This year's midterms are one I hope you have been keeping a close eye on. These elections will put our democracy on the ballot and demonstrate where America could end up in the next two years.
As a college student, a lot of these elections may seem unimportant or useless to you. However, that is not the case. Having a better understanding of the U.S. election cycle may show college youth the importance of participation.
This year in Michigan, numerous public office seats are up for grabs. From state representatives and state senators to federal house representatives and senators. Visit the Michigan League of Conservation Voters to find out who’s running on your local ballot and information on each candidate.
There's a small caveat that a lot of these elected officials seem to be forgetting. You have to give people a reason to vote for you. You cannot demand support and power based on the simple premise that the other side is worse. This idea has been working for years, and now it is time we confront the powers that be with facts.
In the 2020 election, roughly 20% of voting-age college students participated in the election. Many people in the media attempt to paint that as a sign of insignificance to younger voters as if we aren't paying attention.
The difference with our generation is we demand results. We require the truth. We require tangible benefits.
When do we stop saying it's us versus them? We need to start saying we demand results. As a collective, we need to stop voting for politicians that are filled with empty promises and rather more progressive politicians that can provide truth to power. Be unbought and unbossed.
CEOs and corporations play a massive role in our politics and we are seeing its undesired effect right now. They are buying our politicians and the result is killing us. Ranging from Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Big Tobacco, we are under a huge threat of dark money and power.
To continue supporting and voting for elected officials who rain in these campaign funds is what results in Michigan's continuous downfall. Our state is attempting to privatize as many industries as it can: construction companies, medical companies, and energy companies, in an effort to have a corporatocracy within Michigan.
We need to understand the serious threat that the corporations pose to our democracy and how we have been aiding and embedding them for years. We need to elect powerful progressive politicians that vote in favor of their constituents and are not backed by dark money and are supported by locals in a grassroots movement.
The power that college voters have over the electorate is immense, and that is the main takeaway from this article. Our vote matters, and to think in opposition of that is simply a detriment to our movement.
Especially at a time when abortion rights, gay rights, and religious freedoms are all on the ballot, there has never been a more important time to be politically involved.
As young college voters in the new America that we will see for years to come, we need to understand our power and harness it for good. We need to use it to uphold our democratic values to support all for one and one for all.