Clinton’s involvement should be cause for stimulating discussions
Earlier this week, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially launched her campaign for the 2016 presidential race, spurring mixed reactions from the University of Idaho student body.
Some students were thrilled when they heard the news, ready to run to a polling booth with more than a year before the actual election takes place. Others took the opportunity to attack Clinton and list every reason why she would run the U.S. into the ground if she were voted into office. Neither view is particularly intelligent.
This isn’t high school anymore. In high school, many students voiced bold political opinions based on rants they heard from their parents. This is only acceptable for children to do because children are too young to vote, but those days are now over.
College students are legal adults who have the right to vote. Not only should college students be excited about voting, but they should also spend time getting educated before they cast their vote.
Clinton may not be perfect, but she definitely has her positive points, and so do the three GOP candidates who’ve announced their presidential campaigns — U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Rand Paul, R-Kentucky and most recently, Marco Rubio, R-Florida.
No politician is so two dimensional that students can form an opinion on them solely based off of what they heard from their parents or a rumor they saw on the Internet.
Potential voters shouldn’t favor Clinton because they are excited about being progressive and voting for who would be the nation’s first female president.
They also shouldn’t vote Republican just because they’re in a red state. It takes more thought than this to form a valid political opinion.
There are also many people who will support a political party without much knowledge of what that party stands for.
If a student is at least a little interested in politics or the presidential election, they should take some time to research the candidates and their platforms. Not all Republican candidates are alike, and the same goes for the Democrats.
Students should make an effort to be politically involved because they can have an impact, even if they don’t realize it. As much as these elections are about the outcome, they are also about spreading ideas and promoting conversations about the direction of the country.
While many students would passionately go on a tangent about a political issue they haven’t spent an adequate amount of time researching, this type of fervor isn’t seen come election time.
In the 2014 midterm elections, the youth vote was vastly underrepresented with an abysmal 21.5 percent turnout nationally. A lot of these young adults don’t vote because they don’t feel they know enough about the race to have an educated opinion, but this is something they can change with a quick Google search.
Clinton wasn’t the first politician to announce her presidential goals for 2016, and she certainly won’t be the last.
It’s up to the voters — college students included — to remain actively informed about the candidates, instead of letting ill-conceived propaganda, sensationalism or fear tactics cloud their judgment.
Erin Bamer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ErinBamer