By The People, For The People

By The People, For The People

Jon Pearcy, Staff Writer

November 8, 2016. If that date means nothing to you, you’re already doing something wrong. That’s the next presidential election, and it may seem like no big deal until you realize that 32% of our school will be able to vote. Suddenly, the fact that you can only list off Trump and Clinton isn’t “no big deal.” It’s horrifying.

I know what a lot of you are going to do. You’re going to blame it on the Forest Hills Bubble. Like there’s some magic shield which protects you from any blame. The thing is, if you’re one of those 32% who will be able to vote next year, you can’t do that anymore. You’re going to be an adult soon: grow up. It’s pathetic, the amount of people at our school who seem proud of this ignorance, this Forest Hills Bubble. They flaunt it around like it’s some kind of innocence, like they’re saving themselves from something. Guess what, the world’s big, scary, and nothing like Forest Hills. It’s not filled with a majority of affluent, white, good Christian families. It’s not even close.

You shouldn’t be proud of knowing nothing about the real world. You shouldn’t be proud of ignorance. We live in a world where information about almost anything is just a few finger taps away, yet still our school chooses to close itself off and pretend there’s nothing outside. Our world has become more and more interconnected. There used to be a time when you could ignore everything outside of this little Forest Hills community, but that time is long past. We can’t keep turning inwards, we can’t wait until the real world comes knocking, because by then it will be too late.

So go out on the internet. Learn about the candidates, and I don’t mean just Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I mean all of them. Figure out what you like and dislike about each candidate, figure out which issues are most important to you, decide which candidate is best for you. Don’t make your decision based on whoever is the loudest, or whoever has an R or D next to their name.

Voting is one of the most powerful things you can do as a US citizen, and not only that, it’s your civic duty. In 2012, only 41.2% of 18-24 year olds voted. That means that a majority of voters our age decided they didn’t care who led their country, the person who could send them to war or help pass laws that dramatically affect their lives. That’s scary, it means our generation doesn’t care.

Let’s put it in a different frame. You know that teacher you don’t like? How about students loans and the crushing debt that inevitably follows? How about the MSTEP? If you don’t vote, your opinion on those things doesn’t matter anymore. You had your chance to help change things, and deliberately threw it away. Stop whining about things you don’t like, about the broken pieces in the system, and do your part. Help change things. Vote.