This election, our generation is asking the question: Who represents us?
Its not a new question.
You can hear it in the campaign rhetoric every four years, when presidential campaigns look to the youth to knock on doors, make phone calls and turn out votes.
But somehow, once the votes are counted and the status quo permeates, the question remains unanswered.
In 2008, President Barack Obama swept young people off their feet with promises of hope and change.
But what has it left us with?
Fifty percent of recent college graduates are unemployed. Under President Obama, the number of young people living in poverty
has increased by more than 23 percent. This is not the hope and change our generation voted for.
Last week, we watched as leaders from across the country spoke at the Republican National Convention.
They spoke of the overwhelming opportunity America has afforded them. They spoke about achieving success in the face of hardship. They spoke of how the direction our country has taken has jeopardized the opportunity so tightly woven into the fabric of America. Diverse leaders like Gov. Susana Martinez, Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Marco Rubio and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told their stories to the American people stories of hope, hard work, dedication and American exceptionalism.
In the words of former Secretary of State Rice, You see, the essence of America, what really unites us, is not nationality or ethnicity or religion. It is an idea and what an idea it is. That you can come from humble circumstances and you can do great things. That it does not matter where you came from. It matters where you are going.
In his speech, former Gov. Mitt Romney reflected on the same themes as those who spoke before him. Romney spoke to what makes America exceptional: the belief that in America, anything is possible.
This is the belief that caused immigrants to leave everything they had to come to America, that transformed the world through the progress made possible by the free market and that men and women from every generation fought for on the shores of foreign lands.
This is also the belief that is at risk in this election.
President Obama failed to deliver on his promises to our generation.
Now he hopes to generate the same enthusiasm for his re-election campaign as he had in 2008.
However, young people are beginning to recognize the choice that lies ahead.
So, again, our generation asks: Who represents us?
Romney has made a simple promise to the American people, and surely to our generation in particular: to help you and your family.
The GOP, the Grand Opportunity Party, represents us.
Ralph DElia is a senior majoring in political science