Encouraging students to go to the ballot

Opinion

The story of America is one with a lot of triumph, sure, but a story with a lot of bloodshed. When the Founding Fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence, they knew that it would potentially be at the cost of American lives. The United States Constitution would mark the official beginning of what Alexis de Tocqueville earlier called “The Great Experiment.”  The Constitution, I would argue, is the most important document to our nation and has shaped the outcome of the experiment, thus far. The ratification of the Constitution is the symbol for the birth of the United States as we know today.

As the experiment progressed, changes needed to be made to the Constitution. Expanding suffrage (the right to vote) beyond white, landowning males, has expanded opportunities to every person in the nation. The 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th amendments have allowed people to have a voice in their government, changing the trajectory for outcomes in political spheres. The right to vote was given to us by people who have worked so incredibly hard to ensure that the “Great Experiment” was a successful one.

The system that was created in the 18th century is still alive and well, but the experiment is still underway. Our generation is inheriting the product of all of the triumph and bloodshed of the people that came before us. Whether we like it or not, unless we want the experiment to fail, we must step up. Don’t get me wrong, politics and government are hard work. I’m not suggesting that everyone needs to go out, buy a pantsuit, and run for office. I’m simply suggesting voting.

Going to the polls takes very little time and the effects can mean the difference in the quality of life for everyone in the state. Taking ten minutes out of your day could save the next several years of our lives. The men and women elected to public office, especially on a state and local level, determine just about every aspect of our lives. They’re the ones who decide how much funding is put toward our university, the quality of the roads we use every day, gas prices, healthcare policies, and so many other things that we don’t even think about.

In a time of divided politics, there is no better time than now to be voting. The people running for office this season will be the ones deciding what life if like during the most crucial times of our lives. I want someone in office who will protect my interests and work every day to make Missouri a better place to live. Make time on November 6th to tell the government what you want for Missouri.