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Politics: Why We Have To Stay Hopeful

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Politics: Why We Have To Stay Hopeful

Laya Reddy

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Politics. The word conjures up a wide array of feelings: passion, fear, excitement. As much as people try to distance themselves from it, they can never escape. We are all affected by the decisions made by politicians in the government, whether it’s in healthcare, immigration, or gun control. In the past few decades, our perspective of politics has become increasingly negative, as more politicians are being exposed of committing scandals, more problems are arising with fewer solutions, and media coverage of such problems increased, making Americans more invested than ever before. We can’t blame the news, though. Whether we like or not, we should be informed of current events, so we can form educated opinions. So who is to blame, and how is this affecting the youth?

 

Because of the current political climate, our vision of the government and politics is associated with lying, malice, and childish behavior. When we think politics, we don’t think of the institutions that our Founding Fathers established; we think of the corrupt people holding positions in the government. We don’t trust the government anymore.

 

When I share with people my aspirations in politics, I’m told that one person can’t make a difference in changing the current nature of politics. It’s this mindset that is so dangerous for teens to have. When we turn 18, we’re finally given the chance to make our voice heard and effect changes in the government, but many don’t perceive voting this way. People believe it’s worthless because one person can’t possibly make a difference in election results. In the 2018 midterms, though, this view was proven wrong with the Arizona Senate election between Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally. In that nail-biting election, votes were just a few thousands apart. Every single vote mattered.

 

But I also understand why people have this view in presidential elections, because we use the electoral college. It is an unfair process of voting in which citizens fail to get an equal say in our democracy. Why should one’s location impact the value of their voice? The electoral college does not always accurately represent the views of our entire state, allowing candidates to win elections without the support of the majority of the country. This is evident in two elections of our time – Bush’s and Trump’s – in which the candidate who received the electoral vote was able to win, despite losing the popular vote. The initial purpose of enacting this was to avoid uninformed voters, but hundreds of years later, this purpose is irrelevant. Citizens are more informed than ever before and should be able to directly vote for the politicians they feel worthy. The voting process needs to be more straightforward and simple. If a candidate gets more votes overall, they should win.

So, I agree, the electoral college needs to go. But our votes do not. While it may not always seem like it, our votes matter. Our hope matters. We can’t let the current government depress our views of the future – our future. So, despite our inhibitions surrounding politics, we have to stay hopeful, and we have to keep voting, because we can make a change, but only if we choose to.

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Politics: Why We Have To Stay Hopeful