Blog  I Can’t Vote Yet, But I Can Help Influence Others

I Can’t Vote Yet, But I Can Help Influence Others

By Samantha Ross, Congregation Ner Tamid

On October 19th, I was fortunate enough to attend the third and final Presidential Debate of the 2016 election. Sitting on floor level, I listened as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton talked about multiple issues, including Immigration, National Debt, Foreign Affairs, and the Supreme Court.

Being in the Thomas and Mack Center (where the debate took place),  felt very different than the previous debates where I sat on my couch to watch. The candidates were more respectable in person, while on TV, it is easier to misinterpret their words due to the absence of body language and the inability to feel the energy in the room. This premise got me thinking- we constantly hear on the news about these candidates and the media spreads information in the way they deem fit. However, seeing the candidates for myself (and even scoring a picture with Hillary Clinton) was very different than watching CNN report on their opinions. I got to shape my own opinions as I took my own notes and I now feel more confident in one of the presidential candidates.

While I cannot vote, I still have the ability to spread my influence to those who can vote and who will be representing the voices of Millennials (us) in the future. I wanted to go to the debate so I could be a part of the process. I have been very committed to politics for the past year. Whether it was working for a House of Representatives campaign or attending Girls Nation in Washington, D.C., patriotism and civic engagement is really important to me and I feel it is important more Millennials get involved with the process because soon, we will be the ones voting. As Congregation Ner Tamid Temple Youth’s Social Action Vice President, I have chosen our theme to be civic engagement- to find more ways to get students and the community as a whole involved religiously, politically, and socially.