I Never Thought I’d Abstain From Voting, But Many Young People Will – And Can You Blame Us? | Shaniya Odulawa


As a young person, I’ve always been passionate about exercising my right to vote. I’ve grown up with the understanding that voting is a fundamental aspect of democracy, and that every single vote matters. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve begun to feel increasingly disillusioned with the political system. The more I learn about the world around me, the more I realize that my vote may not be as powerful as I once thought.

I’m not alone in my disillusionment. Many young people are feeling similarly frustrated and disconnected from the political process. We’re often told that we’re the future of this country, but it’s hard to feel invested in a system that seems to prioritize the interests of the wealthy and powerful over those of ordinary people.

One of the main reasons I’m considering abstaining from voting is the lack of representation. I look at the politicians who are supposed to be representing me, and I don’t see myself or my values reflected in them. They’re often out of touch with the issues that affect my daily life, and they seem more interested in maintaining their own power and privilege than in making real change.

Another reason is the feeling of powerlessness that comes with voting. Even if I do cast my ballot, what difference will it really make? The outcome of elections often seems predetermined, and even when there are surprises, the results rarely lead to meaningful change. It’s hard to feel motivated to participate in a system that seems so rigged against us.

Furthermore, the political system is often inaccessible to young people. We’re busy with school, work, and other responsibilities, and it can be hard to find the time and energy to engage with politics. The language and jargon used by politicians can be alienating, and the complexity of the issues can be overwhelming. It’s no wonder that many young people feel like they don’t have a voice in the political process.

Of course, there are those who will argue that abstaining from voting is a privilege, and that people have fought and died for the right to vote. And they’re right. But it’s also important to recognize that the right to vote is not the same as the right to have a meaningful say in the direction of our country. When the system is stacked against us, it’s hard to feel like our votes are truly being heard.

I’m not saying that I’ve given up on the idea of voting altogether. I still believe that it’s an important right, and that we should be using our voices to demand change. But I do think that we need to rethink the way we approach politics, and find new ways to engage and make our voices heard.

For me, that means getting involved in grassroots activism and community organizing. It means supporting candidates and causes that truly align with my values, rather than just voting for the lesser of two evils. And it means educating myself and others about the issues that affect us, and working to create a more just and equitable society.

I know that I’m not alone in my frustration and disillusionment. Many young people are feeling similarly disconnected from the political process, and are looking for new ways to make their voices heard. It’s time for us to take a step back and rethink the way we approach politics. It’s time for us to demand a system that truly represents us, and that gives us a meaningful say in the direction of our country.

So, can you blame us for abstaining from voting? Maybe not. But what’s more important is that we’re not giving up on the idea of creating change. We’re just finding new ways to do it.


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