‘No’ vote not an option this election season


Tribune News Service

Both Democratic and Republican Presidential nominees face historically low favorability ratings from potential voters. Yet, Baxter argues sitting on the sidelines is not an option.

NICOLE BAXTER, Opinion Columnist

I know politics may seem like a joke these days because there is no shortage of comedic digs towards the floppy toupee and polyester pantsuits, but this is still a serious matter.

Election day is coming up fast and there is still a large amount of uncertainty about who to support this November. This has undoubtedly been the most unorthodox election year yet and it seems to be leaving us in a media induced frenzy.

By this stage in the process, I’m sure many of us don’t even bother to turn our TV on anymore in fright that we might have to sit through one more campaign commercial or listen to the absurdity of the press. As college aged students, this is most likely the first political campaign many of us have been involved in, and I can’t say it is a very warm welcome into the world of democracy.

The deceit and bigotry exhibited by our leading candidates in less than admirable and often befuddles our ability to look past the tripe and focus on what is important. At first it was amusing, but it became quite clear after the caucuses that our country’s future is not something we should gamble for the mere pleasure of entertainment.

MSNBC and FOX look more like reality television than hard news broadcasts and the front pages of our newspapers can easily be mistaken for gossip magazines. When is America going to wake up and understand this is the future of our nation, not the season finale of some show on Bravo? Whoever wins this doesn’t get a rose or record deal, they get the presidency. They will hold the most powerful office in the world and it is up to us to pick a worthy leader.

For some of us it may not be a difficult choice, rather a painful compromise, but it is our responsibility as young citizens to partake in the process. It may be tempting to just opt out and not cast a vote this year, but we must remember that passively standing by is simply not an option.

Yes, the system is broken and it may sometimes seem easier to just start over, but that isn’t how this works. In order for change to transpire, one needs to be involved. Voting is your privilege, although it might not be your pleasure.

A recent tracking poll done by NBC illustrates exactly how critical it is to participate this year. Clinton is up by 6 points, at 48 percent, while Trump sits at 42 percent, which means this is a very close race. With a few months of campaigning left, anything could happen.

Based on NBC’s survey, it appears to be the registered Independents who are having a tough time choosing which side to support. “According to data from this week’s tracking poll, 70 percent of Independents who now support Clinton say they have supported someone else in the past six months. Among those Independents who currently support Trump, 64 percent say they supported someone else in the past six months.”  It looks as though with Bernie out, Independents are torn between the two.

Political beliefs aside, I ask that you recognize the imperative contribution each and every vote makes. Ignore the smug smiles and supposed scandals, focus on what matters, the power you bestow to bring about change. Get educated, think wisely and head to the polls on Nov. 8 to show your support for this country.