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COLUMN: Millennials, we all need to vote in the 2018 midterms


Millennials are killing everything – traditional taxis, home-ownership, golf, hotels and many other staples of 20th Century America.

Makes sense to me. Those things are outdated. We can’t afford them.

We’ve realized with massive amounts of student debt, we can’t afford to buy a house right out of college — or even 10 years after graduating. Golf is expensive and exclusive. We have Uber and Lyft, so who needs a call a licensed taxi? Overpriced hotels? We have AirBnB.

We’ve realized we can’t afford homes and new cars but for some reason we haven’t realized that we also can’t afford not to vote.

In 2016, only 49 percent of Millennials voted. Yet 69 percent of Baby Boomers voted. To anyone who thinks their vote doesn't matter, there are hundreds of articles showing how Millennials could equal or even surpass the power of Baby Boomers in votes. In 2016, President Donald Trump won Michigan by a little more than 9,000 votes. That is less than half of the population of Mount Pleasant – it's less than half of the number of students who attend classes at CMU.

In 2016, Republicans won the presidency and Congress. They won the right to cut taxes on the wealthy, gut protections for the LGBTQ+ community, attack voting rights, destroy the environment and now they’re going to gut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

We need to start voting like Baby Boomers. Every. Two. Years. 

It’s not enough to only vote every four years when there’s an attractive presidential candidate.

On Tuesday, we get our chance. 

This is one of the most important elections of our lifetime. 

At the federal level, we can choose a Senator and House representatives to fight for us, not against us.

If we don’t vote, Trump and Republicans will destroy Social Security, appoint even more conservative activist judges, destroy protections for the LGBTQ+ community, attack women’s reproductive rights, gut protections for student loan borrowers, cut preexisting condition coverage and continue repealing environmental protections.

At the state level we’ll get to choose the governor and who controls the state House and Senate. 

If we stay home, it’ll be business as usual — businesses and the wealthy keep paying little to no taxes, while our roads and schools never get fixed. Nestle will continue to pump water out of the Great Lakes. Enbridge Line 5 will keep flowing until it breaks and we’ll face the largest environmental and economic disaster in Michigan’s history.

Or, we can show up, vote and actually change things.

We can make a Michigan that reflects our values. We can have a Michigan spending on college education, so our tuition isn’t sky high. Recreational marijuana is on the ballot. Redistricting reform is on the ballot, no more unaccountable politicians. They’ll answer to us. The government will support unions, not try to break them.

We know we can’t afford to keep cutting taxes on the wealthy. We know we can’t afford to keep putting students into debt that they’ll never pay off. We can’t afford to not act like climate change isn’t real. We can’t afford to keep putting problems off until the future.

The United Nations and the White House’s own climate reports warn that in 30 years Earth will be unsalvageable because of warming temperatures. In 30 years, the Baby Boomers won’t have to deal with the massive debt they’ve created, the collapse of Social Security, a dying world and the student debt crisis.

In 30 years, the Baby Boomers will be dead. We won’t.

We have to start voting. And change things.

If you’re not voting, hoping maybe some massive shift in public opinion will occur, some knight in shining armor will appear, or maybe you’re hoping the Supreme Court, massively slanted to the right, will uphold women’s reproductive rights, voting rights and protections for the LGBTQ+ community -- keep holding your breath. 

If you want change, start voting. Begin by casting your vote Tuesday.