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What To Do With Your Newfound Righteous Fervor

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We’ve all had a fun time being lightly civilly disobedient, haven’t we? A few hundred students standing around in the mist, putting each other on Snapchat to prove we were there. We made our voices heard… to each other. Not to put too fine of a point on it, but whoop-dee-doo. You can’t refuse every bucket you’re handed, then complain when the boat starts to sink.

So… what now?

Register to vote.

According to the Brookings Institute, only fifty percent of Millenials* voted in the 2016 Presidential election. In the 2014 midterm, the International Business Times reported a Millenial turnout of only 21.3 percent. This is distressing, to say the least. Why is this turnout so low? Some may be quick to respond “my vote doesn’t matter.” This is not only defeatist, but it is fundamentally false. The recent Pennsylvania 18th District special election—a district President Trump won by 20 points—was won by Democrat Connor Lamb by 627 votes. If that tiny percentage of the district had chosen to stay home instead of taking to the polls, there would have been no upset.

Votes matter. They matter in the mundanity of a House election. They matter when there aren’t billion-dollar campaigns telling you who to vote for. They matter when you have to do the work yourself; when you have to find out who you support.

Register to vote. If you aren’t yet 18, pre-register. Research the candidates in your district, and have an understanding of party platforms. Keep an open mind and broaden your political knowledge.** Track elections in areas critical for your party or your concerns. Look to leaders you respect. Vote for policy, not party. Vote for people you can trust. Vote for your voice or risk losing it.

Santa Cruz High, you’ve proven that you can come together with consideration, respect, and passion. You proved that on Wednesday, March 14th. You can prove again it on June 5, in the Statewide Direct Primary Election. You can prove it on November 6th, in the Midterm General Election. You can prove it on November 3rd of 2020, in the Presidential Election.

Educate yourself. Do your civic duty. Vote.

*Yes, SCHS students are Gen Z—we’ve only started to come of voting age very recently, so Millennial stats are more relevant. [/note]

**Reputable, unbiased sources (of varying depths) for news include NPR, WaPo, The New York Times, CNN, NBC, PBS, BBC, Al Jazeera America, and more. Partisan media such as MSNBC and Fox News should still be viewed to get a sense of what matters to those of other political leanings. For news of local concern, check local NPR stations and newspapers of nearby large cities—and support local nonprofit media organizations.

1 Comment

One Response to “What To Do With Your Newfound Righteous Fervor”

  1. Riley Nelson on March 23rd, 2018 10:31 am


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What To Do With Your Newfound Righteous Fervor