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@Millennials: Stop opting out of the political system

By Alexi Cohan

Special to the Chronicle

You see it on social media, hear it on campus and read about it in the news: negative commentary about our presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. While you may get sick of being bombarded with political opinions every day, this particular election is unlike any America has experienced before.

Somehow, two extremely unpopular political figures have become this year’s presidential nominees, and complaints about Trump and Clinton have taken our society by storm. Despite the fact that you may hate the candidates, it is not an excuse to detach oneself from politics or important campus events like the debate.

Disappointment in the candidates and outright dislike is understandable. It is even sometimes a good thing, as it incites passion in voters. But refusing to vote, follow the election, watch the debate or participate in American politics for those reasons alone is inherently wrong. Engaging in politics is a civic duty and a privilege for American citizens.

So many Americans already choose not to follow politics or vote. It is unacceptable when a person who is typically politically engaged gives up on the process because of dissatisfaction with the candidates. No one should have to vote for someone they don’t like and no one is forced to spend time following politics if they don’t want to, but seeing impassioned students completely detach themselves from this amazing experience is disappointing.

Hosting the presidential debate at Hofstra is an honor and an experience that should not be wasted by any student. The chance to be immersed in our political system by means of a presidential debate is something that we may never experience again. Whether a student loves or hates Trump or Clinton, they should embrace this unique opportunity in any way that they can. There will always be prominent figures in American politics that you may dislike, but that is not a reason to disengage.

As such, it is crucial that we as students and young adults involve and immerse ourselves in the political process. We should actively participate in special events – like the debate – that are presented to us. When necessary, we should put out of our minds the hateful comments surrounding political figures and continue to believe in and empower our government to make change.

Sure, our presidential candidates for this election are not great. They have lied, attacked each other, said offensive things and have been investigated for crimes. They do not embody the characteristics of a president. But please, do not use this as an excuse to detach yourself from politics as a whole, or you will have wasted the experience of a lifetime by ignoring the debate. You will regret it.

The views and opinions expressed in the Op-Ed section are those of the authors of the articles. They are not an endorsement of the views of The Chronicle or its staff. The Chronicle does not discriminate based on the opinions of the authors.

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