I believe in the power of the vote.

Casey - 07901, New Jersey
Entered on May 5, 2008

I believe in the power of the vote.

As a 12 year old, seeing the turn of the new millennium didn’t hit me the same way it did adults. I knew that there was a president, a government, and a violent US history. I took my social studies classes and worked on school projects around this time that reflected on the last 100 years. At that age, I recognized that each leader (for four or eight years) consecutively had the power to make executive decisions. Teddy Roosevelt was known for his progressive movement, John F. Kennedy saved the world from nuclear war with Russia, and Dwight Eisenhower began the space movement. With these facts, I knew that certain people made important decisions that reflected on the life we live today.

Today, the war in Iraq is an 8-year long ordeal that will forever be associated with my generation. On the day of September 11th, I was sitting in my 8th grade English class when the World Trade Center was attacked. Our principal called a number of students to the cafeteria, to make phone calls to our parents. My father worked blocks away from this area, which had me very nervous. I thought about what would have happened had my dad been walking to get breakfast in downtown Manhattan that morning. Thankfully he was not directly effected by the attack, but this thought challenged everything I knew about the country I have lived my entire life in. Now, at age 20, I have recognized social issues that impact me even more.

As I grew older, I guess you could say I took an interest in politics. My mother was a liberal and my father, a conservative. They had different views regarding the state at which the country should be in at a particular time. After hearing their debates my whole life, I gained second hand knowledge on opinionated politics, which mixed with my learning in school.

I now attend college, and live a fairly comfortable life. I wake up every morning, go to class, eat at the local dining hall, and hang out with the same friends. I make phone calls when I need to, turn on the TV when I want to, and search the Internet when it’s necessary. I am never bothered to speak up with regards to what I believe in, nor am I asked to have opinions in school on issues of politics.

I think it’s time for a change.

I believe the youth of America should be informed how important it is for their voice to be heard through the power of voting. It’s time that pop culture and the enormous underground of Americans promote this idea. The reason being: Without the youth involved and informed, the United States will be run by those who’s ideals may be outdated. Half the country thinks now is the time for change; the other half wants to continue the path we are on. From a 20-year-old perspective, I can see the country falling apart like everyone is reluctantly waiting for, without our generation’s opinions hardly heard.

I know I am one man but with the vote of many can come great things. Once a group of people knows completely what a candidate stands for, a collective effort in voting can be effective and worthwhile in the long run. Protests of the 60’s stand alone as effective ways a group of people collectively spoke up demanding some sort of justice. I believe it is this attitude that must be taught to our youth so that they too can see their voice being a part of the decisions that are made.

If this concept is addressed clearly and honestly to the youth of America, the masses will react and become a bigger audience for the candidates this year to cater to.