America is in an era of extreme social, political, and economic dysfunction. There is an opioid crisis devastating poor communities, income and wealth inequality is at shockingly high levels while median incomes have stagnated for the past forty years, millions of Americans don’t have the access to healthcare, the national deficit is swelling, and with climate change, there is an impending environmental catastrophe the likes of which the world has never seen.
This year, we have a chance to affect change. The midterm elections are taking place. The seats in both state and national governmental bodies are up for reelection. It is important to do your research and vote for the candidates who will protect you, your rights and values. Do not just vote for the congressional candidates; judges are powerful. They affect who gets the death penalty, the cost of electricity and who gets the right to vote. Too many young people have stayed away from the ballot in the past. Despite what your political labels are, we encourage everyone to vote not just based on partisan politics, but who you believe genuinely has the interests of people at heart.
Politics can sometimes seem like something far off. But the reality, what happens in our state, local and federal governments has a huge impact on our daily lives as college students. Everything from whether people can use the bathroom they choose, how much funding the government provides for student aid and colleges and who will be allowed to stay in the U.S. and study is affected by the midterm elections. For many of you, this will be the first time you are eligible to vote, and you may feel apprehensive about heading to the polls for the first time. Some of you may feel that the government is too corrupt to change. This is not true. Historically, over half the country has not voted in midterm elections. These rates are lower among young people. If college students made a concentrated effort to vote, the entire rule book of U.S. politics could be changed.
Reflecting Guilford College’s core Quaker values, the topics and content of Staff Editorials are chosen through consensus of all 13 editors and one faculty adviser of The Guilfordian’s Editorial Board.