Lyna Landis is the UDWI REMC Manager of Marketing and Communications.
"The vote is a trust more delicate than any other, for it involves not just the interests of the voter, but his life, honor, and future as well."--Jose Marti
As November swiftly approaches, and increasingly more media time is devoted to political news and campaigns, our thoughts turn toward the 2016 election, and what its outcome will offer our generation and generations to come.
The future starts today. Staying informed about the candidates and their political stands and passing onto future generations the real value of taking an active role in our political process is indeed a delicate trust. How are we doing as parents and mentors? How are we doing as a society? These are the questions we must ask.
And the clock is ticking! As of 2015, the millennial generation accounted for one-third of the electorate. This year, my daughter joined them, and at times, our home has been a hotbed for political discussions and, at times, disagreements. To my delight, bumper stickers, t-shirts, and other campaign propaganda arrived at our house in her name. The presidential candidate was irrelevant to me. My daughter's enthusiasm for the political process and readiness to jump in feet-first far outweighed our minor disappointment of realizing our votes will likely cancel each other out. Best of all, I can smile with pride, confident that I have raised an active voter. Now just three more daughters to go!
Especially in our rural communities, we, as voters, must stay informed about what's at stake and how to make our voices heard. The issues at hand are crucial to the prosperity of our communities. In the last year, the attack on coal has hit hard in southern Indiana. Neighbors and family members have lost their jobs in the face of increasing regulations that make it more and more challenging to use coal as an energy source.
President Lyndon B. Johnson remarked, "A man without a vote is a man without protection." It is our responsibility to cast our ballots for the right candidates by arming ourselves against ignorance, indifference, and futility. We must invest valuable research time BEFORE we reach the polls and teach future generations to do the same.
Millennials have grown up in a fast-paced world with unprecedented access to information. These open communicators and collaborators want to make the world a better place. In 2006, 61% of 13- to 25-year-olds said they feel personally responsible for improving the world. Armed on election day, they can do just that. I know this vision would make my millennial smile.
Lyna Landis is the UDWI REMC Manager of Marketing and Communications. She can be reached at email@example.com.