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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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No good choices for new voters

Illustrations by Erika Li

For my entire life, I have looked forward to my 18th birthday.

At 18, I will finally be an adult, go to college, and be able to vote. But as my 18th birthday nears, I am faced with a great irony: I can vote for the first time in my life, but I wish I couldn’t.

This year, we face yet another polarizing election in which both sides refuse to see from the perspective of the other. Across the country, the primaries continue as people vote to put the same two people on the ballot that we had last time. On one side is a conservative extremist who is facing criminal charges from his previous presidency. On the other is a president who is showing signs of his age, raising the question of if he is still fit for presidency.

As the public prepares to watch this senior match [again], it makes me realize that I have no good option in this Presidential election. 

Discontent about the upcoming election is apparent in a University of Massachutess Amerherst study that stated, 45 percent of Americans believe a Biden-Trump rematch is bad for the country. Furthermore, the most common emotion expressed toward a Biden or Trump victory was disappointment, followed by fear, according to the study.  

The “if you’re not with me, then you’re against me” mentality of both parties on the ballot is not reassuring. I find it even more distasteful to abstain rather than engage, but when the political situation is as bad as it is, you can’t help but wish you could pack it all up and throw it out the window. 

This year, many of us can vote for the first time, joining an ever-evolving generation of young voters. Yet, we are faced with the two oldest party nominees in the history of both parties, and they are not getting any younger. 

The immature behavior observed on Capitol Hill reflects poorly on our culture and global reputation. It establishes a precedent for how younger generations may anticipate government operations in the years ahead. This trend is likely to influence new voters to support politicians who exhibit greater levels of inflexibility in the future. This scenario holds true unless the current generation of long-standing lawmakers does not intend to remain in office indefinitely.

The next FDR or JFK is not waiting around the corner to spark a wave of youthful progressivism across the country and save us from all our political woes. Disagreements fuel American politics; to wish that away is simply delusional. 

It leaves me with a disappointing conclusion: choosing between two candidates I (and many Americans) would rather see out of office. And while there are always independent third-party candidates, a vote for them usually does nothing in the long run. 

I’m faced with the fact that, at 18 years old, I can finally vote, but I don’t want to.


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