How I Finally Convinced My Apathetic GF To Vote In The Presidential Election
This presidential election season has been one of the most made-for-TV seasons in history. So its no wonder Millennials have taken such an interest this time around.
On the one hand, we have an egotistical, bombastic,inexperienced pathological liar.
On the other hand, we have a dishonest, out-of-touch, untrustworthy career politician.
Biting at our ankles and vying for some attention, we have a science denier and a paranoid idealist.
All in all, it makes for some great 24/7 entertainment.But more importantly, it makes for a bit of a real-life political horror show that will affect us for at least the next four years. And thats whats so troubling.
Only 46 percent of Millennialswho were eligible to vote in the last presidential election did so. Thats kind of a drag considering Millennials actually nowmake up about the same number of eligiblevoters as Baby Boomers at 31 percent.
That means no matter how involvedMillennials are on social media orhow easy platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and even Uber make it to register to vote, Millennials still have to make that extra effort to actually go to the polls on election day, which they have been reluctant to do in the past.
My girlfriend is one of those reluctant toeven register, let alone actually vote.
Ive heard all of the excuses: I dont want to be eligible for jury duty, my vote doesnt reallymatter, I dont even know how the electoral college works, politics are boring, I have too much to worry about for myself and so on.
But rather than simply give reasons why voting is important or try to instill my political beliefs on her, Ivetaken a different approach this election season to get my girlfriend interested and opinionated about the candidates.
1. Sharing updatesabout the election that she can relate to.
Ive started a lot of conversations over the past few months with, Did you hear?
Like most Millennials, my girlfriend is swimming in a sea of student loan debt. Since she graduated college,her loans have decreased about 5 percent because theyreso large, the interest rates are so high and thats all she could afford to pay each month. (She just discovered refinancing, though, which iscool. Everyone should absolutely be aware of it.)
So when Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were going head to head, offering their solutions for student debt, I mentioned a few things I read and shared a few articles to peak her interest.
2. Educating her about the electoral process and debunking myths.
I place some of the blame here on a failed educational system and insufficient information from the media, but also on her choice to remain ignorant.
She was under the impression our votes dont really mean anything. The electoral college means some representatives can just vote for whomever they want, regardless of what vote we cast.
The controversy overthe delegate allocation in the primaries probably had a role in this mixup, but I made sure to let her know exactly how the electoral college works and how each individual vote is actually counted.
3. Utilizinga politically uneducated personto show her howembarrassing a debate can be.
Im not talking about someone who failed to go through the education system. I mean someone who has not taken the time to educate themselves about the candidates political views.
Now that were adulting almost daily, its time to be able to hold up our end of an adult conversation.
I didnt have to look very far for this one. Her brother hasnt takenthe time to educate himself, yet still formulates pretty strong opinions on subjects he knows little about.
When a discussion arose involving the two major party candidates, I made sure to include important topics in which he was not well-versed. This excludes deleted emails and tax returns.
4. Asking forher opinions.
This has probably had the greatest effect. Its amazing how much someones feeling of self-worth and relevancy increases when you ask for their opinion.
Its as simple as seeing something in the news and asking her what she thinks to start a discussion.
Hillary wants to increase taxes on the wealthy. How is that fair?
Trump wants to build a wall and deport illegal immigrants. Are illegal immigrants causingthat big of an issue?
Its all seemed to work pretty well so far because she hasnt told me to shut up for awhile.
Whether or not that translates to a vote cast on November 8, only time will tell.
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