Being the opinion editor here at the Daily Nexus, I’m reminded every day that people actually do care.
Sometimes I’m confounded by what people care about (say, the red curb in front of their house, the demise of reality television or even those cursed, ever-so-tropical snowy plovers), but it’s reassuring to see that at least a few people give a damn.

Naturally, there’s the camp that writes in time and again about political corruption and foreign policy. If I weren’t so tirelessly apathetic, they would probably make me want to scream, but I usually just sit there and read what they’ve got to say. After all, we have to fill space somehow (see: the bikers). They’re a dime a dozen, but we’re glad to see that drunks can be productive too (see: Daily Nexus staff box).

Today, though, is a special day. Today, caring isn’t creepy – it’s a drab duty.

Today, the registered voters of California will answer Governor Schwarzenegger’s query to decide the fate of the state’s economic future, and the youth of California will be in for the fight of it’s collective life. Ultimately, how much our generation cares will determine what props are passed and what props are passed on.

Seeing as you’re here at an institution of higher learning, let’s assume, for kicks, that you value education. Of the eight propositions on today’s ballot, two are concerned primarily with public schools: Propositions 74 and 76. Even if you know nothing of the other six propositions, know that Props 74 and 76 directly affect the minds of today and the IQs of tomorrow. It will be on the test.

That means if you enjoy intelligent conversation, and wish for others to have the same opportunity as you to discuss Voltaire’s volition or Sir Isaac Newton’s negligence, you should probably put down the bong and make it out to this one.

Proposition 74, on the other hand, is a bit more complex. It could make public education better, but it could also make it significantly worse if the increase in time to tenure for a teacher makes the already underpaid teaching profession that much less attractive.

A high bi-partisan turnout is especially crucial given the weight of this special election carries. Too cumbersome for the California legislature to handle, the people have the rare opportunity to participate in a vote that resembles a direct democracy. For the lot of you who disagree with the decision to hold a special election costing tax payers roughly $50 million when we’re less than one year away from California’s regularly scheduled poll date, you’re right, but this is the wrong time to be lamenting “voter fatigue.”

Last year, Isla Vistans appeared to have fresh legs, flocking to the polls with as much fervor as the 1996 election. This year, with no presidential race gripping the average voter indifference appears to be the Governor’s secret weapon. The only propositions the governor doesn’t support are Propositions 79 and 80, yet he has refused to debate anyone over any of the issues publicly. In his silence, he’s hoping you don’t notice what’s going on today at all.

The college student has become increasingly inattentive to politics over the past few decades despite a few wars and momentous global movements, and the state special election is an overt attempt to exploit our apathy.

And if that’s not enough to get you to the polls… remember you get a free, shiny sticker. OK, it’s not shiny, but your tax dollars did pay for it. OK, it was your parent’s tax dollars, and they probably don’t want you to vote since they’re republican and you’re a moderate liberal, but… just go vote.

Daily Nexus Opinion Editor Chris Trenchard likes the ring of “narcissistic” better than “conceited.”