Why national politics matter for everyone

Sean Bassinger, forum editor

If you’re a college student between the ages of 18-22 (or younger/older), you either love or hate the dreaded “P” word.

It’s rather disheartening to wake up each morning and see the current state of American politics. On one side, you have a struggle between the establishment and non-establishment candidate, while the party continues to do anything in its power to make sure that the non-establishment candidate does not continue to gain additional traction.

On the other side, you have—well, OK … the same thing’s happening among Republicans and Democrats at this point.

So we have establishment versus non-establishment.

Again, cue the eye rolls. I don’t blame you for wanting to just put your phone (or computer) away, get up and grab some brewskies with the buds.

So instead of ranting about why Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are scary and quite racist, or why the fight between Bernie and Hillary could do either way at this point, I’m going to break this down in terms of how we got here.

Let’s get back to the price of that beer.

Maybe you examine your checking account and say to yourself, “Crap! I can’t afford to go out tonight … man I hate money.”

Or maybe, just maybe, you might wish that you paid fewer taxes out of your work check or that your job actually paid more for the hard work you do.

Either one, technically speaking, can depend on who we vote into office.

So here’s what we know about the election as it stands: Currently, the system in Washington D.C. appears to revolve around a series of higher-up corporate special interests.

Honestly, this is the one thing I believe Bernie and “The Don” could agree on. Trump himself said during the first Fox News Republican debate earlier this year that the “system is broken” since any businessman can just donate to a politician for a cause.

How does he know this? Well, Trump does tell a lot of fabrications, but he admitted to being one of these “crooked” businessmen.

That’s probably the only time that I’ll say I believe the man.

As for Bernie, well … he’s all about Wall Street reform because of the fact that “trickle down economics” doesn’t seem to be kicking in anytime soon.

Funny too, considering we have the millionaires and billionaires to help with this.

Republicans are, traditionally speaking, anti-taxes when it comes to government services and programs, which still (technically) looks good on paper—the paper, in this case, being a little more wiggle room in your paycheck.

But this time around I cannot personally, for any reason whatsoever, recommend either Cruz or Trump as a candidate that will actually cater to the needs of a progressive generation seeking ways to increase feasible opportunities and diversity acceptance in society.

What I’m trying to get at here is that, regardless of (very) popular belief among apathetic young voters, these issues matter.

And the issues that line up with folks we vote into office won’t just matter now. It’s going to matter after we graduate and continue to pay currently ridiculous amounts of interest rates with our student loans.

That is, if we don’t wake up and change how these processes work or modify the college tuition system.

It’s going to matter when we’re working our full-time jobs and careers, because the decisions our legislatures decide to make will determine whether or not our 40-hour work week will actually help pay our bills, or if we’ll even have the opportunity for a single job in our career field at all.

For all the people I know who remain apathetic in the political arena, please realize that this is no time for apathy.

This is an excellent time, more than ever, to continue your research on candidates and make sure that you’re voting for the best interests for society overall.

Whether it’s Sanders, Trump, Hillary or Cruz, don’t just vote for someone because you’re angry, because they seem “the coolest” or because “my mom and dad said this is just the best person.”

Ask yourself, first and foremost, what will benefit the majority without taking away from those who are already disadvantaged.

The opinions expressed in Bassinger’s column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Barometer staff.

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