On October 29, I had the pleasure of attending “The Rally to Restore Sanity/ March to Keep Fear Alive” in Washington DC. It was my first time attending any type of political rally, so I was unsure of what to expect from the experience. The National Mall was jam- packed with over 200, 000 people and, while the thrill of being there and seeing all of the celebrity supporters was an experience I will never forget, I feel that my levels of sanity and fear did not grow from simply being there in the crowd. The rally did, however, did get me excited to vote in the election that occurred on November 2, despite having never closely followed politics before. To my surprise, the topic of voting was not actually addressed during the rally. However, the event’s host, Jon Stewart, brought up the excellent point that we as a nation are not insane, but that the actions of Capitol Hill and the news media make it seem quite the contrary. I could not agree with this opinion more, and I feel that the only way to change this American stigma is to get out there and vote.
On November 2, I proudly went into my polling place and voted Democratic straight down the ticket. I was confident that my candidates would win, and when I saw the results the next morning I was beyond disappointed. I can imagine that the results turned out the way they did due to apathy among Democrats after the victory in 2008 which resulted in the appointing of President Barack Obama. Now, Democrats must deal with the results because they did not contribute or help their party’s candidates in this election.
According to VotePa.com, the Democrats in Philadelphia dominated the polls, while here in Chester County the Republicans took most of the wins. According to CNN, the amount of youth vote in Pennsylvania (ages 18-29) was quite low in contrast to the 2008 presidential election. In the election, minorities only made up 14 percent of the votes, and the youth vote counted for just 13 percent of the voting statistics compiled by age on CNN.com.
Seeing these statistics makes me uneasy not only because my chosen party and candidates were brutally defeated, but because the young people of America are the people that will be affected by the laws in the later years. After attending the rally, I had high hopes that young people would be inspired to go out and vote even if they didn’t closely follow politics. The only way to influence change and have your voice heard is to participate.
Although I was upset with the outcome of this year’s election, the fact that I went out and voted ultimatel made me proud. In a weird way, I am glad the Republicans claimed victory from this election. Perhaps now the young Democrats who missed their chance to act this year will help to make a change in 2012.
Samantha Greenberg is a student at West Chester University majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at SG655862@wcupa.edu.