Beyond Trump and Clinton

By Emma Meshell|October 17, 2016Opinions, Student Writing|

The 2016 election is without a doubt one of the most divisive topics of conversation in any circle today. Embitterment and discrepancy are raging not only between Political parties, but within them. Liberal and Conservative voters alike find their choices for the next Commander-In-Chief dismal. Bleak as you may think our presidential picks are this fall, it’d be doing our Founding Fathers a disservice to skip voting altogether. On Election Day, if you are so inclined to continue reading your ballot past the section titled All Powerful Supreme Leader of the United States of America, you’ll see there’s a lot more your vote decides than the who gets to sit in the Oval Office.

November 8 has been effectively reduced to the day of Will It Be Clinton Or Trump Dear God What Is Happening To America, but there’s much more to running a country than who the President may be. The officials who have the most jurisdiction over our communities and most immediately impact our daily lives are those serving in State Government. These Senators, Congress people, Governors, Mayors, City Councilors, Board Members, Judges, Commissioners and Committee Leaders matter now more than ever. These people live in your neighborhoods. They’re familiar with your community and way of life, and they know which issues their voters care most about. They’re giving speeches, meeting your neighbors, and brainstorming ways to make your community a better, safer, more productive place- but you probably already knew that about them.

What may serve as a helpful reminder is the fact that these are the people who keep Dear God Hillary Or Trump in line. Our system may not be perfect, but it’s got a built-in corruption prevention method aptly named Checks and Balances. Senators and Congress people have the power to Veto the President! Committees are granted funding (AKA Your Tax Dollars At Work) and decide how it’s spent! Should we not be paying the utmost of our attention to whom these positions are granted?

For each District in a state, there’s always at least several candidates who think they desperately need your vote. The more individuals register to vote and select the best candidate to represent themselves, the better represented a community will be. It’s very simple, yet one of the most overlooked aspects of politics today. Growing up and hearing talk radio every day while my Dad drove me to school, it was rare to hear the name of a Senator mentioned on air, much less anyone of a closer local office. It’s easy to become entranced by the raucous chaos that is Washington, D.C. Politics. The scandal, grandeur, controversy, and power concentration make it hard to look away. It’s also easy to want to write off politicians and never vote in another election again. The best way to achieve balance in US politics is to fully employ the devices that the Founding Fathers knew would be necessary- we need to vote at every level. The more representation we have as constituents, the clearer our voices will ring out. The better the local government, the more noble a standard the Higher Government will be held to. We’ve been blessed beyond many other countries in the World with the right to Vote. Let’s get out there and maximize its impact.


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