By Gino Diguilio
This past Monday, voters in and throughout the state of Iowa headed out to the infamous Iowa caucus at exactly 7 p.m. Now, I consider myself to be rather informed on the world of politics, especially for my age, and I had been following the process and results of this caucus extremely closely.
Now, I am not going to get into going over the results and boring you with all of the political jargon that I enjoy throwing into these conversations to make myself seem super smart. I wouldn’t do that to you. But I am sparing you from this for a specific reason.
It had come to my attention that Iowa makes up less than 1 percent of the United States’ population. And roughly only 300,00 citizens actually participate! That is .01 percent of the total population. Are you kidding me? It is bad enough that this archaic process of voting — if you can even call it that — is still used, but that .01 percent of the population has such a huge influence on setting the tone for the rest of the country. On top of that, it is said that millennial voters, or citizens age 18-29 had the lowest outcome of voter participation, not only in this specific caucus, but also on the last midterm election; 23 percent to be exact.
This got me thinking. With such a small amount of people holding the power to influence the rest of the country in their voting, why isn’t the younger generation participating? Why are we as the millennial generation not attempting to make a difference? It’s not like millennials aren’t paying attention to politics. Some say they’re easily better informed than past generations. I have had extremely intellectual and well thought out discussions with people my own age than with people from older generations.
Ashley Spillane, the president of Rock the Vote says, “Politics right now is really disheartening. I think it’s why you see in the polls that young people are not affiliating with political parties.” According to the Pew Research center, the amount of millennials that consider themselves Independents have shot up 50 percent. To me, that’s honestly so disheartening. The fact that our generation is so skeptical to pledge allegiance to the Democratic or Republican Party, because big government is not our forte.
Personally, I care very much about government, but a lot of the things they bring to the table just honestly do not apply to me. I am passionate about the issues that affect my generation and me. Is that selfish of me? Yes, probably a little. But that’s why Presidents are elected in four year terms. After four years, my life and needs will most likely be adjusted, thus giving me the chance to choose a new potential president that is passionate about the same topics as me.
The sheer idea that such a small amount of caucusers held the amount of power they did really scared me, and I hope it scared you into learning more about politics and getting involved. We as a generation can make a difference. Regardless of who you vote for, what party you are a part of or what your beliefs are, the amount of non-voters that are in our generation is vastly horrifying. We are being so turned off by politics and how everything works. So why not be a part of it and try to change it?
Don’t sit back and let the .01 percent make decisions for your future. Be a part of the change.
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