Let me start out by saying that I hate politics. I don’t like debating political issues with others to win their approval. Following the lives of political figures or watching CNN on a daily basis is simply something in which I have no interest. And, if I'm being honest, I don’t have time for it.
Since getting settled into college, politics seem to be the main topic of discussion. I have friends who are very passionate about their beliefs, but personally, I don’t know how they can do it. When the words “Trump” or “gun control” or “health care” come into the discussion, I shy away and find something to distract me and hold my interest until the topic changes. I feel sorry for not contributing to the conversation and ignoring them for a time. But in reality, I’m not sorry for turning the other way when things turn political.
Yes, I do understand how important it is to be informed about political candidates during election seasons. I understand that government is a tricky topic to talk about these days. And, of course, I understand how important it is to vote. But, please don’t try to change my mind because I probably never asked for it in the first place.
I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with being politically active, because believe me, if I had the opportunity to express my opinion on something I truly care about, I would. But I’m not the type of person to hold up signs on the street or preach to others about the “right” way the United States should be governed. Frankly, I’d be scared to, and that’s the catch. Why should I be scared to talk about politics in this country?
When I think about all of the conflict going on in the United States, it’s hard to ignore the fact that our solution is to place blame on others who don’t politically agree with us; Democrats blame Republicans, Republicans blame Democrats. We see it in the news. We see it in Trump’s tweets. I see it on my college campus at least once a day.
I’m not just speaking out for myself, I’m speaking out for our society because we’re starting to believe in political stereotypes. How fair is it to base your opinion about someone you just met on their political affiliation? Why should I tell you mine if that's going to change your entire opinion about me if we don't agree? I can’t be the only one who thinks that.
Within our society, we’re getting to a point where our political beliefs define who we are. It’s simple: as long as you don’t discriminate against other people or go out of your way to harm other citizens over your beliefs, I don’t care that you voted for Trump, Hillary or Deez Nuts.
Whomever I choose to agree with or vote for can be my own business if I want it to be. If that's not the case, we might as well get rid of the voting booths and just tweet out our votes. I don’t need anybody to change it unless I allow it. If you want to wear the “I Voted” sticker loud and proud with no doubt that the candidate for whom you voted for was the best choice, then do it. Just don’t try to tell me that my decision is invalid.