The New Dealer

  • March 29April 2019 Edition

You Should Vote!

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You Should Vote!

Alyssa Lee, Reporter

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America was built and founded on the ideas of democracy, and by not exercising our right to vote, we are throwing away our voices and allowing our government to essentially become vulnerable from making any further progress. We need to vote, especially us, the newer and younger generation of Americans. Unlike other American generations before us, such as baby boomers, we are the most diverse in terms of race, culture, and religion. The baby boomers in America will soon be gone, leaving our generation of millennials and Generation Z to be the largest and possibly most influential group that will vote in future elections. However, many young people still do not vote, and instead, overlook its importance.

Young people often do not realize the importance that voting has on our country, especially in this day and age. We pine for change, however, we do nothing about it, because of several reasons. One of the several reasons why many young people do not vote is the belief that their vote won’t matter or make a difference. Another is because many young people are not aware or educated about politics. What young people don’t realize is that their votes do matter, because they’re allowing their voices to be heard. Without young people voting, the fate of America is at risk. Young people make up most of America’s population, but only older people are more likely to vote. While the presidential election of 2016 between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had a big voter turnout and encouraged many to come out and vote, not all eligible voters voted in that election. Our current President, Donald Trump has proven how badly we need to vote and let our voices be heard. Since being elected, Donald Trump’s presidency has shown many how divided America still is, through matters of race, gender, and education.

As young people, we desperately need to vote if we want to see the changes that we want. We need leaders who better represent us as a whole and not just fragments. Our votes do matter, and by voting not only are we allowing our voices to be heard, but also we’re exercising the rights we have as Americans. 2020, is the next election that will determine whether or not Donald Trump stays president for another term, or if we get a new president. If we really want to see a change in America to happen, we really need to go out and vote, especially in the upcoming election. Our generation will have so many problems to deal with, mainly what’s been left behind from the older generations and from the hands of Donald Trump. Problems like global warming and environmental issues are only getting worse, and it’s us young people who are going to have to deal with them. Despite the new wave of diversity in the House of Representatives, integrating more people of color and gender, and them taking on more political roles in government (such as running for president for the election of 2020), shows us that the change occurring right now is progressive, but more change will be needed if we want to sway the election next year. Change is inevitable, only when we want it to be.

It is ultimately up to us young people to fix our country. So when you’re eligible to register to vote, go out there and make a difference by educating yourself about politics and go vote! Here is what some students and teachers have to say about voting:

  1. What does being an American mean to you?

Jasmine Unay (Junior):  There is no definition of being an American. If you identify as being an American, that’s good for you I guess.

Ms. Mendez (Dean): It means enjoying freedoms that many people don’t have, having opportunities no matter who you are.

Kyle Natividad (Junior): Being an American means exercising the rights given to you by the Constitution and participating in democracy. I’ve been living in this country for my whole life, and I feel like there are more opportunities available to me because I’m living here.

Mr. Bernardi (Global History Teacher): We the people…  these 3 words from the very start of the Preamble of the US Constitution are three very powerful words. It can be argued that the definition of “we” has certainly changed through time, but it is the very fact that it has changed – to be more of an inclusive mandate that all people have a voice in this country which is inspirational to me.  This is what being an American means to me.

     2. Regarding all the on-going events in America right now, do you believe that the country is in a state of division?

Jasmine Unay: I do believe that the country is in a state of division. Anyone can clearly tell that it is. The division in America is not only political, but also social. I’m divided within my own family, because of current events in America.

Ms. Mendez: Yes I do believe that the country is in a state of division.

Kyle Natividad: Yes, I feel like there is a clear divide, especially between the Democratic and Republican parties. I see a lot of debates and arguing over the internet between these two groups, on topics such as healthcare, education, and immigration policies.

Mr. Bernardi: I do think there is a political division, but it seems to be that the media specifically social media, makes that division deeper and wider than it may actually be.  I have friends from across the political spectrum and our ability to discuss politics on a global, national, and local scale and not attack one another speaks to this.

    3. Do you plan on voting in the 2020 elections?

Jasmine Unay: I absolutely will be voting in the 2020 elections. I turn 18 in 2020 and the first thing I’m going to do is register to vote.

Ms. Mendez: Absolutely.

Kyle Natividad: I do plan on voting in the 2020 elections.

Mr. Bernardi: Of course. I have voted in every election that has occurred since I was 18.

   4. Why do you/or want to vote in the 2020 elections?

Jasmine Unay: The reason I want to vote is that I’m given that right, I’m not going to not vote. I’m doing it, because many people don’t vote and don’t take advantage of that right.

Ms. Mendez: I vote because it’s important to do your civic duty.

Kyle Natividad: I want to vote in this election, because I want to make my voice be heard, and to exercise my right as a citizen.

Mr. Bernardi: As cliche as it may sound…  I vote because I think it’s my job as a citizen, and I vote because, I want to have a voice in the government.

    5. Do you think by encouraging the newer generation of Americans to go out and vote will change the outcome of the 2020 elections?

Jasmine Unay: Absolutely it will. This past election in 2018, the rate for people between ages 18-25 who voted has gone up. Just imagine what it would be like if it encouraged more. I mean we are the future of this nation.

Ms. Mendez: Yes, change comes with new people. It’s important to participate in their society and government.

Kyle Natividad: Yes, because statistics have been showing that young people are less likely to vote than older generations. If we get more young people to vote, their opinions will be heard and new and appealing political figures will be elected that could change policies in America today.

Mr. Bernardi: I encourage everyone to vote in every election that they have knowledge about. I think an educated and aware electorate is the only way to create change on a national and local level. That being said, I do think it’s important that people are involved, which means researching candidates and having a full base of knowledge to help determine their own personal politics, rather than subscribing to rhetoric that they see shared on Facebook.

    6. Why do you think so many Americans are so discouraged/ don’t have the motivation to vote?

Jasmine Unay: So many Americans don’t vote. because they feel its unnecessary to or that their votes don’t count. They won’t vote, but they complain about the outcome. It’s really irritating.

Ms. Mendez: Many Americans feel that their votes do not really matter.

Kyle Natividad: They feel discouraged, because they feel like their vote might not make difference even though it does.

Mr. Bernardi: I’m actually not sure. I think apathy probably plays a role (they don’t care because they don’t think their vote matters). I encourage people to get involved in local politics. Local elections and local politics can inspire people, because they can see real change being created right before their eyes that affects them directly in their communities.

    7. What advice do you have for young people (or anyone in general) on the issue with voting?

Ms. Mendez: Young people should be informed about whose running for office and should go out an vote. There are people around the world who fought for the right to vote and that right should not be taken for granted.

Mr. Bernardi: Be involved!! There are literally millions of people who don’t vote, think about what that means if you actually do.

    8. Would you encourage your peers to go out and vote?

Jasmine Unay: I 100% would encourage my peers to vote, I even do it now.

Kyle Natividad: I would encourage my peers to go out and vote, because if they want to see change, then voting is the best way to make that happen.

    9. As a woman, did the midterm elections bring more inspiration, or representation, to you due to the fact that so many women were elected into government?

Jasmine Unay: The midterms did inspire me, it motivated me to do more with myself. I do feel more represented as a woman, although there can always be more improvements, it’s definitely a start.

Ms. Mendez: Yes it did inspire me. Since I’m the mom of two daughters, it’s inspiring for them to see more diversity in government.

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