Northwest Missourian Opinion

There are two things that are “off-limits” for discussion on a first date: religion and politics. It seems like a pretty bad way to get to know a person, but OK I guess. However, the topic of politics cannot be ignored, especially by young voters in this political season. I know politics can often be a dense slog, but paying attention is important to ensure what happens now and in the future is the best for the most amount of people.

Around 10% of eligible voters in the 2020 election are between the ages of 18 to 23, according to the Pew Research Center. Young people have a large amount of power in the next election, but only if they come out in strong numbers. 

Political fatigue is an issue in this country, especially with the added use of social media and our current president tweeting more than most teenagers. President Donald Trump is in the middle of an impeachment trial and focusing on the facts of that case and how it affects the next election. If you don’t like the way your congressman or senator handled the process of impeachment, vote them out. 

The reelection rate for those in the House of Representatives in 2018 was 91%, and it was 84% for the Senate, according to Open Secrets. The approval rating for Congress is 23%, according to a Gallup poll Jan. 5. So, clearly something isn’t working here like the people elected to Congress.

It seems as though the opinion of voters is that everybody else’s legislator is the problem, but somebody or a lot of somebodies has a person misrepresenting them in Congress. The system isn’t working, but informed voting has the power to fix it.

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are duking it out with others in Iowa over the first victory in the primaries. Iowa can be an important test to see whether a candidate has the legs or won’t reach the finish line. 

The Iowa Caucus winners for the Democrats going all the way back to 2000 have gone on to be the nominee for the Democrats. So, if you are waiting to see who is going to challenge Trump, Iowa is a good indication. 

Local politics are not nearly as sexy as national politics, but it may have a bigger impact, especially Maryville politics. Maryville water is kind of bad. This could be caused by the algae bloom on Mozingo Lake where we get the water, not helped by the fact that the filter membrane is two years expired and the Public Works Director C.E. Goodall bragged about it. Goodall is an official appointed by someone who is elected.

A use tax was passed on the ballot in 2019, which affects online purchases in Maryville. A use tax is a sales tax that is added to online purchases to generate tax revenue for the city. Breaking news: young people use the internet more, crazy I know, but that means the use tax is going to heavily affect college students.

National politics seem more important but because of a little thing called federalism, the most immediate concerns are left to state and local governments, making the people in office in those positions much more important. 

The date to register to vote in November  2020 is Oct. 7 in Missouri, which is early, Nebraska deadline is Oct. 16 and the deadline for Iowa is Oct. 23. Voting in national, state and local elections is a way people can affect change, and they can only make responsible choices if they are informed. So kind of like the Washington Post says, pay attention because democracy sucks when you are uninformed.

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