Like the rest of us, I am definitely ready for this election cycle to be over. Like yesterday.
The negativity, personal attacks and purported scandals seem to have made things more of a soap opera than an election.
Young voters, also known as millennialswhich includes you if you were born between 1981 and 1998feel disenfranchised, neglected and forgotten in the process.
We cannot relate to either candidate Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and we see them both as poor choices. We are upset and the evidence is plentiful, with daily posts that can be seen on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
We make fun of the candidates, we expose
their faults and bash their policies. We see few solutions to our challenges and, no matter who is elected, we feel that things will only stay the same or get worse.
There is no sense of hope, change or a new beginning. Instead, we are faced with picking between two of the most unpopular candidates in American history.
Taking all that into account, this is not the time to protest, stay home and decide not to vote because, for the first time in an election, millennials now outnumber baby boomers by half a million in population.
If we show up and vote, our generation could literally decide the election. But with less than half of registered college students voting in the last election, I fear the numbers could be even worse this election cycle.
Because we have such low voter turnouts, millennials get a bad reputation for being uninformed. Yet with social media and Internet blogs, we often find out about information well before our elders do.
Actually, I believe that we are the most informed generation yet because, in a matter of seconds, we can pull out our phone and prove someone wrong with the facts.
In the case of this election, I think millennials are more informed than they have ever been on two particular candidates. We follow the candidates' social media pages, we watch their speeches live on Facebook at no charge, and we can watch a replay of anything controversial that might have been said.
With The Donald and Hillary being such poor choices, many millennials have turned their attention to third-party candidates such as Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. Their messages of fighting the two-party system appeals to younger voters, as some do not feel a strong connection to either major party.
Although these alternative candidates provide an appealing platform to some, I want to caution my fellow millennials on supporting a third-party candidate. As a recent history reminder, in the 1992 presidential election Ross Perot, a third-party candidate, took 18.9 percent of the popular votebut not a single Electoral College vote. So as much as I hate to say it, voting for a third-party candidate is essentially throwing away your vote.
Just because you are struggling with whom to vote for in the presidential race, it does not mean you should skip voting. In addition to the president, there are so many other important down-ballot races on the ticket for seats in Congressmany of which will be closely contested. It is important that we elect the right members to Congress to oversee the new president and fight for our issues.
I believe that if young people truly want to create a revolution, we have to vote again and againin local elections, midterm elections and presidential contests.
To change the country, we must do something truly revolutionary and vote. Wake up millennials.
Roy Littlefield IV is director of government affairs for the Tire Industry Association.