With the election approaching, everyone splits off into their beliefs and choses a side. There are those ready to re-elect President Obama and those ready to elect Governor Romney. But are we really splitting and choosing sides for the right reasons?
When I first learned about politics, I assumed I was for one side because of my parents. They are adults I look up to, so my beliefs must be like theirs. This is actually a common mindset. Younger Americans conform to the thoughts of parents or other influential adults in their lives. This may not always be the best thing, but it is a common motivation for teenage and young adult participation in politics.
When we look at politics and the governmental faces that represent one political party versus another, are we listening to their actual issues and how they affect us individually or collectively? Or are we just following the thoughts of parents, other family members, or friends? We must think and make decisions for ourselves. What one candidate does for the country may affect me differently than even my closest friend. It is important to have a sense of political efficacy. We can make a difference through our representative democracy: the vote. We have the power to choose, but we should choose wisely.
With the 2008 election, we saw a large increase of young election and voter participation. Our age group is constantly underrepresented due to the fact we just don’t vote! I encourage everyone to continue this trend and we have a generation of better politically informed Americans. We should not feel discouraged to make a difference. The decisions of others affect us, we need to have a say in what decisions they will carry out.
For this election, let us not look at what each candidate looks like on the outside or who looks better at the Oval Office desk. Let us attentively listen to what each person is truly saying and how it affects us individually. There is two different plans for America up for choosing. Let the best plan win!