Apathy Breeds Popular Whining

by Staff

AnneWright is a comm. seniorSend comments to: awright@rohan.sdsu.edu

We’ve all thought about it, done it or dreaded it once in ourlives; and there is really no excuse for not doing it. I’m nottalking about staying home on a Saturday night — I’m talking aboutvoting.

As we enter the middle of fall and early winter months we arefaced with the idea of voting for what we believe in. Voting is apowerful tool that should be exercised by every person 18 and older,yet it is not.

Since I registered to vote on June 25, 1995, my 18th birthday, Ihave voted in every school, city, county, state and federal election.This may sound like bragging to many of you, but I am proud to saythat I vote.

I consider myself a politically active person and vote because Ihave the right. I chose to use that right to let my opinions beheard. Many of our parents fought for lowering the voting age to 18from 21 and fighting for the right to vote goes back in many of ourfamilies over 150 years.

Unfortunately, it is our generation that is not taking part.

Apathyand laziness are probably at the top of the list of why people do notvote, but there still have to be other reasons. It is sad that apolitically diverse campus like San Diego State University has tocancel fall Associated Students elections because of such poorturnout. Doesn’t anybody care anymore?

I guess caring isn’t enough of an initiative to get people tovote. I hear people complaining on a daily basis, especially aboutpropositions dealing with the funding of public education and race,as well as elected officials. If some of these people don’t vote thenwhat right do they have to complain?

The issue of diversity at SDSU has been a big ticket issuerecently and after reading the criticisms about it in Monday’s Aztec,I began wondering just how many people knew of and voted for these A.S. officials.

I do not believe that a person needs to devote his life topolitics and know every last item about a proposition or candidate,but he should know just enough to keep himself informed so he canform his own opinion to vote on the issue.

I voted for many of the current A.S. executive officers. I am alittle outraged by a few of the things they had to say, but I feelthat since I voted I have the right to complain or disagree aboutthose remarks.

It is sad to think how many people do not vote, especially inpresidential or gubernatorial elections. In 1996, I was able toregister about 200 to 250 college students at California StateUniversity, Sacramento and University of California, Davis. It wasnot until after the election that I wondered how many of the people Iregistered actually voted.

The total estimated number of college students who voted in the1996 election was a mere 26 percent. These figures were for apresidential election, which made the figure of 26 percent even moresickening. Does this mean that the election of the most influentialleader in the country is no longer important?

If only 26 percent of college students voted in the lastpresidential and gubernatorial elections then only a small majorityshould be complaining about Bill Clinton or Gray Davis.

Instead it is the larger majority that complains, wants change andwill not vote because they believe their votes do not matter. Votingdoes matter; and whether or not college students realize it theirvotes can make a difference.

I beg you, please, if you have the chance, register to vote andexcercise your right. There are positives and negatives in our dailylives, so please think the idea over, and let your opinions be heard.The more opinions, the greater the change — and more of you will beable to rightfully complain.

Did you know that it was one vote that made English the officiallanguage of the United States of America instead of German? Think ofthat next time you go to the polls.

This column is the opinion of the columnist and not The DailyAztec.