This election season might be over, but students’ political involvement should not be.
The presidential race between John McCain and Barack Obama is described as historic, not only because of the candidates running for office but also because of how it has stirred young people into action. Young voters across the nation participated in rallies, raised awareness about their preferred candidate and went to the polls in record numbers, galvanizing a demographic that is often reproached for being apathetic toward politics. When the United States sneezes, as the saying goes, the rest of the world catches pneumonia. The electoral race has gripped not only young Americans but young people from all nations as they weigh the fact that the next American president faces the daunting task of leading the United States through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and a volatile foreign affairs scene. Young people’s efforts to encourage one another to vote and educate themselves and others about the issues that matter to them is commendable, but this energy should be constant and not another fad. The opportunity to participate in a democracy and have a voice is a right in the United States but a privilege in other parts of the world, and young Americans should not take it for granted. It is imperative that students keep up with the news to remain informed and be able to make educated decisions and have meaningful discussions with their peers and others. Seeing young people come together to discuss politics intelligently is a breath of fresh air, and at a college campus, these conversations should be a common scene. At the end of the election season, young people should not put out embers but feed the fire.
News editor Julieta Chiquillo for the editorial board.