You might not know it, but you're a Republican

_Editor’s Note: College Republicans at the University will contribute a weekly column Tuesdays until the presidential election in November._

It’s the beginning of a new fall semester. For some, it is your first at the University and, for others, your last. Quad Day has come and gone, and you are beginning your daily routine of class, studying and social life.

But while you have been going through the paces, have you ever stopped and thought about why you are here? Why are you spending four important years studying at the University of Illinois?

To many, the answer to this rather silly question is that the U of I is a stepping stone to a successful career. But what if I told you that a "recent study":http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/02/09/young-underemployed-and-optimistic/4/#chapter-3-how-todays-economy-is-affecting-young-adults?src=prc- shows that 49 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds are underemployed in this country, meaning they are working a job that is below their level of expertise?

Do you really want to be a part of that awful statistic? Or would you rather graduate from the University of Illinois, be hired for what you are worth and begin a path toward success and prosperity? Well, if you prefer the latter, then you are a Republican and you may not have even known it.

The economy is hurting because of the failed policies in Washington. Taxes are too high, and the current administration is hurting small businesses, which are the heart of the American economy. The “hope and change” that was promised brought much change, and now much of the country is left with very little hope.

According to the same study, 34 percent of 25- to 29-year-olds are moving back home so they can afford living expenses. Those are our prime years, when we should be creating a path toward success, but because of the horrible economy, many of us are moving back home and relying on our parents again. None of us wants that. We want to succeed.

There’s an alternative this year to Washington’s failure for our generation. Republicans want us to be successful and independent. They want us to graduate from the school we attend and to take a job that helps us move forward in our life and career. The Republican ideals of lower taxes, less burdensome government regulations, more money in our own individual pockets, and the belief that the individual knows best how to spend his or her money will help keep us from falling into the above statistics.

There is an election coming in a few weeks. When you begin to take a look at candidates and how you will vote, think back to the question I posed to you earlier: Why are you at the U of I? When you have answered that question, take the time to get educated about the candidates and their positions on the economy. Determine which beliefs and policies will help us be successful in our future. Then, get involved. There are many opportunities right here on campus for you to play a key role in helping elect good leaders in Washington and Springfield who will help us all succeed. Your desire for a successful future means you’re Republican and you didn’t even know it.

_Despina Batson,

President of College Republicans and senior in LAS_