In 2008, millions of young Americans voted on the basis of hope for the future. After four years of watching hope turn to despair, many former voters are expected to stay home from the polls.

One young man has turned this despair into action. Caleb Yee spoke at the Tea Party Patriots’ 2011 Summit in February 2011, and started a political activist club in high school. He is very concerned about the national debt, and asked the California Tea Party to spread the word about his thoughts on these and other matters. Tea Party Patriots is proud to publish his articulate and selfless essay in full below.

As the fate of our nation lies upon the choices of its citizens tomorrow, I ask every American to stop and consider what is at stake. Before you decide to vote, I ask voters to consider the long-term consequences of their decision. The moment we are born, we already owe the government about $50,000 and those numbers are increasing just as our $16 trillion debt is increasing. While unemployment, debt, and taxes are constantly on the rise, the welfare of our future is on the decline.

Realizing the inherent danger and knowing that most of our current leaders were not doing enough about this, I started a political activist club a couple of years ago in hopes that I would be able to get young students civically engaged through education and information. Now, as a freshman college student and a registered Independent, for the first time in my life, I have the ability to vote and I intend to use my right for my future. The youth vote is powerful and we all saw the power of it during the ’08 elections. I praise the youth for being a force in the public sphere. However, the right to vote is like a weapon. It can either defend our liberties or destroy them. The burden is high and if you feel that you don’t have the knowledge to make a choice for your own future, then lay down your weapon for the stakes are too high. However, if you feel that you can make an educated choice, then exercise your right to vote and use it well.  If the youth of America fails to realize the dilemma and takes action, then we all have to face the consequences of the future. 

The only solution to this is to not make decisions based on short-term and misinformed goals. Alexander Tocqueville warns us that Americans are more inclined to favor equality than liberty since we lack the ability to see the apparent dangers of what it can bring us in the future. We must “seek equality in liberty, not in servitude and restraint.”

For those of you that are refusing to vote because you are displeased with both candidates:  Please reconsider your choice. There will never be the perfect candidate. However, we need a candidate that will work with the people and rid of the partisan lines because they love our country. When the elections are over, regardless of who are president is, the fight will not end. Rather it is just the beginning in our plan to save America. My generation and its future have been left with one of worst declines in American history. And yes, in this case we HAVE inherited this mess. However, I also know that it is also my responsibility to protect my future and we will not stand idly by. Therefore, I ask America not to forget its children and vote for the welfare of our future, so many years from now our children and grandchildren can say remember, remember, the 6th of November.

This is why we must actively participate in the political process – to prevent a fiscal situation that buries the up-and-coming generation of Americans in a mountain of debt they can never pay off. Thank you for your work in making sure Caleb’s dream of keeping America great comes true.