Message for young voters 

Your Turn

A public-service announcement to my fellow younger-than-30 Colorado Springs-ians (I know you're out there somewhere!):

Don't vote. Voting is for old people. It's what our parents do ... and nothing is ever cool when our parents do it. I mean, look what happened with Facebook! It's all fun and games until that Facebook tag of you passed out on the kitchen floor amid a small army of empty Bristol bottles and the remains of Borriello Brothers garlic knots shows up on your dad's newsfeed (from a friend, not me).

But back to the voting. Don't do it. Everyone already thinks we're ignorant, apathetic and lazy anyway — why disappoint them now? During this time of global economic uncertainty, it's important that some things remain predictable and stable: peanut butter and jelly, Oreos and milk, Douglas Bruce and ridiculousness, youth and apathy. These are immutable matches forged by the gods, people! The Bible says so!

So you may have heard there's this thing on the November ballot called 2C. They tell us if we don't vote for it, and willingly tax ourselves a whole $2.50 per week (if you own an average-sized home), our quality of life will deteriorate. There won't be any police or firefighters to protect us. Parks won't be maintained. Essential city services will be cut.

I say ... green grass is overrated! Yellow is the new green! Haven't you been watching that new hit show, Glee? The Emerald Dream is the next best thing since sliced bread! (And it comes complete with a mullet-sporting lawn worker rocking out to Journey — what more could you possibly want out of life?) Slides, swings and carousels — who needs them? Most of us don't have kids anyway. Not our problem.

Police and firemen? Overrated. We're young and invincible. We can fend for ourselves! Fleeing a burning building has nothing on summiting the Incline on the hottest day in July. I mean, I know the firepeople are hot and all that, but can't they do more of those pinup calendars or something to keep their jobs? I want my $2.50 a week! And what do they do at the station all night when there aren't any fires?

Sure, I know most of us voted for Obama. But that was a national thing. Who cares about local politics? Making change from the bottom up? Boooor-ing. With Obama, we were one of millions. So what if our vote didn't matter? (Two words: Electoral College.) At least we were trendy.

If we vote for 2C, we would probably be only one of about 40,000, and that means we might actually have the power to make a difference — talk about a scary concept! It's so much easier to just complain about our city and how darn conservative it is, rather than actually try to change it for the better.

Did you know that nearly 20 percent of our city is between the ages of 18 and 29? That's nearly 70,000 potential voters, roughly the total who typically participate in off-year elections. Think about the power we could wield if every eligible voter younger than 30 actually did register and vote! Lionel Rivera won his last mayoral election in 2007 with only 34,000 votes! Before that, in 2003 against multiple opponents, he garnered even fewer — 27,660 — and still won.

That means if one out of every two 18-29s voted, we could pretty much pick our own mayor of Colorado Springs. That's some power. But as Tobey Maguire has taught us in all 37 Spider-Man movies, with great power comes great responsibility.

YIKES! Responsibility? Accountability? What's that? I enjoy my blissfully careless, indifferent, devil-may-care existence. The responsible road is hard, unpaved and only reserved for arrogant, annoying over-achievers (think Reese Witherspoon's character in Election).

This election's choice is clear: Don't vote. Toss your ballot in the trash with all the other junk mail and watch Dancing With the Stars. Leave the thinking and decision-making to our parents. They've been doing it for so long, anyway! And haven't they done a pretty good job? Bruce. Bailouts. Bush. Unemployment. Sub-prime mortgages. Foreclosures. Climate change. Health care. Iraq. Terrorism. Nuclear weapons. Torture. Unilateralism. Neo-conservatism. Anti-Americanism.

Hmmm. On second thought, maybe that's not such a good idea ...

Kristin Lynch is a local writer who enjoys argyle socks, over-analyzing things and long walks on the beach. Visit her Web site, springstoaster.com, for local gay news and podcasts.


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