Economy must be top issue for young voters

Economy must be top issue for young voters (credit: Adelaide Cole/Art Editor) Economy must be top issue for young voters (credit: Adelaide Cole/Art Editor)
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The overwhelming sentiment among my peers when I talk about this election is as follows: “Well, I’m disappointed in Obama, but I just couldn’t bring myself to vote for a Republican.”

When asked why, they will almost always reply, “Well I just can’t vote for someone who’s against gay marriage and pro-life.”

Are we really that naive? I’m a strong libertarian. I think the government shouldn’t be able to tell you what to do with your money, and I also think the government shouldn’t be able to tell you what to do with your body or who you can marry. Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. But the view of most young voters is currently the status quo, and it takes absolutely no leadership, conviction, audacity, or skill for a politician to take a stance for or against either of those two issues. They’re not changing and everyone knows it.

We supported President Barack Obama when he was against gay marriage in 2008. Only recently did he change his personal support, but he never changed his official view. Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in fact share the same view on the issue. Both want to leave it to the states to decide if same-sex couples can get married. That’s the status quo. Regardless of who holds the Oval Office come January, gay marriage at the federal level will be unchanged. Obama is pro-choice, Romney is pro-life. It’ll take a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade.

If you as a voter have any faith in the belligerent, bicameral mess that is our legislative branch of government to garner enough support to pass a constitutional amendment, and then that three-fourths of the state legislatures will ratify such an amendment, then you’re a better person than I. The only thing Congress has done that I can remember in recent history is declare pizza a vegetable.

It’s really easy for Obama to go on some talk show and tell the world that he is for gay marriage. He doesn’t have to push for it in Congress, and he hasn’t made a big deal about it since. Similarly, Romney being pro-life takes absolutely nothing. He just has to say it. That’s it.

It takes no strength to adopt a meaningless stance that does absolutely nothing for the American people because the status quo on social issues isn’t changing. You don’t see Romney red-faced on the stump, touting the injustices of abortion. The election is about the economy. And guess what? According to the Associated Press, 53.6 percent of college graduates can’t get good jobs.

Are we as young voters really naive enough to make any other issue more important then that one fact? If you can’t pay for an abortion or your same-sex wedding, it’s not going to happen whether it’s legal or not.

When we graduate from college, we’ll be entering either Romney’s economy or Obama’s. Four years of Obama’s economy has left half of our predecessors jobless or underemployed. For the sake of your own future, wake up and give the other guy a chance.