The potential influence of the youth vote has been a recurring theme in this year’s election, but the question is whether young voters will materialize on Election Day.
The idea of a massive youth turnout is nothing new. This year, though, the implications of a no-show from young voters will be dramatic.
Our country is on the verge of some enormous problems that politicians have paid little attention to. As the presidential candidates quarreled over William Ayers, Joe the Plumber and Jeremiah Wright, the issues that will have the greatest impact on our nation’s future have been largely ignored.
Forget about our dependence on foreign oil – let’s start talking about our dependence on oil itself. American society has been built on the assumption of cheap, plentiful oil. When this finite resource inevitably runs out, society will be faced with the question of how to power jet planes, manufacture plastics and synthesize medicines, to name a few. If we don’t step up and demand a solution to this problem now, finding a solution will be much more difficult and costly in the future.
And what about the problem of entitlements? Most young voters have probably already accepted the fact that Social Security will not be around by the time we’re old, despite the fact we’re still paying for it. If Congress does not do something about entitlement programs now, however, the burden on the budget will continue to grow and take funding away from other valuable programs.
This is not to mention the rapidly increasing cost of higher education in this country, which is causing thousands of qualified students to miss out on a college diploma.
One major reason politicians have been able to ignore these issues is that young voters simply don’t show up. Without a huge voting bloc to hold them accountable, politicians can happily ignore the concerns of this generation.
It’s time for that to change. Today is Election Day, and today is our chance to prove that the problems facing our generation are as important as the problems facing every other generation voting in this election. If politicians don’t get that message, we will have only ourselves to blame.