The youth vote

At long last, Election Day is here. Millions of Americans will line up at the polls to practice their civic duty, to exercise a right that so many before us fought and died to realize, feeling proud to know that even in some small way, their vote counts. The editorial board will spare you further cliché rationales, knowing that a few among us make a legitimate choice to refrain from voting. Whether out of disgust with politics, total apathy, a fear of ignorance, or lack of time, some decide to stay home. That is their right. But exercising such a right today is foolish. Pundits have predicted that this election could represent a watershed development for the historically low youth vote. LetâÄôs hope the talking heads are right. Politicians otherwise do not have to take youth demands seriously. Why would an elected official, systematically concerned with garnering a winning number of votes, risk his or her political capital to fight for lower tuition when college students do not even vote in large numbers? Why would a politician surpass a pet project in the name of settling the federal debt that threatens the future of our generation? They simply wonâÄôt. And by ignoring youth demands, a political establishment also ignores the future of the nation âÄî indeed, perhaps also ignores any time beyond their political career. American history illustrates this basic fact: The best politicians fight for their constituency. If thatâÄôs true, they cannot fight for you if you donâÄôt join that constituency. If you want your government to take you seriously, take voting seriously; take the time to vote or watch your concerns continue to be ignored by those in power.