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"Suzanne, there is an answer to your question but I don't think you're going to like it. You ready? The current crop of eighteen-to-twenty-five-year-olds is the most politically apathetic generation in American history. In 1972, half of that age group voted. In the last election, it was thirty-two percent. Your generation is considerably less likely than any previous one to write or call public officials, attend rallies, or work on political campaigns. A man once said this, 'Decisions are made by those who show up.' So are we failing you or are you failing us? It's a little of both." -- Jed Bartlett, The West Wing, 1.22 'What Kind of Day Has It Been'

Today is Election Day here in the United States and all I can try and impart to people is that 'decisions are made by those who show up'. People in my generation keep convincing themselves for some reason that they're voice doesn't count, that their vote doesn't count, that it doesn't matter because nothing is going to change no matter what they do. That's a big, fat, terrible lie. You choose not to matter when you choose not to vote. You choose to stay silent when surely there's something that you want to yell about. The way that we yell to those in power? We vote.

You're going to tell me that there's nothing that they're talking about that really matters to you. Bullshit. To all of my 18-29 year old friends, that's bullshit. Are you paying college tuition? Do you have student loans? Are you looking for a job? Do you have friends in Iraq? Do you worry about what's in your food at the grocery store? Are you getting married? Divorced? Do you even realize how many of these things the government has their fingers in? Who is in power in our government touches more aspects of your life than you realize.

You think that your vote doesn't matter because they cater to old people. Do you know why politicians cater to the elderly. BECAUSE THEY VOTE. Our voice as young Americans will not be heard until we stand up and demand to be heard. And you demand that recognition and respect by going out today and pulling that lever, or connecting that arrow, or pushing that button. Money mattered yesterday, your VOTE matters today. And we finally get out as a group and decide that we're tired of people making decisions for us based on what other groups think.

And how will they listen to us? VOTE.

'Decisions are made by those who show up.' I make my own decisions and I demand that my voice be heard and my opinions be counted. I voted today. It is both my right and my privilege that I am able to do so. And I voted today.

I showed up. Did you?

"The most important day of your life is not your birthday -- it is election day." -- Dolores Huerta


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April 2011

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