Super Tuesday was this past Tuesday, and while most of you were busy playing Guitar Hero instead of voting for who you hope will eventually be the leader of the free world, two or three of your colleagues took time out of their day to visit their nearest polling station.
Unfortunately, these students’ votes were trampled and maimed under the iron walkers of the over-60 age bracket, who were tricked into voting by having been told “it’s just like bridge.”
With young people consistently failing to become interested in the political process, San Luis Obispo tried to lure college students to polling locations through unique methods. One location tailored to people too dull to ponder specific issues, encouraging students to vote for the “Best Dressed” candidate from a series of photographs.
Another enabled 21-year-olds to choose a cup of beer at random, drink it and vote for the candidate whose name was written on the base of the cup. This led to the problem of students attempting to vote for multiple candidates. While initially discouraged, eventually folks got so wasted they simply caved to the pressure. Hmm … I hope none of those photos make it onto Facebook.
Even then, turnout was miserable. Why does our age group consistently fail to vote in such important elections? As a group, if we all voted in the same numbers that our parents and grandparents voted, we could change the course of this country completely.
There are so many pressing issues that face young people these days that are yet to be solved. For example, how can someone be able to serve in the military but not be able to rent a car? And why is that guy in my engineering class allowed to wear the same green polo shirt without fail every single day? I guess it’s OK if he washes it every night or has a collection of green polo shirts in his closet. But how can I know that? I should be allowed to know that! It’s a matter of homeland security, I say!
One answer to this question lay in the fact that young people are stupid. Not stupid in the “I wonder what Jamie Lynn Spears will name her kid” sort of way, but the “I shed more tears when the Patriots lost the Super Bowl than when I saw that video on the Darfur genocide” sort of way. Granted, if you foolishly lost $600 on that game, I’ll gladly lend you my handkerchief. We’re dumb because we have very twisted priorities.
Adults always say our generation thinks we know everything. And we do know everything. We learn far more in school these days than our parents ever learned back in their days at Fond & Fading Memories University and/or High. I take great pride in the awed and confused looks I receive when I rant to other adults about the benefits of analyzing mitochondrial DNA in genetic history analysis.
But with this great and fantastic knowledge of the world, we forget that knowledge itself does not lead to change. Only voting, and possibly Bono and/or Oprah, can influence the world in which you live.
Another reason lay in that young people are lazy. Not lazy in the “Frankly, I don’t care what Jamie Lynn Spears names her kid” sort of way, but the “I’ll study for tomorrow’s exam next weekend” sort of way. It is a truly unhealthy version of sloth, where young people claim they failed to vote because they forgot on what day of the week Super Tuesday occurred. Or perhaps there’s an absentee ballot waiting to be mailed beneath a pile of partially-completed Sudoku puzzles from old Mustang Dailies (try today’s Sudoku, it’s mind-opening).
And now it’s too late. Super Tuesday is long (two days) behind us. It seems that while young people recognize voting is important, they simply don’t have the time to get around to it. I’ll admit, my schedule’s just too busy sometimes. Not busy in the “I simply must whittle my list of favorite baby names from 394 down to 53 before she gives birth” sort of way, but the “I put extra items in my daily planner so people looking over my shoulder at my planner will think I work harder than they do” sort of way.
Wait a sec, some students get extra credit in classes if they vote? To the polls!
James Koman is a biology junior and a Mustang Daily humor columnist.