The Importance of Elections


by Cesar Plascencia October 22, 2018

Peace y'all! Hope everybody is having a good start to their week! With midterm elections coming up, it's vital that we all get out and vote in order to make our voice heard! The 2016 presidential election showed us our political power (yes, by not voting). Many people didn't vote because they didn't like either presidential candidate or more troubling; they were unable to. But if our voice will be heard at any time, it's now more than ever. We (the Millennial generation) are on record of becoming the largest generation to date. Elections are the heart of what makes the United States a democracy. With that being said, let's get down to the importance of elections!


According to an article by The Guardian, out of the 250 million adults in the U.S in 2016, only 136 million adults cast their vote in the presidential election. What does that tell us? That 114 million or 45% of adults did not vote. Nearly half of the U.S. population of adults didn't vote; for various reasons, of course. I was a part of the population of adults that did not vote; it was because I didn't like either presidential candidate. I know, I know. I fucked up. But after the disastrous (in my opinion) Trump administration, they've ironically influenced me positively to be sure to vote in EVERY election going forward. After the presidential elections in 2012, the Census Bureau sent a questionnaire to eligible voters to gain insight on why they didn't vote. It turns out that white Americans are five times more likely to not vote because they "do not like the candidates or campaign issues" than black Americans. Black Americans are more likely than white Americans to not vote due to polling issues, such as transportation problems and inconvenient locations. Other eligible voters answered that they were "too busy" to vote, which is shown that non-white people are more than likely working in a low-wage job and have less job security than white people as well. This form voter suppression gets worse. Also, due to state felony laws preventing people from voting, 1 in 40 adults are unable to vote. Because of this, non-white people are more than likely unable to vote because of racial disparities in the criminal justice system. How will we be able to change all of these flaws in our system? You guessed it: by becoming more politically active and by voting! 

The Pew Research Center found that in November 2016 there was a total of 62 million Millennials that were of voting age. The Newsweek reported that of the 62 million, only 49% or 30 million voted in the 2016 presidential election. So 1/3 of Millennials in the U.S. did not vote. Fast forward to today: our generation of Millennials in the U.S. (currently ages 22-37) are expected to be the largest generation next year, surpassing our parents' generation of Gen X or Baby Boomers (ages 38-53).

What this means is we have the largest leverage in social, economic and political issues. Why is this a good thing? It's because our political ideologies are similar. The majority of Millennials believe in a universal healthcare system, we believe in equality for all, same-sex marriage, climate change, gun control legislation and the list goes on. Our generation (more than any other) also believes that racial discrimination against black Americans are the reason why they cannot get ahead. In these crazy times of senseless violence, racial discrimination, police brutality, anti-LGBTQ; our time to rise is NOW. 

Elections are ultimately what gives us the power. We have to remember that a democracy is a form of government where power is given by the people, for the people. Although there is so much government corruption and many obstacles barring some of us from voting, that doesn't mean we can't participate in other political activities to help create change. Let's do what we can, while we can. Let's create a better future for our children. Let's play the game by their rules and make it better for us and future generations to come. 

A couple of more things I wanted to share with you guys. Below I added a few link's to help guide you in choosing the right candidates for the midterm elections; there's a dope article I found on GQ that serves as a guide for those that don't know where to start when it comes to researching candidates for this year's midterm elections. There's also a link provided on the bottom from Vote.org (an organization that encourages people to VOTE!) that provides locations to polling places around the country. For my local Las Vegas heads, I added an endorsement guide provided by the Las Vegas Weekly below to help you find the right candidates to elect into office.

Hope you guys enjoyed this read. Remember to drop a comment and let us know what you think! . Until next time, stay elevated y'all! 

 

GQ - A Lazy Person's Guide to Every Senate Race in the 2018 Midterm Elections

Vote.org - Polling Place Locator

Las Vegas Weekly - Whom Should You Vote For In The Midterm Elections? And Why?

Citations:

Chalaba, Moni. "Who are the three-quarters of adult Americans who didn't vote for Trump?" The Guardian, 18 January 2017
Fry, Richard "Millennials approach Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation in the electorate" Pew Research Center, 3 April 2018
Fry, Richard "Millennials projected to overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation" Pew Research Center, 1 March 2018
"The Generation Gap in American Politics" Pew Research Center, 1 March 2018
Maniam, Shiva & Smith, Samantha "A wider partisan and ideological gap between younger, older generations" Fact Tank, Pew Research Center, 20 March 2017
Fry, Richard "Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force" Pew Research Center, 11 April 2018


Cesar Plascencia
Cesar Plascencia

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