Our first editorial of the 2020 spring semester.

Important elections are on the horizon: the primaries on March 17 and finding the next Millikin president. The effort it takes to weigh our options and judge each candidate can be exhausting, but we have what it takes.

Months or even years of learning about Democratic citizenship has prepared us for this moment.

Think about it: how many times a week do we hear the term, “Democratic Citizenship”? How many classes grade us on how well we participate in class discussions? How often does Millikin urge us to attend a speaker?

All of these actions help us learn about our world. This university challenges us to question what we believe. 

Our professors urge us to find the truth. They mark points off of our papers when we make assumptions based off unsupported opinion instead of fact. Many even give us points for attending a special lecture and expanding our minds in our free time.

We go out of our way to voice our views and listen to others because we have learned to do so.

We just saw countless students voicing their opinions about who we want our next president to be. Millikin students care about who represents them, who leads them, and what affects their lives.

Why does this matter?

Look at the nation. What you see are the people who speak their minds and act on their words, not the people who are silent and do nothing. People who vote are what defines the state of a Democratic nation. We all should vote because we are outstanding examples of U.S. citizens.

Millikin students are some of the most qualified people in the world to cast a ballot, so we need to embrace our civic duty to vote.

We are growing more diverse every day, which cannot be said for all parts of the world. People are also willing to spread their own voice, way of life, and culture every day, even when there is no election going on. 

Even though there are a lot of different things going on any given day, Millikin students, by-and-large, also want to live in harmony with all people. That’s the best way to live if everyone wants to free and be themselves.

We all know (especially our music students) that harmony doesn’t always happen, though. It isn’t easy. We overcome these difficulties, though, through practice.

When conflicting views or policies cause dissonance and friction, we need to put more effort into practicing our civic duty.

The Millikin presidential search helped students bring up questions closely linked to issues that are also important on a national scale. A few of these issues include making sure that different programs have proportional funding to their importance, battling conflict between minorities and police forces, and deportation.

We urge you: if a value is important to you here at Millikin, also exercise that frame of mind in the primary election. Be concerned with who is in the next oval office.

It is not too late to register to vote. The quickest ways to register are online, but if you see paper registration available at one of the info tables, take advantage of it.

The Decaturian will keep you informed about your candidates, but we are not enough. We also urge everyone to stay on-top of your presidential election. We recommend following the Associated Press and Reuters. These news outlets are wire services, so they tell you the straight story with a minimal amount of bias.

Democratic Citizenship now pumps through our blood, affecting the way we live and think. It’s not easy to live this way. It would be much easier to let older people make our decisions—at least in the short-term.

But that’s not who we are. If we make important decisions, we want them to be for the long-term. We don’t take the easy way out.

Just this past week, we heard Jeffrey Sterling (Class of ’89) tell us, “To thine own self be true.” He was true to himself and the government threw him in jail for it. He does not regret his decision.

What we will regret is if we don’t make our voices heard, this season. So grab your ballot and give our future leaders a piece of our mind.