High school students are told they live in a democracy where everyone’s opinion counts, but then hear that they are still a few years too young to be deemed intelligent enough to vote.
They watch debates where politicians accuse each other of destroying the economy, and then offer no practical solution to the problems the U.S. faces.
They see the results of political decisions that have not yet managed to end the country’s recession.
They look at television commercials that highlight the negative characteristics of opposition candidates.
By the time students are 18, they are too often disillusioned by politics and want no further involvement in the system. Yet, for the government to function properly, every legal voter must accept the responsibility of staying politically aware and voting in each election.
A democracy requires the participation of every citizen if it is to create a government which reflects the wishes of the entire country. It is essential that every American citizen who will be of voting age by the November election is registered and informed about the candidates and the propositions. Only by researching the available options and casting our votes can we, as a country, prevent the abuse of companies who rely on the population’s ignorance in order to manipulate laws. Only by participating in the system do we have a chance to change the policies that first destroyed our faith in politics. Only by actually voting can we complain about the positions candidates take.
Despite the importance of this responsibility, voter turnouts have steadily declined over the past few decades. Americans must realize that, even within a large pool of votes, each ballot represents a will to determine the future, an acceptance of the duties as U.S. citizens, and a pride in our country’s principles.
There should be no excuse not to cast a ballot on Election Day. The passed measures and elected candidates determine your money, your education, and your future. Voting is, in the end, the only time when everyone has a truly equal say in the political process. When Americans opt not to vote, they forgo their voice in the system and thus their right to criticize their government. Neglecting to vote is an insult to the American belief of democracy and a highly unpatriotic choice.