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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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No joke: Don’t throw away vote on ‘Deez Nuts’

Sam+King%3A+Whether+you%26%238217%3Bre+Republican%2C+a+Democrat%2C+a+Libertarian+or+whatever%2C+the+bottom+line+is+it%26%238217%3Bs+imperative+to+become+an+informed+voter.
Photo by Graphic by Claire Shepherd

Sam King: “Whether you’re Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian or whatever, the bottom line is it’s imperative to become an informed voter.”

Nine percent of North Carolinians surveyed preferred “Deez Nutz” over Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in a late August public policy poll.

Trump won 40 percent of the votes, Clinton 38 percent and 12 percent of voters said they were unsure. 

This leaves me 100 percent unsure of the future of this country.

“Deez Nuts” was later revealed in a Daily Beast report to be 15-year-old Brady Olson. Originally based on a popular internet meme and inspired by Limberbutt McCubbins (a cat and fellow independent candidate), Olson has also polled at 7 percent in Minnesota and 8 percent in Iowa, his home state. And these were the results before the campaign became a trending topic on social media. Imagine how many participants will see their opportunity to jokingly tell their friends, “I voted for Deez Nuts!”

This may seem like a harmless joke from a bored teenager, and generally I agree. But it’s indicative of a larger problem. I don’t mean to endorse either candidate, but 9 percent of the votes is the difference between Trump beating out Clinton. Continuing this scenario, the 12 percent who are unsure would give Hillary a landslide win over Trump when combined with “Deez Nuts’” votes for this poll.

Whether you’re Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian or whatever, the bottom line is it’s imperative to become an informed voter. 

According to a 2014 U.S. Census Bureau report, voting rates in people aged 18 to 24 have dropped from 50.9 percent in 1964 to only 38 percent in 2012. These numbers, even at their highest in 1964, are still way below other age groups. 

So when we waste these votes on candidates like “Deez Nuts” for the sake of a joke, the end results aren’t actually all that funny. 

There is a “one vote does not make a difference” attitude common among my politically apathetic friends. But that’s just not true. If every voting aged person who felt that way decided to educate themselves and vote anyway, there could be a significant change in the issues that are talked about, and subsequently voted on and signed into law. 

The way the government is set up is based on the idea that there is a fair representation of the population. But that’s not the case. It’s a representation of the voting population’s ideas — ideas that are later implemented on the general population. In the same U.S. Census Bureau report, the age group with the highest percentage of voters was people aged 65 and up, with nearly 70 percent of that demographic voting in the 2012 presidential election. Age group 45 to 64 wasn’t far behind, with 63.4 percent of their demographic voting. 

This presents a problem because the issues politicians are talking about are largely skewed towards the 65 plus demographic. There is very little legislation regarding college tuition, or other issues that greatly affect our demographic. And this is because politicians don’t deem us a large enough chunk of voters to cater to.

Don’t give into the politicians who depend on you not voting — learn where candidates stand and make the trip to the voting booth. Above all, certainly don’t waste your voice with a joke that will fade into Internet-oblivion within a couple months. Because you won’t be laughing about “Deez Nuts” when you’re stuck with someone you find to be a nut in the White House. 

 Sam King is a Communication junior and news editor for The Battalion.

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