The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Beyond ‘The Lesser of Two Evils’: We need to educate ourselves – and vote

Mara Logan

Having lived in Chicago for more than 20 years, I have seen it all. Good, neutral and bad politicians. Ultimately, the result behind keeping promises deteriorates many voters’ vision of a candidate.

Many young voters feel uninterested in voting. They’re disillusioned by their choices for president. A lot of them feel their vote doesn’t matter nor make a difference at all. Personally, I’ve always thought that voting mattered, but there’s a lot of pessimism. 

Like any other president, President Joe Biden has made promises to shape this nation. Still, his policies on issues such as immigration, the economy and support of Israel have disappointed many, including college students.  

Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump wants to return and make America great again, per his slogan. Still, facing 34 criminal charges, he’s as controversial as ever. Even as his hush money trial date began, he is ramping up his campaign for president and promising to stop the influx of migrants, who he says are “poisoning the blood of our country.”

Many people, including undocumented immigrants, also do not like him because he has opposed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was created to protect young immigrant adults who entered the United States as kids from deportation and allow them to work or go to college. 

This rematch between Biden and Trump may be the most anticipated election in history, much like in 2020. It’s more important than ever that minority voters step up. But I believe young voters are key. So rather than giving up, all of us need to educate ourselves.

Because of these and other issues, voters may not know which candidate to choose. But we need to understand that our future is at stake. We need to be resilient. Protesters have shown their passion for issues like the recent Israeli-Palestinian war. We need to take that same passion and educate ourselves and then vote.

We are a young generation that can change the world. To do that, we must stand up for what’s right.

Chris Bury, senior journalist at DePaul’s College of Communication, believes that young voters’ lack of participation is detrimental to democracy. He said he’s disheartened by many voters, including college students, who don’t want to vote.

“I think young voters need to participate beyond just being passive news consumers,” Bury said. “The need to get involved as members of a particular group, whether it’s African American students, Latino students, Democrats and Republicans would become a great learning process. The more they participate in the process, the more they educate others and their peers.”

In the 2020 election, more young people voted than in previous elections with an 11% increase from the previous election, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University. 

Young people are opposed to voting because they lack trust in the political system. Many feel that the system is completely broken and don’t believe in voting at all, especially in the Electoral College.

Joshua Yeo, a graduate student at DePaul, agrees that voting is very important for young adults.

“Your voice must be heard,” Yeo said. “However, it’s essential to know who you’re voting for, so you don’t vote for a candidate without the same beliefs.”

Emmaeilin Salgado-Diaz, a senior at DePaul, thinks social media is one way to get young voters more involved in the election.

“People are now using social media as a way to show viewers how they can connect with people in office,” said Diaz, who sees it as a way candidates can humanize themselves. “The person, face, mannerisms, ideals and day-to-day life. It’s an identity behind someone, instead of (just) a policy position.”

If you are interested in voting, she also suggested looking up local voting precincts and voter guides.

I still strongly believe in using the power of my voice. I want to make my opinion heard and support a candidate who correlates with my beliefs and values.

Even though many of us are still young, we must fight to make our world more secure — for peace and democracy. Though the public is uninterested, we have a chance to stand up for what we believe in. It’s never impossible.

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