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60 Second Idea, Blog, Bucknell, Class, Fun, Social Science

Vote Today, Shape Tomorrow


Voting is one of the most empowering components of living in a democracy. It provides you the opportunity to share your opinions and impact the future of our country.  Unfortunately, many take this privilege for granted. It seems as though many in our country believe their vote is futile and doesn’t mean much. Anyone who watched the 2000 Presidential Election results in Florida or the 2012 Republican Iowa caucus would likely disagree.  Despite the elements of our government that frustrate us, the fact is that voter absenteeism only furthers corruption. Voters must take action to change the culture of Washington. Little change will occur when disgruntled voters aren’t making their voices heard. The overwhelmingly lopsided victory of President Barack Obama in 2008 proves the power that voters have when they are frustrated and desire change. Hold your leaders accountable for their promises.

The blog prompt this week asked that we develop a way to improve the world in 60 seconds. In my opinion, a careful selection of who leads the United States can have a profound impact not only domestically but also internationally. That is why it is important to engage in the political process and understand who you are voting for.  Politicians can ultimately determine laws that protect or restrict personal freedoms and civil liberties. The President selects judges and justices who determine the legality of critical issues like civil rights, religion, and abortion. A President you vote for today may choose a judge that will determine social policy in the US for decades.

That being said, US politicians also impact other countries around the globe. These individuals make vital decisions with regards to foreign aid, defense, and trade. They determine who we will engage violently but also who we will support in peaceful operations. US foreign policy towards other countries can impact populations for years. This fact is evident in regions like Latin America. (See Guatemala)

So, learn about the candidates. Find a candidate, regardless of party, that falls in line with your personal beliefs. Then, go out and tell others about the election. Vote in every election (local, state or federal) to honor those who fought for this right. Don’t stop there. Start a campaign or movement knowing that the impacts of your efforts are limitless.

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About JOEY MARTIN

I am a Senior Management major at Bucknell University. I am currently living in Orlando, FL but moved around a lot as a child as an Army Brat. I am looking to go into Finance following graduation. If that doesn't work out, I am considering moving to Washington D.C. and doing political work for a period of time.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Vote Today, Shape Tomorrow

  1. What if voting _doesn’t_ matter? If the pundits and consultants have turned campaigns into elaborate marketing efforts and they are just “selling soap”, why does it matter? Real people don’t get to shape the agenda or actually interact with candidates. The parties and the media have an iron grip on what is “acceptable” debate. So, peole feel marginalized because they are. Voting wo’t change that. It reinforces it.

    Posted by Jordi | April 24, 2012, 8:17 am
  2. Joey, I totally agree with your post. I think it’s imperative that people vote in every election. Whenever I hear someone say they don’t plan on voting in upcoming elections or that they didn’t vote in the prior election, I am completely speechless. It is not only important to vote, because every vote counts, but it is also equally as important to learn about who is running and what they stand for. These are the people that are going to be leading our country for the next four years! Take some time to inform yourself.

    Posted by Jenna | April 24, 2012, 1:14 pm
  3. Joey – I couldn’t agree more with you about the importance of voting. I remember being so excited to vote in my first presidential election in 2008, yet many of my friends did not have the same enthusiasm. I felt like I had to drag them to the polls even though Bucknell made voting so accessible for students. The ones who didn’t end up voting said that they felt they didn’t know enough about the candidates to vote. That bothers me – as we talk about in class, we live in the information age. Finding information about candidates is not difficult, and everyone, no matter how young or old should take advantage of this information overload to educate themselves on politics.

    Posted by Beth O'Brien | April 24, 2012, 8:32 pm

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BLOG INSTRUCTIONS

Blog 5 before session 6 What (interest) or Who (person) Inspires You? For this week’s prompt, the Blog Council wants you to examine how this class relates to your own interests. So, please write about how this class relates to some of your own intellectual or other learning interests. We are NOT interested in how it relates to a specific career goal. Plan B: same idea, but based on a person. See whole post for details.

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