I never liked politics. In fact, I never took interest in the goings on of our government, or such things as the state of our economy. It all seemed so distant. I mean, how would those things ever affect me?

When Bush came into power, and continued in power, the minimal interest I did have was diminished little by little. Now let me explain that a bit, I had, in fact, begun paying attention to how our government handles itself after the tragic events of Sept. 11.

How could one not pay attention to how our nation dealt with such a traumatic event, one that shakes the stability of a 13-year-old’s world? Let me not mention our entrance into a war that I was frankly afraid of and one that I still do not understand.

Yet the mere fact that someone who caused all this fear, and dismantled the very integrity of this nation on a global scale, continued to be in power and was actually voted to stay in office, confused me.

That small fire of interest that took birth beneath the embers was washed out. I lost trust in the political system, which just seemed like an entanglement of deception. It all seemed hopeless to me.

So the upcoming presidential election put me in an interesting predicament. Should I care? Should I submit myself to the bombardment of politically themed news casts, advertisements, articles and programs?

At first the election just seemed like any other, but as time went on it got to the point where one actually had to take sides, and I’m not just talking about political affiliation. By choosing sides I mean that either one cares about who will be in charge of our country for the next four years, or one doesn’t and just stands on the sidelines, watching as that person elected into office dictates the very society you live in.

I decided not to just watch someone dictate me but actually dictate who is put into office. I have recently registered to vote and could not be more proud of myself. (If you are wondering, I was not old enough to vote in 2004, being only 16 at the time, hence the not registering to vote until now).

Although I was not swayed by a particular candidate in this election to begin with, I realized that this is one of the most important presidential elections in the history of the United States. Not meaning to exaggerate, but have you taken note of where our country is headed as of lately: down the drain. It is truly shocking how our nation has taken a turn for the worst, how our economy is dangling on a fragile string, how thousands of our very own are dying in war and how our debt has accumulated to a number that most of us cannot fathom. We can either stand by and say “Yeah, whatever,” or come to realize that how we get out of this mess matters on who will be our next president.

I am not here to tell you who to vote for or here to convince you to chose one over the other; that is up to you. (Although I do admit that one of the candidates has become particularly inspiring to me and makes me actually want to watch the debates and not only hope for, but actually believe, that change is possible). I know that most of us now are finally old enough to vote and why not have a say in who are leader will be for the next four years?

After all this person will be in charge when many of us graduate and go out into the real world in search for a job, when we will have to deal with real life issues as paying for rent, buying our own food and getting all those bills paid without the safety net of our parents paying for everything for us. Not to hit you with the harsh reality, but it will eventually fall on us to pay our student loans and how will we do that if our economy is in shambles?

Our nation right now is on unstable ground. We need someone who will be able to fix the cracks in our system and restore the foundation of our economy, our government and our future. It is up to you to decide who that will be. Change is possible. Improvement is possible. Politics not being “your thing,” is no longer an excuse; as it was for me for far too long.

LORENA CHOUZA
Executive Editor

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