No matter what one’s agenda is, the midterm elections are significant for every individual. The most obvious reason is that these elections determine who represents each unique voice. Legislators are the ones discussing and voting on the issues that affect everyone.
“It starts with a person as small as an Iowa Senator,” Patel said. “It’s really hard, for one person to really represent the whole body of people in the US because there are so many different groups. However, a [local representative] is able to really talk with their people and see what they want. He’s able to convey those ideas in both Iowa and Washington.”
Midterm elections are also the way people can ensure that their respective party gets the most officials elected. Only with big numbers can a party carry out their goals. If people strongly disagree with a party, the same also applies.
“The president is just one person in our system of government, and as citizens, our daily lives are greatly impacted by elected officials in our national legislature, as well as officials elected in our state,” Noble said.
For those who are more focused on presidential elections, the 2018 midterm elections will also have a big impact on the 2020 election. Currently, it appears that President Trump will run for reelection. As he is the incumbent, there are not many Republicans challenging him. It would alter the whole election to have someone challenge him in the primaries. A possible candidate could use the 2018 midterm elections as a stepping stone to become a prominent republican leader.
“No matter where on the political spectrum you fall, it is important that you pay attention to the platforms of candidates, as well as what they plan to do in office,” Baker said. “To speak up for what you agree with or disagree will always be a more valuable tool than sitting on the sidelines and complaining after someone you don’t care for gets elected.”
Besides canvassing, students can also write an op-ed, contact legislatures and simply stay informed and aware. Logan Pfannebecker ’19, co-founder of the Students for Open Discussion club, has observed that students under 18 don’t always see the benefit in caring about elections, but believes this needs to change.
“Let your voice be heard this midterm, because it matters,” Pfannebecker said. “Don’t think your age is holding you back from participating in political discussion. We are the next voters, and we should be informed before a decision is made that could severely affect our lives.”
Though many West students won’t be able to vote, several members of the class of 2019 will be able to. According to Noble, voting is the most powerful tool in democracy, and if one is eligible to vote, they should not hesitate to do so.
“When you are eligible to vote, and you choose not to, you are choosing to let others make the decisions that impact your life, the lives of your family, and the future you intend to live in.”