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Don't just vote for prez

By Riyah Exum - Echo staff reporter
On October 10, 2012

  • Riyah Exum

History was made in 2008 when the first black president was elected. But as time progressed and especially after the 2010 midterm elections, I wondered if race was what clouded the vision of the democratic voters.

Were people more focused on electing a black president or was his platform really that convincing? I toyed with this question only because in the 2010 midterm elections The Republican Party gained 63 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, six seats in the U.S. Senate, and also gained 680 seats in state legislatures, breaking the previous record of 628 set by the Democrats.

If the Democrats felt so strongly about Obama's views that they elected him president there was no reason to fall so short in the midterm elections, unless the voters felt their deed was accomplished after the presidential elections. The reality is the job was only halfway done.

I would engage in casual conversation from time to time with my friends or classmates and I could tell that they knew about other elections but never knew what they were actually for.

I observed that most were convinced the presidential elections were the only elections that mattered.

Well the truth is this, while every election matters, the midterm elections are the next important elections after the presidential.

They are important because these elections make up the members of the United States Congress and these members are given the authority over the financial and budget policy, the power of taxation, and something even more important than all of these; the power to declare war.

If you have the power to make change in this world then my advice is to do so. These presidential elections are so crucial this year especially to future and current college students.

However, the midterm elections will decide what laws and restrictions are passed, in ways, this could negatively impact college students, especially if the Republican Party maintains the majority of seats in Congress.

I am not trying to take away from the severity of the presidential elections but explain how these elections and the midterm elections go hand in hand.

Let's speak hypothetically and say Mitt Romney does win the presidential election. With the majority of Congress seats being held by Republicans now, it is much easier and certainly possible that the Pell Grant will gain the restrictions he's talked about in his campaign. Meaning more loans students will have to take out or more money students will have to pay out of pocket.

It may even decrease the rate of high school graduates that attend college because they simply do not have enough money. 

There is major power up for grabs when the midterm elections come around and it is time that we notice and play our part in making sure we gain the best outcome.

Controlling our finances and having the ability to send an army of people to risk their lives are major decisions that could end up crumbling the country if the power is in the wrong hands.

This is why it must be stressed that voters make it a point to vote when these elections come around. They affect us in a way that is long term, even when our first black president is out of office.

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