Opinion

Millennials should vote despite youth

I was walking out of my Zumba class when I came across a disturbing quote online from a Fox News host.

During a discussion about young people and voting, “The Five” co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle said, “They’re [young women]like healthy and hot and running around without a care in the world. They can go back on Tinder and Match.com.”

I nearly spit out my iced Starbucks latte. Did I just read that right? Did a woman suggest other women skip voting and stick to swiping left and right on their iPhones?

Guilfoyle believes that young women should excuse themselves from the upcoming midterm elections because they lack the same “life experience” as older women. She applies the same reasoning to her belief that young women shouldn’t serve on juries, too.

Her co-host, Greg Gutfeld, mentioned that “with age comes wisdom” and “the older you get, the more conservative you get.”

Wait, Fox News hosts are really discouraging young people from voting because they’re not yet older, wiser and conservative?

I’m stating the obvious when I stress how important voting is. To disregard an entire generation is not only wrong, but illogical and a strike against our democracy.

But it’s clear to me that the conservative Fox hosts may have a motive in trying to prevent young people from hitting the polls.

In the 2012 presidential election, youth votes were the deciding factor in President Barack Obama’s overall victory after his victories in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia.

Coupled with the fact that young people tend to vote Democratic, it obvious why conservatives are trying to dissuade us from hitting the polls.

It is more than damaging to our society to try to convince anyone not to exercise one of our most fundamental rights. And because some millennials tweet song lyrics and use dating apps, it doesn’t mean we’re misinformed, uninvolved and hence shouldn’t vote.

In an NPR interview, Ashley Spillane, president of Rock the Vote, a media campaign that encourages young people to vote, said, “[Young people] are getting involved at a local level. They are creating start-ups. They are volunteering with local organizations. They are looking to take problems on in real time and fix them. They do care very passionately about issues that matter to them.”

I think it’s clear that there’s more to us than social networking apps. Our voices do make a difference, and have every right to. And for that, I am #blessed.

Melanie Martinez is a junior majoring in journalism.

Featured photo courtesy Theresa Thompson via Flickr.

November 2, 2014

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Melanie Martinez


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