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Column: Groups Urging Youth To Vote Are Usually Pushing Agendas

This story was written by Kristi Lafree, Indiana Daily Student

When the weatherman tells me to wear a coat, I listen. When MTV tells me to Choose or Lose, I dont.

I already voted. But I didnt vote because MTV told me to. I refuse to be exploited, and I refuse to jump on the bandwagon that MTV and other youth-targeted organizations are steering.

Young people have traditionally been absent at the polls on Election Day. This trend is certainly troubling. But what I find more troubling is that the effort to get young people to vote is increasingly paired with the pressure to vote Democrat.

Now, Im sure this will come across as another conservative attempt to reduce liberal votes. Not true. I realize people arent always going to see eye-to-eye. I respect those who have firm beliefs, even when theyre completely opposite from my own. Besides, without the polarized community we have now, I wouldnt get the pleasure of getting flipped off once a week for my bumper stickers.

I do, however, think we should reduce stupid votes.

Many of the get-out-and-vote campaigns arent inviting us to take part in the democratic system theyre attempting to use our vote to push along their own agenda. These organizations might as well take the ballot from us and fill it out themselves.

Voting is important. But I believe an educated voter is more important. In an election season as important as this one, we cant afford to have voters choose a candidate based on what P. Diddy says.

If you happen to agree with what he believes, fine. But if youre just voting because you like his No Bitchassness attitude, thats not fine.

As college students, we often overlook the realities of our fellow young adults. We are educated students, working hard to get to that next level in our lives. Many of us take more interest in the political process than older adults do.

Outside of campuses across the country, there are plenty of other young voters who dont have the books or the classroom debates to help them make up their minds. Many are impressionable people. Urging these people to vote while flashing slanted political messages across the screen undermines the intelligence and decision-making abilities of young people. Worse, its undermining the privilege of voting.

The young person should be pressured to vote. We are the generation of the future, and we need to take action now for that future. But the young person should also feel pressured to think. MTV shouldnt do the thinking for us.

On this Election Day, we will probably see a larger percentage of young voters than in years past. Hopefully, these voters came equipped with reasons for their decisions and a respect for the influence they hold in their writing hand. Hopefully they realize that our voting process was created by a group of men who didnt foresee the party organizations we have today.

Choosing for oneself is the true victory. But letting another group choose for you is a real loss.