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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Voting shows true patriotism

    For many, Sept. 11 arouses feelings of patriotism and pride in America. The threat our country faced on that infamous day has deepened the well of patriotic emotion. The day of heroic display makes many stop and remember just how proud they are to be Americans.

    For others, today is a day of anger – a time when a belief that U.S. policies in some way contributed to the attack takes center stage. For these individuals, the thought that in some way, somehow, U.S. policy may have caused the anger behind the terrorist attacks is a maddening one.

    These fairly dichotomous emotions require the same exact response: vote.

    Tomorrow, Sept. 12, primary elections will be held here in Tucson. You should vote. You should have no excuse not to. Vote because you’re proud, or vote because you’re angry. Just do it.

    It feels ridiculously clichǸd to even say it, but it still needs to be said. Voting is one of the few duties you have as an American citizen. Some countries require military service of everyone. We just have to pay our taxes and vote. Some countries impose negative penalties for not voting. We’re just expected to know it’s the thing we must do. In some countries, not everyone can take part in the political process. Every adult American can.

    Getting the youth vote has been a major issue in political campaigns over the past few decades. Despite the best efforts of politicians and NGOs, youth voting rates have been on a downward trend since 1972, despite brief spikes in 1992 and 2004. Arizona’s youth voters certainly haven’t bucked the trend, with youth voting rates declining 2 percentage points locally since 1972.

    Our generation should be getting sick of being pandered to. Organizations like Rock the Vote spend millions attempting to convince us that voting is cool and that our votes and views are important.

    They’re doing a good thing. But, frankly, the fact they have to is embarrassing.

    Voting rates are lower for primary elections than they are for general elections. But tomorrow is the chance to get in on the ground floor. It’s your way to influence November’s general elections.

    Say what you will about feeling distanced from national politics – voting in local elections is one of the easiest and most effective ways of making your voice heard. And our local politicians will be making decisions that impact our lives right now.

    Annoyed that the UA will need to allocate funds to pay for flags in classrooms? Vote. Stressed by the idea that our state Legislature considered banning certain books in college classrooms? Vote.

    Today is an extremely important day for every American. It’s a somber day, a day to make sure we never take our country for granted.

    But recognizing the importance of today means less without remembering tomorrow’s importance.

    Today is a day of remembrance. Let tomorrow be one of action.

    Opinions are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Nina Conrad, Lori Foley, Ryan Johnson, Ari Lerner, Nicole Santa Cruz and Matt Stone.

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