When it comes to politics, I'm pretty easy going, but there are certain issues that are make or break for me when it comes to electing a future president or representative. And I'm not alone— a Fusion poll showed that people, especially young voters, tend to vote based on issues rather than political affiliation. The political spectrum has expanded and grown so much that it's no longer Democrat versus Republican, which is why a candidate's stances on certain issues will affect who gets my vote.
Among politicians, my generation gets a lot of flack. They try so hard to win over our votes and support, but too many of them think that we only care about issues like marijuana legalization. And while that is certainly one of many issues the young voting bloc cares about, it's sort of offensive to boil down all of our political beliefs to recreational drug use.
But it is true that social issues are extremely important to young voters. Race relations, income equality, police brutality — these are the issues that can make or break a candidates' reputation when it comes to courting the youth vote. When selecting my candidate of choice for the upcoming election, I'll be looking at a broad range of issues, from foreign policy to economics, and weighing all candidates (Republican and Democrat) against each other.
But there are only five guaranteed ways to make sure that I will never, ever vote for you. And I bet a lot of my friends would agree.
Defunding Planned Parenthood And Women's Clinics
I'm looking at you, Bobby Jindal. From a moral standpoint, I can understand Christians who oppose abortion. But Planned Parenthood and women's clinics provide so many other services than just abortions. These clinics are instrumental in helping to provide affordable birth control, condoms, sexual education, STD screening, Pap tests, breast exams, and so much more. Abortions only make up about 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's services. Cutting funding to women's clinics because you oppose 3 percent of their services means robbing American women of reliable and affordable health care and decreasing sexual education (which reduces the need for abortions!) significantly. You're not solving the "problem" of abortion. You're increasing the need for it.
Refusing To Acknowledge Climate Change
Remember the time that Bernie Sanders made the Senate vote on whether climate change was real? What a hoot. Thanks to the Senate vote, we're now mostly sure that climate change exists (only one person voted no). So why are candidates still skirting this issue and acting like human beings have nothing to do with what's happening to the environment? Even acknowledging the problem and putting forth one solid effort to combat climate change would be super refreshing for a politician.
Treating Corporations Like Citizens
Maybe it's because I am young and poor and have never owned a corporation (or even worked for one), but I have a hard time understanding why massive purveyors of discounted craft supplies (for example) are more protected than I am. The second that a politician supports a company's religious views over my health and rights, or lets a board of investors dictate their voting record, I get a little testy. Considering that most young voters don't even want to work for corporations, it stings a bit to realize that compared to companies, we are second class citizens.
Being Against Marriage Equality
I thought with the Supreme Court decision, anyone against marriage-equality would just pack up their bags, call it a day, and throw in the towel. But apparently that didn't happen? Not only is opposing marriage equality narrow-minded, now it's just downright pathetic. Any politician who wants to lead the country into a better future needs to realize this is what the majority wants, and marriage equality is a sign of progress. Who wants a president who's always looking to the past? Also, how awkward must it be to stand in front of gay couples and tell them, "No, honestly, if elected president, I will do my best to make sure that your marriage and families are torn apart. Elect me?"
Refusing To Compromise On Gun Control
The country has a long way to go when it comes to gun control, and it may be one of the most vicious debates of the current election given all the horrific shootings as of late. But there's a big difference between "lets tone down the guns a bit" and "let's take away every gun and throw gun owners in jail." There's a compromise out there, and recent events like the Charleston AME shooting show that something has to be done. Compromise is the first step toward making real progress, and I (and probably most of my peers) will never vote for a candidate who refuses to acknowledge this problem and work toward a solution. Refusing to attempt to compromise isn't just stubborn — it's a direct offense to the families and loved ones of every victim of gun violence in our country.
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