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Shahab Moghadam Headshot

Why the November Elections Matter to American Youth

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In today's America, we young people are the greatest resource our nation has to preserve its leadership on the world stage and rejuvenate its economic engine. For that reason, it is truly deplorable how most American youth have little understanding of the incredibly significant debates on Capitol Hill, in statehouses throughout the country and especially on the campaign trail where two dueling visions of where our nation should be headed in the next four years are clashing. From the Republican Party's efforts to roll back the clock on health care reform and all the benefits its enactment has provided to high school students to Mitt Romney's vocal opposition to providing meaningful college aid to underprivileged students, the issues on the table this November will determine the future course of our generation. Thus it is of the utmost significance that we exert our influence as a voting bloc and as people who will be directly affected by the decisions made at the ballot box this November.

All indicators point to a very close race for president accompanied by very tight races in states throughout the country, so we as a generation have an opportunity to make a big difference in the outcomes of some of the most critical races this nation has seen in many years, and in some cases, many decades. One thing is absolutely certain, and that is that if we sit out this election or underestimate its potential to affect our individual and collective futures, we will surely face the consequences of our actions in years to come.

For minorities, the impact of this election season will be even more deeply felt, for the two dueling parties have polar opposite positions on issues as significant as women's health and illegal immigration. While President Obama believes in a woman's right to choose and in the enactment and swift implementation of comprehensive immigration reform, Governor Romney and the other GOP candidates up and down the ballot believe in a radically different set of policies which will greatly change the dynamics of our generation.

We as a generation will face many of the greatest challenges this nation and the world have ever faced, and if we do not step up sooner rather than later, the consequences will be extremely dire. However, I have deep faith in America and in its young citizens, for I have seen firsthand the power we have when we come together to stand tall for what we believe in, and I have no doubt that if we make our voices heard this November, there is no force in this country that would be powerful enough to stop us.

The pundits talk often about the influence big spenders will have on the political process, especially on the Republican side of the aisle, but I have no doubt whatsoever that were we to make our voices heard, a sea of millions of young people with a purpose and a common goal, all the money in the world and all the fear-mongering in the world, would not be able to stop us. Of this, I am absolutely certain.