Editorial - Time for students to tune in
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 00:08
Tuesday night, Mitt Romney was officially named the Republican presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Next week, President Barack Obama will similarly be named the nominee of his party at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N. C.
While these developments are obviously no surprise – we’ve known Romney would be the Republican nominee for several months and Obama would be the Democratic nominee for several years – they do represent an important milestone for all Americans.
After Obama is nominated next week, the presidential election season will officially be underway. From then until election day on Nov. 6, Americans will be tasked with deciding who will be the next president of the United States.
As citizens in a democracy, it is our duty to research the candidates and make an informed decision. Unfortunately, Americans are notoriously ignorant when it comes to their political process, and this problem is even more acute for college-aged Americans. Young people in the U.S. are also historically much less likely to vote.
This civic apathy is inexcusable, especially as the Internet has made access to information easier than ever. For those of us who have not been paying attention, now is the time to start.
This is a high-stakes election, and it is your responsibility to educate yourself on the important issues and make your voting decision accordingly.
This responsibility is as important as it’s ever been, as the money spent on misleading political attack ads will undoubtedly reach historic levels during this year’s election season.
Factcheck.org, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization devoted to verifying the accuracy of claims made by politicians, is a useful website to check out.
Politifact.org is another excellent resource. Along with its fact-checking services, Politifact provides an exhaustive list of all the promises President Obama has kept, broken or compromised on. All Americans should be using these valuable tools before they make their final decision.
As with every election season, it will be easy for voters to get sucked into the misleading rhetoric of the various campaigns and make their voting decision based on trivial non-issues.
Don’t fall into this trap. Take the time to educate yourself on the issues, the candidates and the political process. After you have taken this important step, decide which candidate you believe is most compatible with your vision for the country.
Again, as a citizen in a democracy, this is your duty, and the future of your country depends on it.