Don’t be a low information voter

With the California presidential primary election coming up on June 7, people young and old are registering to vote, because in this day and age, everyone is given a chance to “make a difference” in America, whether they deserve one or not.

I’m not saying some people should be allowed to vote and others shouldn’t, I’m just saying those who are uninformed or misinformed might want to think twice before voting and possibly making the nation a worse place for us all.

I recently overheard two students on campus debating politics. One voting Democrat and the other, presumably, Republican. The exchange was the typical, “But what is it about Bernie that you agree with? What policies?” Followed by silence and eventually the, “Well, he’s a lot better than Hillary” retort.

Too often people back candidates they don’t know a whole lot about. We all know Hillary Clinton is pro-choice. We all know Bernie Sanders has a publicly-funded tuition plan in mind. We all know Donald Trump wants to build a wall. This information is on the covers of magazines and newspapers everywhere, but what else can young supporters of any of these candidates think of as to why they should be president?

We can’t just say, ‘I think it’s time we have a woman in the White House so I’m voting for Hillary,’ or, ‘I want to stop illegal immigration, so I’m voting for Trump.’ It just doesn’t make any sense. Where are the facts? What do the remaining candidates plan to do about radical Islamic terrorism? What do they plan to do about climate change? Healthcare? A budget?

If people are bold enough to openly say they support any of the three remaining presidential candidates, they had at least have a good reason to back themselves up. If you support Bernie Sanders and someone asks you why, offer up something more substantial than ‘free college’ because anyone with a half working brain and a television set could offer up that nugget of wisdom.

Finding information about the candidates is not difficult to accomplish. All of them have an official website and nearly all of us have access to the internet. Make a list in your mind of personal values and political stances you have, then find a candidate who most embodies those. People need to get out of the mindset of ‘Democrats are this’ and ‘Republicans are that’ and find a candidate they like despite party, age or gender.

Even when we find a candidate we like and are willing to help put in office, we need to be realistic. What can this person do with four years? Free college in four years? I doubt it. A wall in four years? I doubt it. Add a second term and even then these goals seem unrealistic for America.

People also need to take into consideration that the president can’t do what they say they are going to do. Take for instance when Obama ran back in ‘08 and ’12 — he made promises he hasn’t kept. He wanted to end the war in Afghanistan by 2014, which hasn’t happened. He wanted to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, which also has not happened. These are issues many of his supporters were hoping would happen when they went to the polls.

Voters need to be aware that when they vote for a candidate they need to find a candidate with realistic goals that can be accomplished within their term. Free college and a wall might seem like good ideas to some voters, but will they really happen? Get educated.