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April 17, 2016

PUTTING IT INTO FOCUS | Dear Millennials – Just Vote

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Those who know me are aware  that I am not avidly involved in politics. They do know, however, that I care about the others’ well-being. I have never been passionate about discussing political agenda with my peers, but I do feel a moral obligation now, more than ever, to speak about the election, not for the sake of arguing about insider Washington politics, but for the sake of caring about the people around me and about society at large.

Every four years we elect a new president, and every four years we hear the same people on news networks arguing for and against candidates. That hasn’t changed election year. But , it is fear- not political agenda, nor the American dream- that is a major driving force behind this year’s election.

Candidates play on voters’ fears to gain their trust, and therefore, their vote. It has become a fame and power-acquiring tactic. Because this fear is a temporary emotion induced by the environment around us, it has become a main strategy in this election, and it is destroying the positive outlook we used to have about our future and the American dream. After all, it was our former President Franklin D. Roosevelt who said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

What many people don’t realize are the effects of this fear’s power. It packs so much power because it has accumulates from recent events all over the world.. Many Americans want someone that understands that fear. That is why someone like Donald Trump has become so popular. He draws on a voter’s deepest insecurities and manipulates the feelings of others to become the leader of the free world. It is this thought process that dominates this election. Economy, social justice, foreign policy – none of that matters so long as deep-rooted, mutual fears are addressed, either explicitly or subliminally.

As millennials, students at Cornell and at universities nation-wide have a major say in this election. We are mutually hopeful, optimistic, empathetic and passionate. We care for the world around us, we have a fresh outlook about our future, and we, together, have a major say in who wins this election. United, we can reinforce that our country can follow an optimistic route, remind ourselves of the great place we live in, and communicate our new ideas for making America an even better and safer place for our children and grandchildren.

Millenials have gotten a lot of negativity over the years for being preoccupied with social media. Yet, what many don’t realize is that social media is playing an important role in this election. Millennials are both actors and audience members online. We may internalize the environment around us through platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but we also play a major role in influencing other millennials around us through these same social media outlets. College students therefore have such a large impact this election year, which explains why college voter turnout is so integral.

Therefore, whether you are a politics rookie or junkie, we should coalesce to fight the negativity that is so characteristic of current campaigns. We can stop the fear-inducing political schemes of candidates, including those who claim they are political outsiders. The negative outlook expressed daily only deviates from a discussion of real issues that  influence the economy, the environment and our international relationships. Using our power to vote, we can push out negative agendas and prove a major force in the political world. Let’s exercise our right this week, as we go on the path to choosing our party nominees.