Why You Should Care About Politics
Your teacher starts a discussion about current events and a recent issue regarding governmental affairs. When questioned, you shrug and say, “I don’t know, I’m just not really interested in all that politics stuff.”
You join a conversation with some friends about a recent social issue. While they all express their concerns, you excuse yourself. “I just don’t really care about politics. It’s too confusing.”
With such a politically divided country in the recent years, the topic of politics seems overwhelming for a lot of students. The media is bombarded by mixed statements, telling people how and what to think regarding our country’s issues. Many are driven away from the subject for this reason. They feel confused by the influx of information, or feel it is easier to just stay out of everything to avoid such confusion. But this is not acceptable for the future generation of our country. Teens and young people should stay educated on current events and societal issues in order to be well-rounded, open-minded individuals.
With social media playing such a big role in our society, it is no surprise that politics is not excluded from the internet sphere. It has become increasing easy to keep in touch with the news, know the stances of politicians, and learn about different opinions online. People can be briefed on current events without even leaving the Twitter app, and a simple Google search can explain anything about everything. There is no excuse not to keep up to date with all of this information when it is available at the touch of a button.
You don’t have to know the ins and outs of some politician’s latest scandal or our foreign policy with China in exact detail. You don’t have to have an opinion about every issue, but you should be aware of them. Everyone should educate themselves on what is going on in our country and our world, and everyone should care, at least to a degree.
Staying updated with politics means becoming more tolerant, and more accepting. It means becoming more receptive to new ideas, less prejudiced, and more in tune with the world around us. There is a worldly intelligence that comes with being educated on what is going on in government, the issues harming society, and the lives of others.
Not everyone has the privilege to brush it off as “confusing.” Not everyone is afforded the luxury of “not caring” about politics.
To view the political sphere as unimportant is not recognizing that many are forced to be involved in politics, because it constantly affects their lives. Racism is a political matter. Sexism is a political matter. Homophobia is political matter. It is a privilege to not have to engage in the conversation because it does not concern you. Men, white people, straight people, etc. should be educated no matter if the news affects them or not. To not be engaged is to show that you don’t care.
If no one educates themselves, society remains stagnant, and a society living in the past cannot move forward. When barely half of the population goes out to vote for the president, and less than that turns out to vote for Congresspeople, it is impossible to make this change. When no one is active in politics, no one goes out to vote, because they think that their vote “doesn’t matter,” or they “don’t know enough” about the candidates to make a decision. With this, the same candidates with the same (often corrupt) systems are continually reelected, no matter their harmful policies or standpoints. People can’t complain about the politicians if they didn’t even vote.
Politics affects everything, whether we like it or not. It affects our money, our environment, our livelihoods, and unfortunately to many, it requires a lot of attention. We as young people are the future of this country, and of the world. We have the access to information, but if we choose to ignore it, we can never get involved, take action, or make change. We shouldn’t be afraid to get political; we should embrace it.