Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, August 18, 2018

Trump's 'locker room talk' shows us why we must vote

Julia Gagnon encourages students to vote 'for the future of this country'

Julia Gagnon

When I heard about the video regarding Trump’s “locker room talk” and listened to him speak so nonchalantly about violent and life-altering acts committed against women, I sat on my bed and I cried. When I refreshed my newsfeed and was notified of yet another male Republican politician disavowing Trump, I closed my laptop and felt a deep sense of sadness wash over my heart and settle into my bones. This time, Trump’s bigotry had apparently ruffled too many feathers. Certain men and women could now relate because everyone knows a woman and no one would want to disrespect their own wife or daughter. However, this same outrage was not afforded to Muslim people or black people or immigrants or disabled people or any other person that wasn’t white or who apparently was not present in the life of a male Republican. As I sat in my bed and contemplated the end of humanity, I realized that this fight was not over.

This election is not over and every single vote counts. The reality is that we are not only electing a president, but members of Congress who will play an integral part in shaping the progress, or the regression, of this nation. We are electing the men and women who shape policies that will try to decide the value of another person’s life. These policies will shape whether there is a planet left for our children. These laws will determine if broken systems will continue to decide whether a child is worthy of education or prison. Children, families, futures and lives depend on progress and the results of this election. We must restore the humanity in this election and therefore not voting cannot be an option. 

In 2014, only 17 percent of constituents aged 18 to 29 voted in the election; however, this demographic constitutes about 21 percent of the eligible voting population. Of course this is made harder at college as deadlines for voter registration and absentee ballot applications easily slip past, but this is just as important as any other part of your life here at AU. If you’re unsure of where to start, go here. Our votes matter and they do have an effect on the future of this country. If you say that you aren’t voting because you can’t decide, you must decide anyway.

Think about those whose voices will not be heard in this election because they can’t cast their own ballot. When you vote, you are voting not only for yourself but for your parents, your friends, your children and families across the world who you will never meet. As you are watching the last debate, wondering how the election has become an unprecedented mess and hoping for it to be over, take hope in the fact that the ballots have yet to be cast. If you feel scared, vote. It is the most powerful way in which you can ensure that you have a say in the future of this country. 

Julia Gagnon is a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs and a columnist for The Eagle.

jgagnon@theeagleonline.com


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