Students must take interest in 2016 election


You might think that you don’t need to pay attention to the presidential election, but the issues being discussed are more relevant to students than you may realize.

Politics often seem dry and irrelevant to teenagers, but the 2016 presidential hopefuls are discussing issues that directly affect millennials. As new or near adults, we should listen to what the candidates have to say because they are making a direct impact on our future. Candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are moving to lower college tuition or even get rid of it, according to, whereas candidates such as Ben Carson feel that only the interest rates of loans should change.

In addition to college tuition, candidates are discussing topics like violence, racial issues, LGBTQIA+ rights, minimum wage, income equality, climate change and immigration. Chances are that you take at least one of those issues close to heart. If you’re looking to keep those issues the same or are looking for a change, the upcoming election will have a great impact. Listening to what the candidates have to say can help you choose which values most align with yours, and which candidate you’d most want to represent our country.

Darlene Gordon, AP Government teacher, says that one of the reasons young people may not be involved in politics is that many are very cynical regarding politics, which has happened because we have grown up in an environment with corruption. Students see all the negative things happening on the news and believe there’s nothing they can do. Millennials often don’t appreciate the democratic process, she argues, and they believe that it’s not worth registering to vote.

However, voting is an American right that many people fought for. Millennials make up 25% of the population in the US and if young people became more involved in politics, they would have the ability to make a political difference.

One reason that some high school students feel that they shouldn’t pay attention to the election is that they aren’t old enough to vote yet, so there isn’t a point in caring if they can’t get their ballot in. In addition, young people are often discouraged from voting because they seemingly have less knowledge of political issues and might just vote blindly and mess up the end result. This would make for a good reason to stay out of the election.

However, being involved doesn’t just mean voting. Being involved can mean starting clubs, canvassing for the candidate of your choice, putting a sign in your yard, writing a post online, attending rallies or any other action that puts your voice, opinions and support out into the world. You might not be able to vote, but you can push others to support the candidate whose values you align with.

It may seem early to be thinking about the election, but primaries and caucuses have already begun and will continue throughout the month. Now is the perfect time to turn on the news, watch past debates or even take an online quiz to see which candidate you most support. Opportunities like these only come around every four years, and it’s important to get involved so that America can head in the best direction.