By Elizabeth Crea
My name is Elizabeth Crea, and I did not vote in Tuesday’s election. (Pause for discomfort and and/or outrage to subside.)
Admittedly, this “unpatriotic” act was due to apathy. Yes, apathy: a plague amongst our generation, infecting the minds of bright young college students who do not understand the importance of getting out the vote. While I do understand the importance of democracy, I feel that casting an uneducated ballot is almost worse than not voting at all.
It’s easy to get swept away in a liberal tidal wave at this college. Pro-choice sentiments, gay rights activism, and strong opposition to Scott Walker are commonplace. The majority of students lean towards the left, but there are many students who support the Republican Party, Green Party, or no party at all.
It is also a common belief that all Beloit students are politically minded, politically active, and politically aware. This is not always true, and I am a prime example. Politics bore me to no end. And voting? I vote when I feel the need to, when I care about something deeply, thus choosing to support it by ballot casting. While I do exercise my right to vote in most cases, I feel uncomfortable being an uninterested voter. This is how I felt Tuesday morning, therefore I didn’t make the two-block trip to the polls.
Political campaigning is not on the same wavelength as brain washing, but on a like-minded campus it comes dangerously close to it. Dozens of people have hollered at me to vote (including the Reverend Jesse Jackson himself). However, no one mentioned what or who to vote for; it was just assumed I’d vote democratic. What happened to the educated voter? What about weighing the pros and cons of all of the candidates and different sides of the issues? I saw no posters or fliers advertising the Republican Party, and I imagine if they made an appearance on this campus they would immediately be torn down. If Beloit students are expected to make an informed decision, all viewpoints should be offered for us to contemplate.
I am uncomfortable in expressing why I voted for someone when I don’t even know why myself, hence my lack of action on Tuesday. I’ve been called lazy, undemocratic, and unpatriotic, yet I find these terms spewed out of disgust for my personal freedom to choose. No one can force me to care—these attacks do not and will not change my beliefs or voting habits. I’m not un-American because I didn’t vote; I’ll just vote when I feel the personal desire to do so.