Reported by Harley Burger, Staff Editorialist
On Tuesday, November 8th, an estimated 1.23 million Bexar County citizens will cast their votes in the Texas Midterm Election. Candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and an assortment of regional-level positions will be featured on the Texas Midterm ballot. The outcome of this election will, “Greatly determine the way the state is run” quotes one Madison Staff Member. The primary question looming over the heads of many citizens seems to be: “Who will secure the coveted seat of Governor?”
In light of recent events- namely the overturning of Roe v. Wade, many Texans are eager to place their support behind one of two Governor candidates: Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke or Republican Governor Greg Abbott. However, this election is about more than placing one’s support behind a singular political party. Principal issues are up for debate, and a change in leadership could shift paramount governmental relations and policies.
If Beto O’Rourke secures the Governor position, Texans can expect a plethora of policy changes regarding gun control, education, abortion rights, etc. One voter commented, “Beto has a reputation of being soft on crime. I am afraid he will cut funding for public service offices like the Texas Police Department if he is elected.” A change in leadership will certainly result in monumental modifications in Texan politics.
Conversely, if Greg Abbott remains in office, many voters express concerns for their personal liberties. Mayan Rodriguez, a Madison High School student said, “I feel in danger due to the policies Greg Abbott implements and supports.” Abbott supports a more conservative agenda, advocating lenient gun control and against abortion. Left-leaning voters feel Abbott’s political approach is “old-fashioned” and “outdated”.
Neither candidate seems to be held in particularly high esteem amongst the general masses. Erik Santacruz, a Senior at Madison, shared his personal take on the political division between the two candidates and their respective parties: “I know there is a great division between the political sides, and I feel it is necessary to amend some of Texas’s more “radical Republican laws”, but I am not in favor of either candidate.” Junior, Michelle Gonzalez, chimed in saying, “O’Rourke and Abbott are polar opposite candidates” and she, like many, “finds [her] self-judging the pair, searching for the lesser of two evils.”
For the most part, however, the Madison student body appears to remain relatively uneducated about the Midterm Election. “I haven’t invested time researching politics, so I don’t feel qualified to discuss the election”, says Camila Miranda. An anonymous staff member noted the lack of political awareness attributed to many students: “Young students are generally exposed to a limited range of opinions, experiences, and realities.” Another staff member would continue, “I don’t think the study body is educated. Students who do discuss politics tend to base their opinions on social media or what is reflected by their parents.” This lack of political education is, to many, unsurprising. But our youths should be invested in governmental affairs, as these affairs directly correlate to their future.
Understanding the significance of the Midterm election and the effects of its results are of the utmost importance. The generation of emerging young adults at Madison High School seems to have a varying degree of political involvement and comprehension. Where some students are blatantly unaware of the incumbent election, a select few have begun the process of becoming politically educated and involved.
One thing is certain: The Texas Midterm Election is one of great importance; Texans of all ages should be educated on this landmark occasion and its subsequent effects. Qualified voters are encouraged to use their personal liberty and vote for the representatives and policies that they best see fit for the Lone Star State.
** In a poll of 100 seniors, Beto O’Rourke is the favorite.