Political apathy disheartening

By on October 22, 2008

In the last issue of The Chronicle, the poll question asked students if they had been following the Presidential election, a shocking 68 percent of students said that they had not.

I find this number extremely disheartening. There is a deadline for registering, but there is still time to get informed before Nov 4.

I will admit it may be hard to keep track of everything that is going on in the presidential race. With fancy metaphors and controversial issues, it is hard to hear past the sweet talk and get down to what the candidate really stands for. I watched the vice presidential debates and the final debate between Barack Obama and John McCain, but I know that I did not keep up with the debates as much as I would have liked.

The important thing to remember is that it is not too late to get involved. Even if you have tuned yourself out of the race so far, there are ample resources at your disposal. Each candidate outlines their views on the issues on their respective websites. You can look up their plans for education, the economy, healthcare, the environment, foreign policy — you name it.

Once you know the basics of each candidate’s platform, there are other websites you can use to become more informed on the specific issues. Websites such as RockTheVote.com, MoveOn.org and MyDebates.org strive to engage the youth in the election process.

These websites are a great way to form your views on the issues and decide which candidate best suits you. There are quizzes that allow you to rank the importance of issues, which helps you decide if your stance is more liberal or conservative. The websites include video clips of the candidates’ speeches and debates. Many of these sites have even pages where you can register to vote.

Websites like these make it easy for students to become informed about the important issues in the election. Once they understand the issues, it is easier to determine which candidate fits their views. There is really no excuse for why students cannot be educated on this election. I understand that many of us are busy with school work, but that should not distract us from our responsibility and privilege as Americans to vote.

To be frank, our country is in a lot of trouble. We have the opportunity to be a part of arguably the most important election of our lifetime. The result will affect our adult lives and the future of this nation. The forefathers fought to give us the privilege to vote; now we have an obligation to our future to vote. Both of the candidates have distinctly different plans for our nation. So become informed and decide where you want this country to go. Otherwise, do not complain from the passenger seat if you think it goes down the wrong road.


About Linsday Roberts