By Brian Robbins
Do you pay student loans? Have you driven on a road or in a car? Do you own a car? Have you made a phone call from your cell phone? Have you used a crosswalk or a train? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this next one should be easy: are you voting in this election? If you answered yes, I applaud you. If you answered no, why not? Don’t know where to vote? It’s the church right across from the poetry garden!
You’re not registered in this state? You can register at the polling place. Don’t like politics? No one is saying you have to, but believe it or not, every aspect of the first questions, government affects. You don’t know anything about the candidates? Well, the elections are not tomorrow. There is still plenty of time to do research, and League of Pissed Off Voters-style packets will be handed out as soon as possible, so come Election Day, you should not be lacking in information. You’ll vote when you’re older? People who don’t vote early tend never to vote. You’ll be more educated then? Actually, the brain can only maintain so much information at one time. In fact, the elections and politics is probably the best place to use and take advantage of your Beloit education. To quote John Rapp, elections must be followed because “when you go back home you will often find that the people there will expect you to be in the know of things.”
This is a plea — not a request, not a demand, but a plea. The highest turnout in the most recent election was 65 percent, and that was for Obama. Who wants a 65 percent on their next test or grade and wants that to be the highest they ever get? That would mean that every time you took class with these standards, you would fail the class. This is what elections look like. How can you complain about how every politician is corrupt if you refuse to vote? If people choose not to vote, candidates can say, “Oh, I can win by employing a close group of friends to vote for me because no one shows up to the polls anyway.” Every one fewer person at the polls means one more chance for a corrupt official to be elected. Elections are designed as a check by the people to throw out the corrupt and prevent them from taking office. Somewhere down the line, the message must have been lost. It does not matter who you vote for; there is plenty time to make an educated decision. But for the love of humanity, vote.