“Yo, did you end up voting today?”
“Nah man, there’s no way I’m voting. I’m not voting until something changes.”
If the lack of logic in the above sentence fails to reach out and slap you in the face, let me know and I can lend my hand. With the 2014 elections arriving and then leaving—with many completely unaware of the passing—the yearly abstinent voter argument begins to infiltrate conversations around the Quinnipiac community.
According to the abstinent voting argument, (a name coined by yours truly) prospective voters endeavor to abstain from casting ballots in order to incite some sort of change in the political system; to these rebellious few change ignites from their silent protest. Please note: As I wrote the previous sentence the now long-deceased founding fathers released synchronized gasps before eventually turning over in their individual graves.
The action—or inaction, rather—of choosing not to cast a ballot further inhibits the possibility of change within the political process; failing to vote out of anger achieves nothing—to change the process, one must engage in the process. Failing to vote in order to prove a point is like a person complaining no one hears them while speaking into a pillow; it is the attempt to fix a problem while individual actions encourage the problem. When one refuses to vote—an action deserving reprimand even with solid justification—to advance an agenda aiming at political change, the decision becomes an inherently illogical paradox, and that too is a paradox.
According to a U.S. News & World Report article, only one in four millennials planned on voting during the 2014 midterm elections.
“Young voters trust in the government is at a five-year low, but not many millennials are planning on turning out for the 2014 elections to shake things up,” the report states.
The younger generation may yearn for change. We just fail to understand inaction hinders the chance of reform; change is action.
So here’s some advice: Go out and vote next year. What the older generation view as millennial apathy regarding the political process may actually be ignorance: Many millennials do not know elections take place every Nov. 4, but now you do know.
Although I walk the line of sounding cliché, as Veterans Day rolls around, the choice to vote should be increasingly relevant. A right—when fought for and then given to a community—must be relished; to deny or forget the importance of a privilege makes an inalienable right laughable. So this week, thank a Veteran for giving you the right to vote, and thank them again by choosing to vote next November. Vote because blood has been shed to give people the chance to do so—if abstinence still sounds worthwhile, please understand the fallacy stemming from the illogical paradox of political change without action, and enjoy living within that peaceful, hopeless delusion.