The Importance of Midterm Elections

There are two weeks to the midterm elections. It reminds one of midterm tests in a semester. There is a good reason: the midterm point shows strengths and weaknesses and gives direction. Therefore, they are important and most students used to take the semester midterms seriously.

The midterm elections are equally vital for the future, and even more so because they give power to the winners to set the direction the country might be forced to go. They have vast effects on everyone in this country.

Yet, the buzz has been that the young people—those who can vote and those who soon will be able—consider these elections a time to say “aha” and/or sit it out. That is very unfortunate for the individual student and for the country. The pre-midterm election time ought to be one for vibrant discussion and thoughtful action. It is likely that this midterm election will affect present students more than many in the past have, and it is disturbing to think that this generation of students is less prepared.

Any student at college now will have his/her future plans profoundly affected. No, no student should be at college just for the purpose of, “well, I study because I want a good job.” But that is an important part of going to college, as all the present statistics show more clearly than even previous ones did. Any good student advisor will always impress on the student that these four years of study are your opportunity to learn as much as you possibly can, to ‘grow up’ and ask what you would realistically want for your future life. That life will be greatly influenced by the world outside what you are preparing for. It is not the time to be unconcerned or spacey.

This is exactly why these midterm elections are vital for all in this country. For reasons that deserve careful scrutiny, midterms are said to be less important than the four-year presidential elections. This misconception is used by some to manipulate the voters. The media have neither challenged nor discussed this mindlessly advanced notion. During midterm elections many issues, from small, local, to large and largest can be differentiated and brought into focus, as they need and deserve to be. In presidential elections the focus shifts—often a loss in urgent details for the whole country. So, to students this should be a time of lots of thinking and working on what will be part of your future. And then there are the immediate issues of financing your college studies without starting out with huge debts, being given health coverage, to age 25 or even 26. Just recently, positive change for students has come from President Obama. Work to preserve it.

Pre-midterms time should be a vibrant learning time of questioning of how to run a country, never mind a large and demographically divergent country such as the U.S.

It is grievous to hear of any young person who thinks of ‘sitting out’ the midterm elections. It is much, much worse if this is going on at college and university campuses, which ought to be the very centers of intelligent thoughtful political action. There is so much to be done to raise the level of discourse to something befitting the seriousness of being insightful for the good of the country, which will be the result of what the young of today put in today for their and their country’s future.

Thank you,
Johanna Sayre

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