For all of you who will be 18 by the time the 2020 election rolls around, listen up. You are going to be one of the most critical components in shaping this country for the better...or the worse.

According to the PEW Research Center, millennials and Generation Zers, the youngest of Americans, will make up 37 percent of the 2020 electorate. In simpler terms, this means over a third of the people who will decide on the next President, are us young people - us young people who have seen mass shootings become mainstream, who have seen a steady decline in the environment, who have seen rising costs in college, and who have seen a country divided like never before. These are the stakes. This election is high-stakes and it may be one of the most important ones in American history.

It is no secret that this is one of the most divisive times our great nation has ever seen.

However, it is naive to think that there are no right or wrong decisions; that there are only opinions. And it isn’t an issue of who is right, it is an issue of what is right. It is not right to call KKK members, neo-Nazis, among other white nationalists “very fine people.” It is not right to mock people with disabilities. It is not right to separate children from their families. And, it is certainly not right to elect a man accused of sexually assaulting a woman, to the Supreme Court of the United States.

These are not political issues. They are human issues.

We are a generation more progressive and more inclusive than ever before. We have a sense of compassion that allows us to see beyond the color of a person’s skin and past socio-economic class divisions. This compassion ought to inspire in us faith that we can repair a broken system.

The time has come for us to take the reins and ensure that America be rerouted towards the freedom once promised.

Do not be afraid to stand up and resist. Tell the world why we need the first Latino president, or the first gay president, or the first woman president. Do not allow the powers that be to disenfranchise you, because your vote will be your voice.

So, soon-to-be voters, will you be on the right side of history?

Anna Armstrong,

Selma High student

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