Knox Deserves Proper Representation
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 00:11
So, here’s the thing: voting is awesome. As active citizens, we should make every effort to inform ourselves and play a role in selecting our leaders. We should not, however, select leaders that aren’t ours.
With elections coming up, there’s been a lot of talk about who’s voting for whom, who’s voting where and who’s voting for what reason. As a native Ohio resident, I know how exciting it is to vote in a swing state for a presidential election; I grew up in the frenzy. So yes, Kenyon students, vote for the president in Ohio. Make an impact.
Don’t, however, vote in Mount Vernon’s local elections.
I guess “don’t” is a little harsh. Rather, what I mean is think twice about it and weigh whether or not you should. Because here’s the situation: As Kenyon students, we live a transient life in Knox County. We’re here about seven months out of the year, and only four years on top of that. So, chances are, we won’t be around for a good chunk of the terms of the officials we elect. Is it really socially responsible of us to cast our vote and then get out of Dodge, leaving Knox County’s permanent residents to deal with the repercussions — positive or negative — of our decisions? It would be like voting for the president of the United States and then permanently moving to another country six months later. It’s only going to affect you for a slip of the time you’ll be in the place, so why impose your views on the permanent residents? Who are you to say you know what’s best for someone else?
Maybe it’s just because I’m in an international studies class this semester, but the situation is reminding me a whole lot of the conquistadors proselytizing in Latin America.
Think about it: lots of us traveling long distances to come to a place we’ve never been before, forcing our beliefs on the locals, peacing out to head home and leaving the residents to figure out how our actions affect theirs.
Is that fair or considerate of us?
Now, I’m not saying that no Kenyon students should vote in Mount Vernon elections. If you’re planning on staying here over the summer and spending the majority of the calendar year here, do it. If you’re a soon-to-be graduate who just got a job in the area, do it. If you are from Mount Vernon, obviously, do it, because it is so freaking cool to take a part in local politics and know that your vote matters.
But please, Kenyon, keep in mind that your opinion might not be the opinion of Mount Vernon’s majority, so unless you’re going to stick around long enough to bear the impact of that vote, think before you hit the polls.
Jane Simonton ’15 is an undeclared international studies major from Cincinnati, Ohio. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.