This year has made it quite difficult for me to truly get stoked about choosing the next president. It’s not that I don’t think the president is important, but I have a hard time believing in my vote’s importance. For a majority of the population, voting in the presidential race carries very little significance to the actual outcome of the election. Taking the time to vote seems inherently irrational for multiple reasons. Most states consistently favor one party, so unless you live in a swing state, you as a single individual probably won’t change the trajectory of your state. Despite the argument that if everyone had a “voting doesn’t matter” mindset democracy would shatter, it would take serious voter turnout reform to actually poll what the population of the United States wants.
Not to mention, casting an absentee ballot as a college student takes extra effort. The college population is an important voting group, but since we have to jump through hoops just to cast our singular vote, it seems like the government doesn’t really consider our votes a priority. Why not, though? We’re educated, and as millennials understand a lot about the current world and are concerned with its future direction. Voting initiatives exist all over campuses, but simply promoting voting does not streamline the process.
The shit-show of the primaries makes voting even more difficult this year. Normally the nominees are pretty well-determined before the general election, but now in order to be an informed voter I have to take hours each week to watch debates and read about the plethora of candidates. Now that things are finally narrowed down it’s becoming a bit easier, but the current front-runners don’t exactly get me pumped to vote.
On top of all that, since I’ve been old enough to seriously look at politics I’ve considered myself a Republican. That said, this year’s election has messed all that up because the probable Republican nominee is a royal pain in the ass. So what do I do? Blindly vote for my party even though I hate the candidate? Or vote for “the lesser of two evils” and switch sides to vote for a safer candidate that I also dislike (sorry not sorry Hillz). By the time they narrow it down to two, what are the odds that you actually like either of the candidates? You’re supposed to pick someone you’re just “eh” about? That sounds flawed.
But I will vote anyway. Because if I don’t vote, that would mean I literally don’t give a shit. I’m not saying that I don’t want to be a part of democracy. One of my friends kindly reminded me that a long time ago, people fought to have these rights, and ignoring them now just completely blows off the ideals America was founded on. I use the word “ideals” because as you can tell, to me, reality doesn’t really measure up. But regardless of the people running, I care who our president will be. Regardless of how little it will affect my life, I care how it might affect others. I can’t complain if I didn’t use what little power I had to determine the outcome. Even if I just vote because “it’s the principal of the matter”, it’s an extremely important principal. It’s the foundation of America, really.