A few weeks ago, I was listening to the radio during my morning routine and my ears perked up when I heard one of the DJ’s say that a recent survey had been released, reporting that at least fifty percent of millennials would give up their right to vote if it meant erasing their student debt.
An article about this survey from Policy Genius Inc. says, “Many millennials would take drastic measures to be free from student debt. That includes giving up the freedom to choose their leaders.” They go on to say, “43.6% said they would give up ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, while 42.4% said they would give up international travel for five years. Millennials are loath to give up one right: Only 13.2% said they would give up texting.”
I was surprised at what I learned that day. Certainly, I can only imagine the burden many individuals bear when it comes to college debt. What struck me the most was not that my generation would take some drastic measures to erase their debt, but what they would give up to erase it. As was already mentioned, my generation (as a general rule) would rather give up voting than texting.
But, as I thought about it further, I could almost understand why millennials would give up voting. Unfortunately, for years now, more and more politicians have been found in scandals, promises have been broken, and policies that were supposed to “fix” many problems have only lead us further in the wrong direction. To most young people, politics seems like a waste of time.
I get that. But failing to vote is not the answer.
“So, why should I vote?” you may ask. While this is not exhaustive, here are three reasons for why you should vote:
1.Many people have died, and many around the world still would die, to preserve basic rights, such as the right to vote.
Alexander Hamilton said that “…voting at elections is one of the most important rights of the subject, and in a republic ought to stand foremost in the estimation of the law.”
Amy Rees Anderson, in an article from Forbes, says it this way: “The price of our freedom has been far too high for any of us to ever take it for granted, and the consequence of non-participation in our right to vote is far too great for any of us to ignore.”
The least you and I can (and should) do is take advantage of the sacrifices made by those who have gone before. Let’s not neglect the gift we’ve been given.
2.You know the old term, “If you don’t use it, you lose it”? That applies here, too.
Thomas Paine said the following: “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”
As I mentioned before, voting is one of the simplest ways we can do just that — support our freedom.
John Adams also said, “You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make a good use of it.”
Could it be, that because of our negligence, future generations will have to fight once more for everything we enjoy? I hope not.
3.We, the people, are responsible for leading change for the good.
Noah Webster said this:
“If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted…If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.”
We — you and I — are responsible for electing wise, moral men and women into office. I dare say that many of the problems we face as a country have been a result of our neglect of duty to be the guardians of liberty. So, instead of giving up your right to vote because of the system’s failures, I want to challenge you to make just a small difference by voting. If everyone steps up and makes an effort to elect the right people, we’ll start to see the change across the entire country.
The right to vote for your leaders is one of paramount importance, and must not be neglected.