The 2016 Election Has the Young Caring About Politics Again

The United States may be the larg­est democracy in the world but its historically low election turnout among the young indicates that it might not be the most popular. This indifference is puzzling to me. The government helps determine the level of education we receive at public colleges and sets the terms and condi­tions of our student loans. For this reason alone we should care who is in office. So why don’t we?

Part of the reason may be that for years we have gotten candidates who make promises when campaigning but don’t keep their promises when gov­erning. This year feels different. In 2016, young faces have started show­ing up on political shows. Thanks to Bernie Sanders, the young are calling for a more equal system. Thanks to Donald Trump, the young are reject­ing the ideals that he stands for.

If the young take control of the political machine, there may very well be a revolution.

The Million Student March was a movement that held demonstrations on college campuses around the coun­try on April 13th as a show of support for Bernie Sanders and a reminder to voters of the racism and fear that would rule America if they allowed Donald Trump to be elected. Accord­ing to those who organized the event on Facebook, the movement wanted to inspire college students to fight against the “threat from the right.” The UW Seattle campus was among the many campuses that participated.

The right nation for our generation is not the one that the political right governs. “Drop tuition, not bombs” read one banner held by protesters, highlighting the right’s obsession with foreign wars. “Keep America Great” read another sign held by a young man, in contrast to Donald Trump’s slogan that glorifies a muddy, often regrettable past.

If I had to name one good thing that Donald Trump is doing for the country, I believe that he helps us re­alize how much this country has to lose. “Fight for $15/hour, Fight for Jobs, and Fight Trump” was among the slogans people chanted in opposi­tion to him.

Bernie Sanders’ candidacy offers hope while Donald Trump’s campaign offers fear. Bernie Sanders’ ideas show people how much the country can do if the nation heads in the right direc­tion. Donald Trump’s ideas show people how much the country can lose if the nation takes direction from a guy who enjoys being the only winner in a world full of “losers.” Trump is a harmful hurricane that is trying to tear apart the roof of unity the nation has built through years of compas­sionate hands and dedicated steps!

Donald Trump may not make you feel safe. But when I hear young voic­es speak, I feel safe.

The march’s turnout was not as high as some organizers had hoped. But we must remember that there was a time in which we were hardly aware of Bernie Sanders and we were not serious about Donald Trump. As a nation we have decided that Trump is not a joke. Jokes make life pleasant, not painful. Jokes are funny, not fright­ening.

When there are attacks on the ways in which we honor and value diversity in this country, young people realize that they have the power to make sure the horrible things Amer­icans experienced in the old days will never be repeated.

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Courtesy of Damien Conway

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