presidential election is often so easily accessible.
Facebook and Twitter are clouded with people's opinions, and news outlets have never-ending coverage on the latest statements (or scandals) from Clinton and Trump.
Even if you avoid social networks or news media, you're still bound to hear about the presidential election from someone around you.
So what about state and local elections? Do you hear about the individuals running for your local school board as much as you hear about Clinton and Trump?
What about ballot measures and propositions? Yes, you may hear ads from PACs telling you how you should vote, but does that really give you full perspective on the candidates or issues?
This is where your participation in government takes a little bit of work. Do your research.
The truth is, your vote actually matters more in local elections than it does in the presidential election. Don't give up on voting or brush off that power just because you're tired.
The election isn't over until it's really over.