Today is the last day to register to vote. For those of you who haven’t, you are making a grave mistake. The right to vote is one of the most important rights a person can hold. Each election dictates where are country is headed. The United States government has a tremendous influence in international policy, and as globalization continues, this influence will grow even more important. Each election determines the future of not only our nation, but of the planet as well.
In 2012 the United States faces a critical decision. Still struggling to climb out of the depths of the previous recession, many voters are concerned about their futures. Job growth has slowed in recent months, though according to a recent jobs report the unemployment rate did drop to 7.8% (the lowest since January 2009). One should be critical of this number as some of this is attributed to workers being underemployed or dropping out of the labor force.
The youth of America, and recent college graduates have fared far worse. About one in two recent college graduates are without jobs today. A staggering number that could affect the financial stability of an entire generation for years. The youth turnout in elections has largely been lower compared to their older counterparts, as many simply do not pay attention. That trend has been changing in recent years. During the 2008 Presidential Election23 million voters under the age of 30 turned out to vote. It was an increase of about 3.4 million from the 2004 election and about 52 percent of those eligible to vote. For those who question the influence this group has need only look to the last election when 66 percent of youth voters helped propel President Barack Obama to the Oval Office.
Though youth voter turnout was down in 2012, expect to see it return to former levels. Political pundits have stated enthusiasm of the youth voter has declined this election cycle, but with so many out of work, young Americans need to pay attention. As the debates have pointed out thus far, each presidential candidate will take this country down two distinctly different paths. Questions about the economy and education will be on the forefront of young voter’s minds most likely, but they should also pay attention to issues such as social security, medicare, and foreign policy. All of these will play a large role in each of our futures. Though some of these issues may not affect us immediately, drastic changes are needed for many of these programs if they are to continue.
The United States citizen is notorious for not paying attention to what goes on in other countries unless they are directly affected. This is a trend that looks to be (or at least should be) declining. As the planet grows more and more connected whether that be through the internet, or multinational organizations, current events in other countries will play a larger role in American policy. For those who disagree need only look at how much the current European crisis affects the US Stock Market. Isolation as a country is no longer a possibility. Eastern Asia will also likely play a larger role in US foreign policy in the future. The State Department has already announced it will place a greater emphasis on the region moving away from the Middle East. China and India are two of the most populous nations in the world, and their economies are growing everyday. Some experts believe that China will one day surpass the United States as the world top economy.
These are but a few of the issues that should concern young Americans this election cycle. Many of us still have our entire lives ahead of us. We are just starting out in the labor force. We are a generation that wants to make an impact and leave our mark. Some have been successful at doing this already, while others fight everyday to reach their goals. If you believe sitting by passively and letting others decide the fate of the nation is the way to go, then you are sadly mistaken. The youth of not only America, but the entire world is often overlooked. Prove the doubters wrong. MAKE SURE YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE TODAY. MAKE SURE YOU TURNOUT TO VOTE ON NOVEMBER 6th, AND TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR OWN FUTURE.
- Today is final day for registering to vote in November (timesdispatch.com)
- You can’t vote if you don’t register (hamptonroads.com)
- N.J. residents must register to vote by Tuesday (nj.com)
- Jobless Rate for Young Americans at 11.8 Percent in September (illinoisreview.typepad.com)