Last Thursday, the WCC had an event called “What the 2012 elections mean for Women,” in which Stacy Mason of the 2012 project came and spoke. The 2012 project is devoted to getting women to run for office, because once you have women in office, in general, women-friendly and family-friendly policies get introduced in passed. Women are more likely to reach across the political divide to get things done.
Particularly in this election, it seems like you can’t open a newspaper without a mention of the latest attack on contraception. Or abortion. Or Planned Parenthood. Or healthcare. All the while, guess what most people in this country actually care about? It’s the economy. Most people want to make their decision about who to vote for or support based on their economic plans, not whether they are likely to support access to birth control. Women are 56% of the people who vote, so while it makes no sense to attack issues they (and others) are likely to care about, it makes even less sense to refuse to discuss more substantial economic and domestic policy.
While you can’t necessarily affect the rhetoric out there, you can vote. And you should. Young people are often portrayed as apathetic about political issues. But if you talk to most people on Stanford’s campus, we have political opinions. Maybe they are not fully formed yet, but as highly intelligent and motivated people, we care. We care about our country and the world around us and various causes that the government can and does affect. We are not apathetic, we just tend not to vote as often. And when you don’t vote, you give up your say in the government. Sure, maybe your candidate won’t win, or maybe (like me) you live in a place that always votes Democrat, so your vote doesn’t matter. But it does. Maybe not in some of the bigger elections, but at the state and local level, all votes count. The California primaries are on June 5, and you must register to vote at least 15 days in advance. So sign up here. If you have already registered back home, make sure you request an absentee ballot. Primaries are important, just like regular elections.
So go vote. Show you care. No matter how you vote, regardless of how you feel about the topics I’ve mentioned, make your voice heard.