“Everyone on this stage has an idea about how to get change” said by Hillary Clinton at the Democratic debate in Iowa on December 13, 2007. Change is such a big issue this year and every candidate is bringing something different to the table. However most of the Democratic candidates all seek to work on ending the war in Iraq, relinquishing the United States’ huge dependence on foreign oil and examining orders given by President Bush. The Republican debates have brought no mention of Iraq, but have focused on issues such as social security, taxes and the possibility of global warming. Change is happening everywhere in 2008. As college students, we are more independent now then we ever were in high school. Many of us are even beginning to live on our own and pay bills and those taxes that we never had to worry about before. With all this independence and extra responsibility, why wouldn’t we want to become knowledgeable on issues that directly affect us? Yet, many students do not do this. They still vote based on what their parents believe, if they even decide to vote at all. People choose to become followers without even knowing what they were following.
I remember in high school speaking to many Bush supporters who did not even know that questions were being raised about his intentions on entering into the Iraq war. They put Bush up on a pedestal during elections and then forgot all about him. Such ignorance should not be tolerated in today’s youth. We hold the key to our own future. Why are so many of us throwing it down the toilet when we could be using it? Voting provides a vital role to begin change. In recent years, it has become extremely easy to register to vote. You can enter “[state] voter registration form” in Google, and you can find a link to print voter registration. Rockthevote.com provides another simple way to register. Just print out the form from the site and mail it in. There are so many resources available to help our generation become involved. Television and the Internet are not the only resources left to use.
At West Chester University there are plenty of ways to stay informed. We have the College Democrats who work with other Democratic committees, and also travel to conventions and host voter registration drives. The College Republicans also travel to conventions and meet on campus for meetings and debates. Both groups of students wish to educate and inform others about the Democratic and Republican parties. If you are interested, you can contact James Klapp, President of the College Democrats or Eric Anderson, President of the College Republicans. You can drop your information in either group’s student organization mailbox.
Even if you do not want to become an activist in politics, I urge you to at least keep up to date on the primaries and elections coming up. Do not be another mindless voter. Do not vote Republican or Democrat simply because your parents think you should. Do not vote for Hillary Clinton because you are a feminist. Do not vote for Obama because you are of the same ethnicity. Listen to their views! Decide if they are the same as your own. That should be the deciding factor on who to vote for. It is the mindless people of this country that elected President Bush for his second term. Let’s hope we have learned from our mistakes and can fix our future.
Melanie Peterson is a first-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org