Low Voter Turnouts

As 2016 comes to a close and the Trump presidency looms over the United States, some are preparing to bunker down and wait out these next four years with fingers crossed and dismal hopes. A pessimism and cynicism has seeped into our nation, wherein progress is stifled by lack of belief in the governmental system. Only 55% of eligible voters cast their ballots in this election, the lowest turnout in 20 years. Less than 20% of Americans believe that Congress represents people like themselves. Perhaps these disappointing statistics can be attributed to an especially nasty political campaign or even to the conspiracy of a ‘rigged election,’ but I think the truth lies closer to an attitude problem that needs to be addressed. The stress of the election and seeming destruction of the Obama administrative advances have caused many to abandon optimism for America. ‘The good days are behind us. It’s all downhill from here.’But the irony here is, the governmental system will only continue down the path laid before it unless the American people intervene. The requirement for governmental change is empathy and enthusiasm, two character qualities sorely lacking in today’s political discourse. Genuine emotion must be stimulated and utilized in order to shift the paradigm of American politics. As long as apathy is the dominant force, it will only propel the governmental system into further stagnancy. So yes, Trump won. Am I particularly thrilled by this prospect? No, not particularly. But I cannot sit idly by and watch this country be further and further divided by misunderstandings of cultural differences and ignorance propelled hatred of people of different backgrounds. If we do nothing, things will not get better; things will not even remain the same. Our country is in a perpetual state of motion and evolution; if you are not gaining ground then you are losing it.

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