By Marc Ridgell ‘19
For the state of Illinois, gubernatorial elections will be held on November 6, 2018.
Gubernatorial? What does that mean?
Gubernatorial derives from the Latin word, “gubernator,” which means “governor.” Governors and legislative officials such as aldermen and chief judges assigned to specific districts are elected. To vote in the gubernatorial elections, and official elections overall, an individual within the United States must be 18.
Shockingly, most people who were born in 2000, within Generation Z, can vote in this gubernatorial election. Feel old yet? The people who were born before or on November 6, 2000, can vote. Unfortunately, many young people eligible to vote this year do not take advantage of the privilege of voting; however, voting is actually important, especially because this is the age when teenagers start becoming more aware of the real world, break away from the mindset of innocence, and develop a sense of political awareness. Voting is one of the simplest, yet most effective, way for young people to use their voices.
Are you confused about which candidate to vote for? Do you think of yourself as a progressive liberal but believe in a few conservative values? Are you a bit confused about where you stand on the political spectrum?
No worries. Brother Rice history teacher Mr. Mike Dolan provided insight as to how students can research which candidate to vote for:
“We have all been politically socialized from the time we were born by our families. For most of us, we tend to want to vote as our parents vote. If there is any political discussion in a family it almost always takes place around the dinner table. That being said, I think students need to consume the news from as many different sources as possible. Just as when we get older, we stop thinking as our parents or family have taught us (thus we become independent). We need to read/watch/listen to news and analysis of news events from as many different sides of the political spectrum as possible.
“If a student tends to be progressive, then he or she should also get news from conservative sides as well. The same holds true for conservative students getting news from progressive news sites. This allows for an individual to determine where the truth of a matter really is.”
“As always, I want students to invoke what I call the ‘Farrelly Rule’ (developed by Brandeis University professor Maura Jane Farrelly) which essentially says that if you are reading an article that is politically very satisfying, you should stop and check a news source that existed previous to 1980, and see if that particular news source corroborates what is said in the first article. If not, it may most likely be what we now call ‘fake news,’ made up just to sway our emotions.”
For Illinois specifically, the two governor candidates are Democrat J.B. Pritzker, and Republican Bruce Rauner, the current governor.
On his top ten list for 2017, Bruce Rauner has vetoed the 32 percent state income tax rate increase, created clean-energy jobs for the reform of unemployment, and enacted a bill for low-income families to give children better educational resources. However, in 2015, he cut funding for mental health services for autism and epilepsy assistance for children. If he were to win again, will this cutting of funds negatively affect the state of Illinois?
His competitor, J.B. Pritzker, claims to gather funding for services to battle the growing opioid crisis, increase funding for social services for homeless LGBTQ youth, and create affordable health care. However, news reports have noted that he has spent an abundance of funds on his political campaign, typically more than what a politician would spend on a campaign. Would his alleged overuse of campaign money negatively affect his role in office?
These are issues to consider from both sides on the political spectrum. Who would you invest your vote in?
All in all, if you have are 18 or older, get out there and vote! Your voice matters, too. If you do not use your voice, one of your most powerful tools for change, you miss the opportunity for creating what you envision. As the great leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”