I love Election Day. For me, it’s like if Christmas and the 4th of July had an apocalyptic baby.
My Facebook and Twitter feeds were already blowing up by 7am today. Floods of statuses and tweets urging people to vote Obama, vote Romney, or to just vote in general. Emblazoned across the front page of my Washington Post were President Obama and Governor Romney, each in the last hours of their tumultuous campaigns, each amongst throngs of supporters. Turn on CNN and there are pie charts and election maps flashing across the screen. Everything, from the spectacle of the Republican primaries to the roller coaster of the general election, has all come down to this one day.
And this is where I address my generation, the Millennials, the Y’ers. My friends, my classmates, and my fellow young voters. Whatever the outcome of this election, keep your heads level, your discussions calm, and your disagreements rational. There will be a winner tonight. There will also be a loser. People are going to be unhappy. With that said, do not let your disagreement with another person devolve into a vitriolic shouting match, be it in your living room, at a bar, or on Facebook. If we, the Millennial Generation, engage in idiotic diatribes, baselessly spout partisan views, and harshly attack those who disagree with us, we are NO BETTER than the current generation in power, who time and time again, have put party before country. I know my generation is better than that.
We are at the precipice of assuming the leadership of this country. I have such incredible optimism for what our generation can do. Both for the U.S. and the world. The people I’ve met while studying at GW and working in DC have impressed upon me an eagerness to take the reigns of this country. And when we take those reigns, we have the potential to gallop farther than anyone has ever taken this naton before. On social issues, on tax reform, on healthcare, on foreign policy. Our ride should not be held back by the shackles of the same mistakes the current generation in power has made. Because we are Americans first, Republicans and Democrats second.
So if your preferred candidate loses, be disappointed, by all means. But rise above invective partisan rhetoric. Do not deprecate another for their views, no matter the extent to which you disagree with them. As tempting as it may be, hold back from posting that paragraph-long rant of a Facebook status, that jam-packed 140-character angry tweet. Remain intelligent. Remain rational. Like I said before, our generation is on the precipice of assuming the leadership of this country. This election day and the days after will serve as a transition for us Gen Y’ers. How we conduct ourselves and our political discourse today will dictate how we lead this country tomorrow. I implore you to rise above the irrational partisanship and the bitter attacks, so that our country may rise along with us.
Happy Election Day to you all.