Op-ed: Why twenty-somethings need to care about this election
There are plenty of reasons why this election season is as important as the last season of “Jersey Shore,” writes guest columnist Danielle Campoamor.
Special to The Times
I LOG onto Facebook, per usual. Social media sync-ups are as essential to my morning ritual as my three, very necessary, cups of coffee.
No more than a scroll or two, and there it is: the first anti-political rant of the day. “I can’t wait until the election is over. I am tired of hearing about politics!”
“I am about to block anyone who continues to go on about this upcoming election. Over it!”
“Can anyone talk about anything else besides Obama and Romney?”
“Who cares about the upcoming election? Honestly? Nothing is going to change.”
Oh, silly little generation of mine. I shake my head, sip coffee number four, then sit in the sadness that is total apathy. It seems my peers believe registering for a rigorous, albeit pointless, mud run is more important than registering to vote. My generation would rather relentlessly rant about the latest bachelorette voted off the dating island than about possible policies and failed bills.
Why? Perhaps it is the instantaneous world in which we live that has subsequently spoiled us to no end. We are so accustomed to instant gratification that comprehending policies that may take years to evoke change is damn near impossible.
Or, perhaps, laziness has wrapped its listless fingers around our spines and paralyzed our researching skills. We don’t want to dive into nominee platforms or voting records. How could we possibly be expected to stay intrigued when our notifi ... oh, wait ... I just was mentioned in a tweet.
All may be valid, however, I am waging war on this twenty-something political passiveness and imploring my peers to be informed. There are plenty of reasons why this election season should be just as important as the last season of “Jersey Shore.”
If you missed it in your Facebook feed, Todd Akin, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Missouri, said this, according to Hark.com:
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But, let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
If you college go-getters want the ability to walk down to the local Planned Parenthood for birth control, condoms or Plan B, you’re going to need to vote. Otherwise, I suggest skipping out on that upcoming toga party.
Next reason: Eventually, you get old.
I understand this may be a difficult concept for youth to grasp, but years will go by. You will age. You will graduate, you will get grown-up jobs, with grown-up taxes, and grown-up Social Security.
While prolonging the inevitable may seem wise at the time, I guarantee you that is about as smart as sleeping with The Situation without protection. Vote on policies now, so your future won’t seem as unbearable as your Saturday mornings are now.
Finally, there are people out there who are just plain crazy. This is what Clint Eastwood said to an empty chair at the Republican National Convention, according to Hark. com: “What do you want me to tell Romney? I can’t tell him to do that ... can’t do that to himself. You’re absolutely crazy.”
There are people out there, who will vote, who think talking to empty chairs is a valuable use of time.
If you didn’t want your parents deciding what you should wear, when you should be home and what you should be doing with your life, why would you want individuals with warped concepts of reality deciding policies that directly affect you?
Our generation is pegged as disaffected, overindulged, self-absorbed and too distracted in our pursuit of life to care about, well, anyone or anything else. However, I argue that if that were really true — then we would be knee-deep in this political pool until the very, bloody end.
If you’re overindulged in your abilities, you’ll vote. If you’re self-absorbed, you’ll vote.
Finally, and especially, if you’re truly distracted in your pursuit of life, you’ll realize politics affect that very goal. And you’ll vote.
Danielle Campoamor is a Seattle freelance writer whose work has been published in Thought Catalog, Notes Magazine, FictionBrigade and Hush Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @DCampoamor.