Countless times recently, people have told me they "just don't care about politics." The majority of those people refuse to engage in a meaningful discussion about the current political environment or they choose not to even pay attention, which makes such a discussion conquered before the first "in my opinion" is even uttered. This position taken by so many people truly concerns me and begs the question, "why don't you care?"
I can understand the feeling of wanting to disengage due to the always present drama of the negative campaigning. However, is the current negative political environment REALLY a new thing? No is the answer. It's not new at all. Technology has increased the ability and the frequency, but negativity is something that is and always will be present in politics. In 1828, supporters of John Quincy Adams threw political mud at Andrew Jackson, when they called his mother a prostitute and his wife an adulteress. 188 years later, Trump supporters have accused Ted Cruz of having affairs and his wife has been accused of having mental health issues. Nothing has changed.
The negativity is on steroids right now because we are in the middle of a presidential campaign, but that does not negate the fact that "I just don't care" isn't really a valid excuse when more often than not, the item in your life you are complaining about is something that is politically related. For instance, remember when you complained about how awful you felt in the airplane seat? This happens to nearly everyone as airlines pack us in like sardines in an effort to inflate their profits, and then send us 30 thousand feet in the air with no elbowroom and no in-flight dinners. Did you know that in early 2016, a proposal was put in front of congress that would require all airlines to have seat size requirements that leave enough room for comfort, health and safety in the aisle and between seats for rapid evacuation if necessary? The proposal was called the "SEAT Act" and was an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization bill. ( H.R.4490 -- 114th Congress)
What about coordinated terrorist attacks, or the total availability of anonymity using pre-paid burner phones? Did you know a bill was introduced also in 2016 that would require purchasers to provide identification at the time of purchase to include name, address and alternate phone number? (Closing the Pre-Paid Mobile Device Security Gap Act of 2016)
If you complained about either having to pay for the insurance through the "Affordable Care Act" or the tax penalty assessed to those who chose to be uninsured, then surely you are also aware that Ted Cruz stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate for 21 hours straight, all in an effort to scrap Obamacare; during which time he took the liberties of reading from both the bible and also reading Green Eggs and Ham. The New York Post reported on this on September 25, 2013.
Are you complaining about violence against women? I'm sure you have read the "Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013" which improves services, enhances tools and strengthens healthcare responses to violent acts against women.
The taxes you complain about paying, the marijuana you smoke (that is illegal), the low wages you are receiving, the equal rights for the LGBTQ community you are so upset that we are still fighting for, the ever constant "why don't our teachers care?" and the illegal immigration issues we have are all just the tip of the iceberg of exactly why you should care. All of these things (and more topics) have serious effects not just on me but also on you and your family and everyone in the U.S.
The "you" implied here is to anyone reading this blog. You should care. You should pay attention. Not everything that is happening in the world of politics has to do with what an ass Donald Trump is, or how Bernie Sanders wants everyone to have a free rainbow unicorn. There are actual decisions that both need to be made and also are being made every single day. When you involve yourself and educate yourself on more than on just the negative hyperbole, you actually may become inspired to either make a change, or simply be inspired by those in politics who are actually doing their jobs.
Those people who are fueling the hate fire, and those who are working their asses off to make this country a better place are both people that YOU have a choice to put your voice into. It's not just the presidential campaign that is important. Voting is important at every level. The House of Representatives and the Senate both hold some truly amazing and inspiring individuals who are on both sides of the aisle.
To be able to make any change you have to first do something. You can't just sit back and bitch about the state of the world we live in today. You cannot just sit back and complain about things that are in your capacity to help make better. If you are uneducated on who is speaking for you, that is a problem. If you are uneducated about who is choosing what appropriate laws for you, that is a problem. If you are uneducated about where funds in your community stemming up to your nation are being spent and who approved them, that is a problem.
Realizing that all of those people out there who "just don't care about politics" are a huge part of what is wrong with our nation is step one. Educating yourself, plugging back in and paying attention is step two, and doing something; even if it's educating yourself enough to vote, is step three.
Not caring is probably the worst thing someone can do when it comes to politics. Everyone has a voice, everyone has a choice. In my opinion, when you make the choice to not use your voice, your right to complain becomes invalid.