Oct 262010
 
Authors: Johnathan Kastner

Today, I speak for the youth of this country when I proudly stand up and say, “We have no intention of voting in record numbers. Not now, not ever.”

Our attitude of whimsical apathy and carefree denial of responsibility is totally defensible, and today I intend to speak for the voluntarily silent majority and let the rest of the country understand exactly
why the college age-range does not vote. In the 2006 election, for example, U.S. Census data put us
18-24 year olds at around 47 percent voter turnout.

Frankly, I was ashamed. There’s no reason it should be that high –– we can do much, much worse. Let me explain to the people out in the “real world” why we don’t vote while we’re in college.

The most common reason is that we move around a lot and may not be registered here. And while the plaza was crowded for weeks with people pleading with us to register to vote, the plaza is usually crowded with people saying stuff, and it’s almost always unimportant stuff like safe sex information or political boring stuff. Sometimes, though, they have free candy if you pretend to listen for a bit.
Mail-in ballots that allow soldiers to vote while abroad are too much work for something as pointless as voting.

That apathy is also an important part of why we don’t vote. See, voting fails to turn the sky blood red or burst the ground with hellfire (despite some ads). Therefore, voting does not actually do anything.
Our current tuition hikes, for example, occurred because of something boring and political, certainly not because we voted it in.

Initiatives to improve our roads or fund the recreation center may be utterly irrelevant, but we college-age folks are quite adept at ignoring issues that are directly related to our lives. There’s usually a measure or two affecting options related to pregnancy, but the reality that pregnancy is a possibility too scary to ever look squarely in the eye. Not voting is an excellent way to maintain our comfort in the face of insurmountable reality.

Even if we cared enough to vote and were registered to vote, it still wouldn’t matter. Elections are decided by hundreds of thousands of people, not one voter. Like all big things comprised of little things, none of the little things matter. You’ve got literally dozens of cells in your body, and when was the last time any of their opinions mattered?

If the movie industry has taught us anything, it’s that real change is enacted by one guy, his gun, and his feminine arm candy (ladies, you too are important –– something has to be kidnapped for men to vengefully yet tenderly rescue). The revolutions of the past, where thousands of people stood up and fought for their freedoms were a lot of work, and as free people we don’t have to do that work any more.

We also don’t vote because issues are complicated. Some things have both good parts and bad parts.
Take any general proposed tax increase, for example. Taking our money away is bad, but having civic infrastructure is good. The question of what to vote for can’t be discovered simply by figuring out who supports which ballot and whether they’ve kidnapped our girlfriend. They require complex and critical thinking skills, and that’s not what we’re in college to do. We’re in college to get an education.

Finally, voting makes you a bit of a dork. See, having opinions means you might have disagreements, and nothing could affect our way of life more than someone disapproving of our choices. Except of course a massive tuition hike. Man, I hope someone stops that.

Johnathan Kastner is in his second year of his second bachelor’s degree, majoring in computer science. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 3:28 pm

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