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OPINION: Your vote actually matters

November 2, 2016

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In-Depth Editor Sabrina Zhu

Four years ago, the current students of Wenatchee High were mostly clueless. Our adolescent years are said to be the ones that teach us the most, both about ourselves and the world. Four years ago, we were 10, 11, 12, 13, 14; a time of pure bliss. No (or at least fewer) worries about college, the future, relationships, or the fate of our political system for the next four years.  

For most students, this election is the first one that garners even the slightest bit of interest from us. We are finally approaching the age where a majority of us actually somewhat care about politics and world events. Twitter and Facebook are filled to the brim with opinions about all topics, and now the next Commander-in-Chief is making their way in. Supposed “political prowess” fights for a seat anywhere public opinions can be voiced, as citizens gripe and groan about the state of the nation.

Our opinions vary from one extreme to the other in the race for the 45th president of the United States and now’s the time to act on your own views and concerns. We’re known as the whiners: the age group that doesn’t stop complaining. So stop grumbling, take (a really important) one for the team and make that mark on your ballot.

In the United States of America, we are fortunate enough to have a system that allows and encourages us to vote, a privilege many fight for. To not utilize such a desired right that other countries’ citizens will die for is plainly ridiculous.

The fight for this presidency has been one of the most well followed. According to CNN, the first debate brought in more than 10 million tweets, well over the number for the Romney/Obama. It’s obvious that there has been no shortage of social media discourse around this event, but how many times do we see the “I hate [insert candidate here] but there’s no way I’m voting for anyone.”

I understand that being indifferent has, for some reason, become the “cool” thing to do, but with an issue like this where EVERY vote has an impact, it’s important not to sit idly by. If the attitude starts with one person posting a Facebook status about how their vote doesn’t matter, others will follow suit with the same view and eventually one disgruntled “voter” turns into a huge mass of citizens who have chosen to take their rights for granted.

coverFor those who legitimately feel like they are uneducated on the candidates: take the time to Google their names and stances. There are multiple websites out there that break the issues down for easy consumption, such as 2016election.procon.org, ontheissues.org, or any of the candidates’ websites.

It seems that every time our opinions are passed over, the outrage cannot be quieted, but when our voices are called on, we stay silent. We cannot logically expect people to take us seriously when we ignore our privileges and complain about the outcome.

With that, I urge you to vote. Obviously, only a very select WHS students can actually vote, but we younglings can still do our part. The number of times I’ve heard students over the age of 18 shrug off their choice is ridiculous. Encourage your friends to vote. Even if they think their vote won’t make a difference, even if they hate both candidates. All they have to do is Google their stances and pick one they believe in more.

We, specifically the students, have a duty to make sure our country doesn’t completely derail. The next four years of our lives will be lived under this president (for seniors, our college lives could be affected). There are so many who wish to be American citizens and to have the rights that we do. Don’t brush off this important process. Ask the questions you have and do your part. All it takes is the want to have a say and some dark ink on white paper.

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