Beware of The Blue Wave
“The blue wave is coming.” This sentence has been thrown around almost too many times to count. Like the newfound popularity of the word “unprecedented” when used in association with the current presidential administration, this elusive and ambiguous “blue wave” phrase is gaining traction, along with the notion that there is going to be an overwhelming Democratic voter turnout at the polls for this November’s midterm election.
If proven correct, this blue wave would allow Democrats to finally reclaim the majority in Congress and perhaps even in the Senate, to reinstate Democratic governors and state representatives, and even to install Democrats in local positions of government.
Many Americans are depending on this blue wave as a source of hope for the next two years of the Trump administration.
Similarly, many Americans are also hoping that the blue wave will serve as a reason for Democratic voters to stay home. After all, if everyone else is already voting, surely one can stay home, right? Wrong!
So whether someone identifies as a Democrat, Republican, or even as a third-party voter, he or she should be warned: beware of the blue wave.
Just as the American public has seen a Category 4 hurricane devolve into a Category 2 hurricane this month with no more than (admittedly destructive) rainfalls and flooding, it has also seen pre-election polls and election result predictions ultimately proven incorrect as Donald Trump was elected nearly two years ago—with similarly unfortunate results for many Americans and immigrants. All that is to say that, while there may very well be an unprecedented turnout of Democrats on November 6, one cannot rely on the blue wave to guarantee a desired (or undesired) election outcome. The public cannot rely on millions of voters’ partisan identities as an excuse to stay home on Election Day.
Rather, the only surefire way to ensure Democratic victories across the board is to vote. It is the basis of democracy and collective civic responsibility to cast the ballots, to vote in favor of chosen candidates regardless of one’s place on either side of the political aisle.
Specifically, as college students—a young and traditionally apathetic population—people stand a real chance of helping to decide the outcome of the election.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, young people (between the ages of 19-25) make up roughly 10% of Illinois’ total population. On a national level, this demographic represents 9% of the total U.S. population—that is just under 30 million people.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by approximately 28 million votes. While some young people certainly did vote in 2016, this just goes to show that these votes matter. By that logic, if every young person between the ages of 19 to 25 not only registers to vote but also actually votes on November 6, these votes could be the deciding factors in many elections.
Please register to vote! Learn about the candidates in question at the local, state, and federal levels. Learn about their positions, their past voting records, and their current political platforms. It is understandable that that seems like a lot of homework between now and November, but there are websites like www.vote-usa.org that compile a list of candidates specific to one’s personal address and help to navigate their respective websites and platforms.
And finally…vote. Vote by mail through an absentee ballot. Vote in person. Vote however you can, because I promise…every vote counts—especially in the face of the blue wave.