Student Opinion – Most important election ever?

This is the most important election of our lives — at least, these are the words that have been repeated over and over again by pundits, politicians and people on both the right and the left about the upcoming midterm elections. But how much truth is actually in that statement? 

As with many things, it depends on how you look at it. Technically speaking, with the issues at stake in regard to crime, the economy and several other things, this is the most important election of our lives so far. The key words we have to pay attention to in that statement, however, are the words “so far.” 

If you pay close attention to what many people in the media and in politics are saying, you will see what I am talking about. Many times you will hear someone say, “This is the most important election we have faced in my lifetime.” In many ways, this is certainly true, but it has also been true in every election cycle in the past two decades. 

Go back to the 2018 midterms, the 2016 election of former President Donald Trump or even the 2000 Bush versus Gore race. You will hear the words “this is the most important election of our lives” repeated over and over again. As we go into 2024, 2026, 2028 and on, you will likely hear these words again. 

So, what is behind the trend? Is it all political posturing to whip up votes, or do people actually believe this? I believe there are a few factors that play into it. 

For some, it’s a matter of strategy. In political communication, one of the biggest differences between great success and great failure is the talking points
candidates choose.

If candidates can use the issues at stake — inflation, the economy, crime, abortion, etc. — to craft a message that will make the voters genuinely believe there is a lot at risk and that this is the most important election they have ever lived to see, they will likely vote for that candidate. 

In 2016, Trump and his team were able to use this strategy to help them along to victory. With issues like tariffs and trade deficits, a slow-moving economy and the fact that there was an open Supreme Court seat that could shift the balance of power, Trump crafted the message that the 2016 election was the most important election anyone had ever faced and that he alone had the answers to the problems.

This strategy was so well executed that Trump not only won a race he was supposed to lose, but he convinced an entire demographic of blue-collar workers, many of whom had never voted Republican in their lives, to cast their ballot for Trump in traditionally blue areas like Michigan
and Ohio. 

For others, I believe they genuinely think this is the most important election they have ever seen. The pace at which social change in the United States has moved over the past 40 years is utterly mind-boggling. Whether it be abortion, homosexuality or a myriad of other issues, this is not the same country it once was. 

For someone who has been alive long enough to see this change take place, this 2022 election is the most important election we have ever faced. This election could mean the difference between a few more years of relative sanity or the unleashing of an ideology and way of living that wasn’t comprehendible even a decade ago.

So, is this the most important election we have ever seen? So far, I believe it is the latest in a long line of very important elections. With the way things continue to change, I can see each election from here on out becoming increasingly important, especially for Christians in a culture growing more hostile toward the faith. 

Hughes is an opinion writer for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on Twitter

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