A Call to Votes
I asked the simple question: How much power do first-time voters have? I had no idea how inspiring the answer would be.
John Nichols, Jodie Evans, and Van Jones all turned their full attention toward me. They explained that our generation is the children of the “Baby-Boomers.” The “Baby Boomers” were the biggest and most influential generation our nation had ever seen. They stood up for African-American civil rights. They stood up against their own military for the first time in history. Then, they had children; that’s us.
We are an even bigger generation than the “Baby Boomers.” We are the biggest generation in world history. Not only that, we are also the most connected group of people in world history. This means that we can organize faster than anyone has ever been able to, and, with our numbers, we can create the fastest change in world history.
After about fifteen minutes of uninterrupted eye contact with some of the most powerful activists in the country I felt more overwhelmed than I ever have. I felt like the future of the country and the world was resting on my shoulders, and it is. But, it isn’t just resting on my shoulders. It’s resting on my friends’ shoulders, my classmates’ shoulders, your shoulders, and all the shoulders of our generation. The biggest generation the Earth has ever seen.
It may seem like the system is rigged, like the government can’t accomplish anything, and like our votes don’t do anything to combat the power of money, but this isn’t true. We have already made history. As Van Jones said, “You stood up in 2008 and made history. Then, you got disappointed and sat down in 2010 and made history, again, but in the other direction. Now you’re lying down on Wall Street, and once again, you’ve made history. No matter what you do, you make history.”
We can make a difference, and we must. We must make a huge difference. Voting isn’t the only way to do this, but it’s a damn good start. If you’re going to be eighteen in time for next year’s election, vote! The world we’ve inherited is a mess, but we have the numbers and the tools to clean it up.
Other stories in Columns
- Are You Ready to Live a Vegetarian Lifestyle? - April 26, 2012
- Tricks of the Trade: Senioritis - April 23, 2012
- Hanging in the Balance: The Struggle in the High School Years - March 12, 2012
- America's Secret War - March 9, 2012
- For a Better Build, Play in Water - March 8, 2012