The fruits of student voting in the midterm elections

The midterm elections are just around the corner and it seems that America may once again be heading for change in its political infrastructure. Just two years ago Democrats enjoyed a sweeping landslide across the country by winning seats in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Of course the biggest win of the 2008 elections for Democrats was the election of Barack Obama, our country’s first African American President. The Democrats came in promising change: change in our political system, change in the economy, and change in how the middle class workers were treated.

It’s now 2010 and very little has changed. We are still in the midst of one of the worst economic crises in history, unemployment is in the double digits, and America is angry. Although Obama has been able to pass landmark bills such as Healthcare and Wall Street Reform it hasn’t done much to help his popularity.

In fact the right has succeeded in making some people believe that these bills will harm the country instead of better it. An entire movement has now sprung in outrage to President Obama and the Democrats: the Tea Party.

The Tea Party has now taken over the news cycle.

Protests over spending in Washington, the size of government, and even the legitimacy of Obama’s place of birth have sprung up all over the country. Their voice was first thought of as a joke but with the recent nominations of Christine O’Donnell and Carl Paladino it seems that the Tea Party is as legitimate as anything else we have in our political system.  


If you look at a typical Tea Party rally though you’ll see that there is one thing missing: young Americans. The Tea Party is mostly made up of middle aged people. You rarely see a college student or somebody in their 20’s calling for reform in Washington. That’s not to say that there are none but perhaps there are not enough for the media to focus on. Not only that but the young voters that were such an essential part of Obama’s victory in 2008 have all but disappeared.

The last presidential election saw the biggest turnout of first-time voters in history and now they are nowhere to be seen. The voices of tomorrow have been overshadowed by the voices of yesteryear.


Everything that Washington does impacts everyone in this country. But as college students we will be the ones feeling the longterm effects of each and every law passed through Congress. There are laws such as the College Loan Bill and the Dream Act that affect us right now.


Politicians can fight for these bills but it’s also up to those who will be most affected by it the most to get out there, spread the word, and have Washington know how we feel about it. We can’t be innocent bystanders in a game that will one day determine how we live. We have to be the ones who set the future of this country the way we want it to be.

The majority of college students are eligible to vote. If we stand on the sidelines and let other people vote in politicians we don’t like or who don’t represent our ideals then we have no right to complain when things don’t go our way. Voting is not enough though. There needs to be an effort to inform the public of what’s going on.

The College Democrats and College Republicans on campus are a great way to get involved in politics at a young age. Politicians are always looking for students to help with their campaign. No matter what it is you’re good at you can get out there and help.


America is at a crossroads. Where it goes next is dependent on the next generation of leaders but for today we must pressure our politicians to do the right thing for the country’s longterm benefits. Right now life seems easy but when we’re out there in the work force we’ll pay the price. Tea Party or liberal democrat go out there and let America hear your voice.