During a teleconference on Sept. 27 with college journalists from across the country, President Barack Obama began a campaign to draw young voters to the polls.
“You can’t suddenly just check in once every 10 years or so, on an exciting presidential election, and then not pay attention during big midterm elections where we’ve got a real big choice between Democrats and Republicans,” Obama said.
For the president, it was the beginning of a campaign where he plans to stop at several universities across the country to draw young voters – the same ones who voted him into office in 2008 – to the polls for the upcoming midterm elections on Nov. 2.
The next day, Sept. 28, Obama was at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in an event labeled as a Democratic National Committee Rally.
Ben Harper, The Nationals and other bands popular with college students were on stage before the president emerged.
“I need you … fired up, Badgers,” Obama said, referring to the school’s mascot, to the thousands of students in attendance.
But one national student organization is telling college students not to vote.
“The lack of participation would send a message to the political parties,” Xavier Motoux, a director from the Institute of Ultimate Truth based from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student, said.
The institution, Motoux said, has existed for a year and has three directors nationwide. Their main goal is to identify “parts of the world’s problems and address the roots of their causes,” he said.
Motoux said the organization is not against either party or voting in general. But they believe politics clogs the system and prevents real change from occurring. Often, they claim, voters are forced to choose between “the lesser of two evils.”
“There is so much back and forth that nothing gets changed,” he said. “Division is part of the problem. We are telling voters not to support the lesser of two evils and not to perpetuate the division. (To politicians) the issues are secondary.”
“We see that as the only real permanent solution. It is a lot more than a political goal. But first we have to adjust politics.”
The feedback to their no-voting stance has been mostly critical.
“The painful stupidity of this is beyond appalling,” John Ford, from KAOS radio at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., said in an email to the institution. “Mind you, the concept of an absolute truth is itself preposterous. Remove our station from your list.”