Millenials should make their voices heard at the ballot box

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Daniel Martin Hurley, Mercer County Community College Democrats
There’s no need for me to point out that this presidential election season has had testy moments — that is evident. Like every presidential election in our nation’s history, there have been moments of civility, and moments of distress. That is just the nature of our politics.
However, this election has, as many have proclaimed, unlike any other in a few respects. To my knowledge, there has never been a presidential candidate that has personally insulted the Pope. If my history is correct, no candidate for the presidency of the United States has proposed a ban of Muslims entering the United States. Furthermore, although I am quite young, I don’t think that any modern presidential election, since Lincoln in 1860, has caused Americans to feel that violence is the only means for change.
I believe in American democracy, and cherish the rights that our Constitution and Bill of Rights have granted to all Americans. I also believe in our nation’s politics — even when it stumbles and stalls. As an American who believes that politics is at its core a source for good, it pains me when I see special interests, partisanship, and corruption take it over. It pains me when our politics becomes consumed with anger and divisive rhetoric, instead of being fueled by understanding and collaboration. When Republican and Democratic politicians cannot even speak to each other in public, nonetheless in private, because they have opposing views on a number of issues, the American people are done a disservice.
And it doesn’t help when a presidential candidate is fueling the flames.
Folks, this election is serious — that is probably an understatement. The progress that has been made over the last eight years with the Obama administration is at stake. The enduring theme of the American dream is a stake. American prestige on an international stage will very likely be weakened or maintained depending on who is elected in November. As a millennial, I take this election very seriously since my generation in particular will be directly impacted by the policies of the next president for not just four years, but for decades to come.
Unfortunately, the common negative perception of our politics sometimes deters people from engaging in the political process. However, change does not come by sitting on the couch and complaining — it comes with activism and organizing, optimism and hope.
Come Nov. 8, I hope that all New Jerseyans — specifically milliennials — make their voice heard. 
Daniel Martin Hurley 
President 
Mercer County Community College Democrats 