Editorial: Learn all you can and cast an informed vote
Published: Friday, September 28, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 28, 2012 14:09
Every election is important.
Nominally, a single vote matters very little, given the scale of elections and the myriad power blocs and groups at work; however, every individual voter has the ability to weaken or strengthen these larger voters with his or her decision. The only way voters fail to make an impact is if they fail to vote at all.
The 2012 election is particularly important to college students. The majority of students at this school will enter the working world outside college at some point over the course of the next president’s term. Your vote will have a measurable impact in determining the shape of the government that will preside over you as you leave education. It will shape the way our government handles student loans, taxation, what benefits and services it provides and what direction its foreign policy takes. It will affect the attitude our government has to its citizens and what kind of money it will collect from us or spend in our name. These are issues of consequence, and your vote has some part in determining which way they will be decided.
It is always easier to do something than nothing, and because elections are matters involving millions upon millions of people (not to mention political machinations in every state, in the electoral college and even, on occasion, the House of Representatives) it is easy to justify this apathy by looking at the average vote as being inconsequential. But such apathy only damages you, depriving you of the power that is your right by virtue of being an American citizen. We are a Republic, not a Democracy; the power we wield is limited to choosing those representatives who wield power on our behalf.
Not only is it important to vote, but it is important to vote in an informed manner. Be it for Obama (who many believe to have failed to deliver on his promise of four years ago), Romney (who seems actively disparaging to the underprivileged), Johnson (who, for better or worse, wants to halve government power and influence) or some other candidate, your choice will have an impact. The decisions of the elected president will have serious consequences. Your vote has great power, and with great power comes great responsibility. Who would Spider-Man vote for?
Find out what the issues are. Figure out what matters to you — be it gay rights, taxation, the war on terror, the war on drugs or any other issue. Figure out who best represents your interests — who’s most likely to continue a policy you value or make a change you support. Change comes in many forms and can be carried out in a variety of ways. All power is founded upon the collaborative consent of a people willing to surrender some of their rights for the sake of a larger good. Though your vote may seem miniscule, it is one of the countless pieces that make up the whole power of the American government. To refuse to use it is to refuse to use your power to decide the direction of this country. We are all adults and our voices have weight.
If every student at Loyola casts a vote this November, that would represent a fairly sizable voice, whomever we choose to vote for. Don’t let this power go to waste.