As a senior political science major, I’m likely one of the more politically aware and involved individuals within my age bracket. Why study politics, you may ask? I’ve always had an interest in the workings of government and found that when people take the time to sit down and read a news article or watch a politically based newscast, they often do too. Why is this? Because we all have something we believe in. We all have ideas in regards to how money should be budgeted at the federal, state, or even local level. We all have ideas on how individuals should be taxed. We all have ideas on how we think things should be run. Even with all this in mind, I am often given the following responses to my question of why people refuse to educate themselves and get involved in the political process.
“Politics are boring.”
Have you even taken the time to watch a debate in which Donald Trump has participated? I beg to differ. These are some of the most entertaining—while still educational in regards to the policy stances of presidential candidates—that I have seen within the last three election cycles. Do yourself a favor and grab a bag of popcorn and watch a debate.
“The system is corrupt.”
Then why are you not educating yourself on how the system works in order to make a change?
“I don’t have enough time to keep up with the constantly changing environment.”
Do you own a smartphone? There are a multitude of news apps that can keep you updated with the latest information on what is happening on Capitol Hill, your state capital, and even in your hometown. You can even pick an app that is biased toward your own political views if that kind of thing floats your boat. I also find that taking an hour on Sunday morning to watch newscasts especially enlightening. Even with my busy schedule, taking one hour to do this does not impact the rest of the things I have to get done (One of my favorites is This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC at 9 am EST.)
“We are screwed either way.”
There are third party candidates for a reason.
All these excuses, are exactly that—excuses. Being fluent in the interworkings of politics does not require a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, albeit I’ll admit it won’t hurt. Do yourself a favor. Watch a newscast, read a blurb from a new app, register to vote, and ACTUALLY VOTE (side note: In comparison to European states we have an embarrassingly low voter turnout. This could be a contributing factor into why just about every other educated nation in the world thinks Americans are idiots).
So I beg of you, do your research, become involved, and I hope to see you at the polls in November!