Majority of SLA’s seniors are turning eighteen–which means they’ll be focused on the real world, i.e bills, college tuition, jobs, and voting. There is a false impression that if you don’t vote, it doesn’t affect the election anyway–wrong! Every single vote matters. We play an important role in who our next president will be–every last one of us. So, you’re on board with voting, but what are the first steps? Along with taxes, how loans work–it isn’t taught in high school. But, we will teach you about voting.
Research, Research, Research!
Don’t jump on the bandwagon when it comes to picking who you want to be president. You could possibly be rooting for someone who doesn’t hold the same (or most) values as you. So, do your own research. Check their political policies, neutral fact websites which give breakdowns of how the candidates approach certain issues. Ignore their gender, race, and political party stance because you could possibly subconsciously not want someone in office because of their identity. This link is a great resource to start with when trying to find the right candidate to vote for: https://www.isidewith.com/elections/2016-presidential-quiz.
Voting for the Specific Candidate for the Right Reasons?
It’s a groundbreaking moment when the archetype of a president is broken. Most of us would like to see a woman in office. But, maybe Hillary isn’t our first pick. Bernie Sanders would be the first Jewish president. Donald Trump would be the first non-politician to be president. Ted Cruz would be the first Cuban president. No matter which way this election goes, they would all be the “first” in the lines of presidents before. But, we shouldn’t let that get the best of us. Choosing a president just because of certain aspect of their identity (besides their political stance) could be dangerous. For instance, James Buchanan was America’s first (alleged) gay president, yet he led America into the civil war. You also shouldn’t ignore smaller elections such as senators and congress. Having a president with good intentions and ideas is counter productive if the senate and congress blocks their policies.
Can They Accomplish Their Promises?
When running for presidency, every candidate has something they want to change about America. Whether it’s free college for everyone or a wall bordering Mexico, voters expect the candidates to keep their word. You have to ask yourself if the candidate’s promises are practical. For instance, Bernie Sanders wants to take down Wall Street and make sure every college kid is tuition-free. He has good intentions and it would be great if all of his endeavors were to happen, but we have to seriously ask what we think he could accomplish. For example, President Obama promised he would end war in Afghanistan in 2014, but it still hasn’t happened.
Now It’s Time to Vote!
Spread the word! Tell your friends and family to vote. Check when your state’s primaries happen. Find a location where you can vote. Make sure you have fully registered and have your card. And check out Anna Sugure’s Facebook group- Students Vote Philly – which further goes into this.